LAMAR, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — UPDATE: On August 16, the Lamar School District released a statement following its Title IX handling of the sexual harassment allegations at Lamar Middle School. In that statement, the district cited the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division completing an investigation, stating that “the CACD found all allegations of sexual abuse to be unsubstantiated.”

“The school takes any allegations of sexual abuse very seriously, which is why the school conducted an independent investigation by a third party and reviewed all investigative findings submitted by the Crimes Against Children Division of the Arkansas State Police,” the statement added.


LAMAR, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Three students say they were sexually assaulted and harassed at Lamar Middle School. Lamar is located along I-40 in Johnson County, west of Russellville. After conducting an investigation and coming to a conclusion, the school district announced its findings on Friday.

An independent decision-maker found the accused students responsible for some of the allegations made against them, but a lawyer representing the students who were allegedly assaulted, doesn’t think it’s enough.

“Ultimately, the decision maker chose not to give punishment, which we feel is unacceptable. It’s a slap on the wrist– conduct rewarded, conduct repeated,” said Trial Lawyer Joey McCutchen.

According to Title IX documents, three students were determined to have sexually assaulted or harassed Lamar Middle School Students. The investigation says one student was determined to be responsible for placing a finger in another students buttocks– other accusations include inappropriate touching.

Along with a 10 day recommended suspension– they face a no-contact order and harassment courses. The accusers’ lawyer says that is not enough.

“What does that do for the educational process, when a student or students assault other students? They get a slap on the wrist, and then they’re immediately back in the same environment they were before,” said McCutchen.

McCutchen also voiced concern surrounding where teachers and coaches were at the time of these incidents. The decision to put forward these recommendations isn’t final yet. Both parties have the option to file an appeal within 10 business days of the released decision. McCutchen said his team is considering its options.

“The grounds that we’re going to appeal on is the lack of punishment of students who sexually assaulted other students,” said McCutchen.

The Lamar Superintendent, Jay Holland, issued a statement about the findings.

“The grievance process under Title IX is still underway, and the district cannot comment on student matters,” said Holland.

McCutchen said he’s waiting to see what comes out of the appeal process and any police investigations before looking into filing a lawsuit against the Lamar School District.

“We are exploring all options at this point in terms of a federal lawsuit,” said McCutchen.

The Title IX report mentioned the Lamar Police Department and Arkansas State Police have separate, active investigations into these allegations. Arkansas State Police were not able to confirm the status of an investigation. Lamar Police did not get back to us with a comment.

A protest has been planned on Facebook regarding the decision to suspend the students in question, without further action. The protesters plan to line the sidewalk outside the Lamar Elementary Cafeteria during a school board meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 11 at 5:30 pm.