Maury Co. school board admits mistakes in Amber Alert case - WSMV Channel 4

Maury Co. school board admits mistakes in Amber Alert case

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Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins disappeared on March 13. (WSMV) Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins disappeared on March 13. (WSMV)
COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) -

For the first time since Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas disappeared on March 13, Maury County school board members are speaking publicly about the case, criticizing school administrators over their handling of the situation.

Maury County Director of Schools Dr. Chris Marczak and other school administrators are facing heavy criticism for their response to allegations in January that Cummins was seen kissing Thomas in his classroom.

School officials issued a warning to Cummins after another student brought the allegations forward.

Cummins was allowed to supervise Thomas' field trip before he was eventually suspended from school two weeks after the allegations surfaced.

Elizabeth Thomas' father said the school district never told him about the allegations and he found out more than a week after they surfaced from a detective who was conducting a criminal investigation into Cummins.

Maury County school board member Tommy Dudley told Channel 4 on Friday, "(Thomas') parents were not contacted as quickly as they should've been."

School board member Jyuana Martin told Channel 4, "I feel like there are things the school district could've done better. In relation to the entire situation, every aspect I feel like we could have done things better."

Dr. Marczak also spoke about the case publicly for the first time Friday. In a prepared statement he said, in part, “While our team followed every policy outlined in the school systems current policies in the Tad Cummins case, we were still left with this situation and a resulting outcome that is completely unacceptable. I urge anyone with information to please contact the Tennessee Bureau of investigation at 1-800-TBIFIND.”

Dr. Marczak declined to comment on the school board members’ statements about the district’s handling of the Cummins investigation.

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