I-Team uncovers former Quincy teacher’s personnel file
UPDATED: Newschannel 3 would like to post an update to our reporting from Friday, May 12, on the personnel file of former Quincy teacher Jason Ferrell.
The father of the student involved in this case reached out to Newschannel 3 on Tuesday, stating that Ferrell never stayed at their home or the home of a family member. He also says Ferrell never went on vacation with the family, that the incident referred to in the file was a drama trip that was attended by two other students, and two other teachers, and the girl's mother went along on the trip to watch over their daughter.
In addition, the father reports that he was not contacted by Quincy schools during the course of the investigation, adding that the only time they spoke to him was when he went to the school himself to ask questions about Ferrell's behavior. He stated that at that point, he was told that there was nothing to worry about.
Newschannel 3 will continue to follow this story as it develops. Our original reporting on the story can be found below.
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Through a Freedom of Information request, the Newschannel 3 I-Team has uncovered Jason Ferrell’s personnel file. Ferrell resigned as Technology Coordinator for Quincy Schools in January after he was confronted about an alleged inappropriate relationship.
The personnel file spanning his 20-year career in the Quincy School District shows administrators were alerted to a potentially inappropriate relationship last year. It details trips to Chicago with a student and her family in the fall as well as car rides alone and late night texting.
Jason Ferrell is now facing life in prison, while parents are outraged.
“I am furious at teachers, I am furious at the administration, I am furious at anyone who knew," said one parent at a recent school board meeting.
The I-Team has found Quincy administrators knew as early as last year of a potentially inappropriate relationship between Ferrell and a female drama student.
In a letter to administrators dated October 2016, a student says Ferrell traveled to Chicago to see “Hamilton” with a student that month, staying at the student's family home. That letter also says Ferrell and a student were spotted cuddling in a Quincy park over the summer.
“How will students ever trust their administration again when they were ignored on the level they were ignored?" A drama adviser asked at a recent school board meeting.
In an email last May, two staff members alerted administrators saying they were quote "greatly concerned that this seemingly benign relationship is progressing and could potentially turn romantic.” Those concerns stemmed from a conversation the teachers had with the student in question who said Ferrell confided in her that his marriage is in trouble.
Administrators admit they were alerted.
"As leaders we can't go on hearsay or things we can't really verify," said Superintendent Craig Artist at a recent school board meeting.
But a January 2017 memo shows Superintendent Artist verified that relationship with Ferrell at least six months earlier, saying Ferrell needed to correct it.
Teachers also told the student to cut off all ties with Ferrell including the late night texting and car rides alone to Marshall.
Administrators confronted Ferrell in January, suspending him with pay for insubordination, but just an hour later, Ferrell resigned and was later arrested at his home.
Sources tell Newschannel 3 that the Branch County prosecutor is considering pressing negligence charges against district officials.
An emergency school board meeting will be held Saturday, May 12 at 8 a.m.