Victory Christian School fails to report CHILD ABUSE once again.
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In July of 2016, 19 month old Lincoln Henry Lewis was murdered at the hands of his mother’s then boyfriend, Bert Franklin. Franklin was a prominent member of the Tulsa, OK community where he owned his own Dental Practice.
At the time of sweet Lincoln’s murder, everyone was under the impression that Franklin’s actions were an isolated, one-time incident. However, at Franklin’s bond hearing in August, 2016 a crucial detail emerged that shed even more mystery upon Franklin’s actions towards sweet Lincoln. *According to official court transcripts* A detective testified at the bond hearing, stating that during the course of their investigation into Lincoln’s murder that they had uncovered an abuse allegation from Franklin’s own 10 year-old daughter.
On December 2, 2015, Franklins daughter wrote a note to her teacher at Victory Christian School in Tulsa, OK outlining several allegations of physical abuse from her father. At the time that this allegation was made, Bert Franklin was a known monetary donor to the school. Franklin’s mother, Joyce Franklin, was/is also an employee of the school.
Rather than report these allegations, as mandated by Oklahoma Statute 10A O.S. §1-2-101 (B(1)), school officials instead held a meeting with the family and made the decision to ignore the complaint and allow the family to handle it privately, and they believed the girl was seeking “attention.” Victory Christian School had in their hands a letter from a 10 year-old child stating that she was being physically abused by her father, yet they did nothing. Seven short months later, an innocent baby was brutally murdered by this same man.
Sadly, this is not the first time that Victory Christian School has silenced abuse allegations to protect their own. Victory has been sued for negligence stemming from accusations that officials of the school have covered up sexual assault of a child by a staff member when a 13 year-old girlcame to them after being raped in a stairwell. Instead of reporting this, the school instead decided to pray for her; the school neither called the police, nor even attempted to contact the girl’s family. They simply decided to pray for her. The family on the other hand, stood up for their daughter and fought to protect her rights. Since this “fall from grace,” five staff members have faced criminal charges and handed down stiff sentences. Apparently however, Victory still has failed to remember that they are not exempt from Mandatory Reporting as they failed not only Franklin’s daughter, but in turn sweet baby Lincoln.
Victory Christian School was handed a 5 year probation following the rape that they failed to report by their staff member. Here we are, still in this probation period and they fail to report, again. The allegations made against Franklin were brought to the attention of the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office in August, 2016. It is now May, 2017 and no charges have been brought against Victory Christian School, or its employees. Can someone please explain why?
As a teacher, I am a mandated reporter. It is not a glamorous aspect of the job—but I would choose the safety of my students over money any day of the week and make these phone calls anytime one is warranted. I am so saddened and sickened to see this situation being swept under the rug!! This happens far too often, and Victory needs to be held accountable for their lack of action!
So here I am, asking you to come together as a community to make sure that those who played a role in these events—events which led to the murder of an innocent child, are brought to justice. We are taught as children to know the difference between right and wrong. Victory’s actions led to a child being silenced when going to her teacher, someone who should be a safe-haven and a protector for her to speak with about horrendous matters. Bert Franklin was allowed to live his life as if nothing happened because of Victory’s inaction, and just seven short months later he was able to be in the position to murder Sweet Baby Lincoln.
Again, I am asking you to join me in this fight.
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