WYANDOTTE DISTRICT CHANGES POLICY AFTER VOLUNTEER IS CHARGED WITH SEX CRIMES
September 3, 2019
WYANDOTTE, Mich. (FOX 2) - After a district volunteer has been charged with sex crimes, parents say Wyandotte schools violated their trust.
The volunteer is accused of assaulting a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old. On Tuesday, the school district announced it is making changes to its volunteer policy.
"The appeal process has been eliminated," said Patrick Sutka, the school board president. "Any person with a felony or a domestic crime will not be allowed to volunteer in the schools."
The changes come as Wyandotte resident Michael Beebe faces sex crimes charges involving at least one student at the school where he volunteered.
"It is very difficult for all of us," Sutka said. "Every one of us board members, including myself, have had children go through this district. We are members of this community. It has been very heart-wrenching to know that this perpetrator has been in our schools."
Wyandotte schools Superintendent Catherine Cost and Monroe Elementary Principal Vicki Wilson allowed Beebe to volunteer at the school, despite his having felony convictions dating back to 1992 for home invasions.
He was initially rejected from Monroe's Watch Dogs Program, which stands for Dads of Great Students, after failing a background check. But he appealed and convinced Cost and Wilson he changed his life. Beebe's daughter attends the school.
"The board has decided to take no personnel action against either of those employees of the school district," Sutka said. "They acted within the authority of their positions, and they also made decisions based on the information available to them at the time."
Christina Hunter's daughter attends Monroe Elementary School and knows the alleged victims' parents.
"When he was volunteering, when he was there for anything, he was actually soliciting our kids to have playdates with his daughter," Hunter said.
The school board launched an internal investigation after Beebe was arrested. Findings were made public at Tuesday's meeting.
"They said they told him he could no longer volunteer," Hunter said. "Then he still stood on the campus - when did they ever tell the parents, this man should not be opening their kids' door. He still stood out there on school property after they told him not to volunteer."
Some parents plan on taking legal action against the school district.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.