April 29: Employee assault allegations follow-up

April 29: Employee assault allegations follow-up
Posted on 04/29/2020
April 29 update
Dear Tahoma families and staff:

We are providing further information related to child sexual assault allegations against Tahoma School District paraeducator, Bryan Neyers. Neyers, 23, was formally charged on April 28 by King County prosecutors with two counts of alleged child molestation involving two students under the age of 12. He pleaded innocent. According to charging documents, the alleged assaults happened during the week of April 20 in the COVID-19 childcare center at Lake Wilderness Elementary School. King County Sheriff’s investigators rearrested Neyers in connection with a third sexual assault allegation following his court appearance on Tuesday.

Many Tahoma parents have asked us to let them know where Neyers has worked and whether he contacted their children directly. We can’t determine every student contact, but we can provide his primary work assignments and locations.

Neyers has worked for Tahoma since September 2015. All Tahoma employees must pass a criminal background check with the Washington State Patrol before being hired. Here are his other regularly scheduled work assignments:

2019-2020 school year: Special Education paraeducator, breakfast, lunch, and recess coverage at Glacier Park Elementary School; Extended Enrichment Program assistant after school at Tahoma Elementary School.

2018-2019 school year: Part-time Special Education paraeducator at Glacier Park Elementary; worked part-time at Shadow Lake Elementary EEP (two days a week for two hours per day, from February through April); and was an EEP assistant at Tahoma Elementary School.

2017-2018 school year: Special Education paraeducator at Rock Creek Elementary.

September 2015-June 2017: Playground assistant and EEP assistant at Glacier Park Elementary.

In addition to Neyers’ regularly scheduled assignments, he also worked as a paraeducator at all Camp Casey sessions in 2016-2019 and worked in the summer EEP program in 2016-2019. We continue to research additional assignments he worked in order to fully inform investigators and Tahoma families.

If you have concerns that your student has experienced inappropriate contact, please call or email the King County Sheriff’s Detective investigating this case: Detective MaryLisa Priebe-Olson at (206)-263-2110. You can also reach the detective by email at: Marylisa.Priebe-Olson@kingcounty.gov.

If you want to talk to your child to determine whether there is cause for concern, please follow the advice below from the King County Sheriff’s Office Special Assault Unit:
Investigators encourage you not to discuss the specific situation with your child/children in detail, but rather to ask general questions such as the examples below. Direct questioning of children who have not previously reported inappropriate touching, if not handled properly poses two risks: (1) it can jeopardize investigation of legitimate claims, and (2) it can lead to claims of abuse when no abuse or touching actually took place.
If you choose to directly question your child concerning this matter, investigators asked us to share the following advice:

1. Ask broad and open-ended questions such as:
-How do you like going to your school/daycare?
-Is there anything you like/dislike about it?
-Have you ever had a problem with anyone at school/daycare?
-Have you ever had someone make you feel uncomfortable?
-Tell me all about that person/what happened.

2. If your child says something in response that causes you concern, listen to them, reassure them, and contact law enforcement.

3. Do not share information with your child about what other children allege took place. Do not provide them with the name of the suspect. It is important that details are provided by the child. Providing your child with additional information can impact any subsequent investigation.

We want all of our families to have the most current resources and support related to this topic. Experts at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress and King County Sexual Assault Resource Center are available for families that may need their assistance. Please feel free to contact Harborview at (206) 744-1600 or https://depts.washington.edu/hcsats/ or King County Sexual Assault Resource Center at (888) 998-6423 or www.kcsarc.org for support.

This is a very difficult time for everyone connected to our school district. We want to assure you that student safety is our highest priority. We are cooperating fully with the criminal investigation. As additional information becomes available that would be helpful, we will share it with you.

Please contact us if you have additional questions or concerns. You can send email to TSDmessages@tahomasd.us. We also have a telephone number for you to leave messages about this issue: 425-413-3485. You can also contact your school principal.

Thank you,
Tahoma Communications Office
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