Independence School District's statement - WSMV Channel 4

Sidebar: Independence teacher charged for having sexual contact with student

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Superintendent Dr. Jim Hinson has issued a statement of charges against the contract of a William Chrisman High School teacher. Those charges seek the termination of teacher James Owens' contract following allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Owens and a student at William Chrisman High School.

The allegations were brought to the district's attention more than three months ago. The district immediately put that teacher on leave, and he has not been back to school since. In the meantime, the district has been doing its own investigation and doing everything possible to aid police with their investigation.

The Independence Police Department asked that, to protect the integrity of their investigation, the district not release information about the allegations until they were ready to pursue charges against this teacher.

Today, we are able to share that the statement of charges has been issued against Owens' contract.

The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office today issued criminal charges against that teacher as well. The Prosecutor has asked that the district not give interviews or offer any information beyond what is in this release.

The district will continue to do everything in its power to aid police and prosecutors in this matter. If anyone has additional information, the district asks that they please contact the Independence Police Department at 816-836-3600.

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