Investigation underway into Grand Island elementary staff member

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - An investigation is underway into a staff member at Grand Island Public Schools.

GIPS officials notified parents at Engleman Elementary of an investigation regarding reported inappropriate behavior by one of the staff there.

Grand Island Police confirm an investigation is in the early stages.

GIPD Captain Jim Duering said three students reported suspicious behavior. He said what one of the students reported "would constitute sexual contact."

He adds that it is unknown at this time when the reported incident occurred, but police received a report from Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services on March 4.

"The first step will be to do a forensic interview of the children. We want to do that just one time so that they're not re-victimized. These kinds of investigations do take some time. We want to be very careful to base the investigation only on the facts so as not to damage either the students or the employee," Duering said.

Grand Island Island Public Schools released a statement Thursday morning about the investigation underway.

Here is the GIPS statement from Dr. Robin Dexter, Associate Superintendent:

We informed Engleman Elementary parents of an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior by a staff member there. As is our policy, we have reported this to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and local law enforcement. The staff member is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation. We thank the students who reported the situation to adults at the school. We have communicated directly with the parents of the children involved. As always, we strive to create a safe environment for students, staff and the entire school community. All further questions should be directed to the Grand Island Police Department.

This is now a police investigation and this is all we are going to say at this time. We will not be doing any on-camera interviews.

No further information has been released regarding who was involved in the incident. As of early Thursday, police still have not interviewed the suspect.

"We have to let the investigation run its course, " said Capt. Duering.

This incident came to our attention overnight Wednesday when a parent notified Local4 of an email sent out to Engleman Elementary parents about the situation at the school.

In the email from Grand Island Public Schools, it references an investigation, where a staff member was put on administrative leave pending an outcome of a police investigation. Department of Health and Human Services was also contacted.

Here is the text of the email:

Engleman Parents,
We are reaching out to inform you of an investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior by a staff member at Engleman Elementary. As is our policy, we have reported this to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and local law enforcement. The staff member is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation. We thank the students who reported the situation to adults at the school. We have communicated with the parents of the children involved. As always, we strive to create a safe environment for students, staff and the entire school community.

Dr. Tawana Grover, GIPS superintendent
Ms. Jennifer Lohrberg, Engleman principal

The email was also written in Spanish.

Read the original version of this article at www.ksnblocal4.com.