MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Memphis mother is outraged after she says Memphis City Schools and Memphis Police ignored her claims a school security guard was sending inappropriate texts to her daughter.
"Security at school is supposed to be there to protect and be there for your child," said Patricia Barnes.
Barnes says her daughter complained in August 2011 about the texts from Samuel Sutton, 42, a security officer at Carver High School. In a statement released on Tuesday, MCS said it alerted the school principal, MCS Security, and Memphis Police after receiving the allegation.
Sutton also works as a driver for MCS Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.
"After the initial investigation we had no further information, we could not act on information that we did not, we hadn't received," said Gerald Darling, Chief of Security for MCS.
MCS says it launched an internal investigation in which the female student recanted her claim. By the end of August 2011, MPD wrapped up its case and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute. MCS says the decision was because of "insufficient evidence."
That was then. Last week, Thaddeus Matthews, a local radio host, posted what he claimed was MPD's 4-page investigative report. MCS says it learned of the online report on Friday, and launched a new investigation, even though, "information contained on the website has not been validated by MPD."
"We are looking at definite inappropriate behavior at this time," Darling said. "We have a policy as it relates to text messaging of students, with the information we received, this appears it goes beyond the policy, and we are investigating."
Sutton remains on paid administrative leave as this investigation continues.
"He is one of the people who have been with me from the beginning," said Dr. Cash. "Certainly we talk."
Despite that, Dr. Cash vowed a complete investigation.
"I look into any and all allegations against any and all employees," he said.
Tough talk that didn't sit well with Barnes, who wonders what took so long.
"What can you get out of a child, you can't get nothing out of a child," Barnes said.