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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

Moses Lake School District Investigating Incident at Park Orchard Elementary

- Moses Lake, WA

The Moses Lake School district is investigating an incident that occurred at the Park Orchard Elementary School located near Cascade Valley.

Sebastian Gutknecht knows his 7-year-old was dragged by his arms into a room by a staff member at Park Orchard Elementary School, in Moses Lake, on January 7th - he has been given a video that shows it. 

What he wants to know now is: why did this happen - and how could this be allowed? In a Facebook post he explains,

"I'm taking this public in an effort to get help and advice. There is an ongoing police investigation as well as an internal investigation by the school district. As such, I have been limited in my own personal investigation and can only share what I know so far from my child's perspective, what we saw, and what we can see in the videos." 

Gutknecht received a call January 7th from the Elementary School saying that his son had been suspended for 2.5 days, and needed to be picked up. 

The investigation will include witnesses along with the parents and student according to the School District.

MLWA 7 has reached out to the School District and is waiting for a call back. 

The Moses Lake School District sent out the following statement: 

An investigation is underway regarding an incident that occurred at Park  Orchard Elementary School earlier this month. A parent reported their student had been physically moved to the office by staff when de-escalation efforts failed to resolve the  situation of extreme student misbehavior. Recently, this incident has been promoted on social media by parties other than the school district.   

Due to the sensitive nature of the incident, the Moses Lake School District is unable to  provide comment on the specifics. However, we encourage everyone to use discretion in  making assumptions of a situation that is communicated through one short video clip obtained through a public records request.   

Our top priority and concern is the safety of all of our students and staff. In order for learning to happen, an environment of safety must prevail. Moses Lake School District has  taken immediate action by promptly starting an internal investigation involving multiple witness accounts from students, staff, and administration.   

As with any situation involving student safety, we are taking every step to ensure all of our students are safe and feel safe. No injuries occurred during the incident, and the investigation remains ongoing.

By, Noelle Lashley and MLWA 7

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