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School officials could face charges after teacher accused of sexual assault

jason ferrell.PNG

BRANCH COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – There is more fallout from a sexual assault investigation involving a former Quincy High School teacher.

Newschannel 3 has now learned that claims of negligence by school administrators are under investigation and there is a potential that charges could follow.

The Branch County investigation into how school administrators handled the situation comes just one week after a fiery community meeting during which parents accused to school of failing to protect students. Many said they wanted repercussions.

Former Quincy High School teacher Jason Ferrell’s alleged intimate relationship with a 15-year-old student has become a major source of emotional pain for people in Quincy.

During a meeting last week, parents, teachers, and students accused Quincy school leaders of ignoring repeated verbal and written warnings about Ferrell’s behavior.

Sources now confirm for Newschannel 3 that the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office is now investigating school administrators for possible negligence and could bring charges.

“There’s nobody more disappointed than me that we didn’t see it,” said Quincy Community Schools Superintendent Craig Artist.

Newschannel 3 spoke with Artist last week after a school meeting. Artist apologized and admitted that administrators had received warnings about Ferrell long before he left the school and was arrested.

Artist said the district was looking at claims against Ferrell in the wrong light.

“If I look at it, some of the stuff that we saw through the lens of someone getting arrested versus a 20 year, somebody that was trusted,” said Artist, “to me there is a difference.”

One member of the Quincy School Board told parents that action would be taken. The school board meets again next week and they have promised to discuss concerns from parents.

Newschannel 3 also learned on Wednesday that Ferrell is facing third degree criminal sexual charges in Calhoun County in addition to the charges he’s already facing in Branch County where he taught.

Newschannel 3 is still waiting to speak with the Calhoun County Sheriff about why Ferrell is being charged in Calhoun County, but we do know he has a home in Battle Creek.

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