A Santa Clara County Superior Court jury convicted former O.B. Whaley Elementary School principal Lyn Vijayendran of failing to report suspected child abuse in the case involving former teacher Craig Chandler. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Vijayendran faced up to six months in jail if convicted. Vijayendran agreed to be sentenced immediately and Judge Deborah Ryan reportedly sentenced her to six months court probation, $602 in court fines, and 100 hours of community service.
Attorney Robert Allard represents one of Craig Chandler's alleged sex abuse victims.
"This was a much deeper problem that involved much more than just one person making a horrible mistake," Allard stated during the trial. "This was a systemic failure. In addition to the principal, at least one other teacher at O.B. Whaley as well as the District’s superintendent and human resources director knew all about what Chandler was doing and yet, shockingly, he continued to sexually molest children under the auspices that he was teaching them about Helen Keller. Seemingly both the school and the district turned a blind eye to obvious acts of insidious childhood sexual abuse. When you combine this with the fact that there was a complete absence of any training or education on sex abuse issues, I have grave doubts about whether our children are safe from sex abuse in public schools. Parents everywhere should heed this warning.”
Update: The San Jose Mercury News reports that the Evergreen School District has sent parents a defensive letter appearing to partly excuse its response after a parent reported a teacher possibly molesting a child in his classroom. Instead of fulfilling its legal duty as a mandatory reporter and filing a report with Child Protective Services, the district itself looked into and dismissed the allegation allowing Chandler to continue sexually abusing students.
Chandler was arrested in January and has been charged with five counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, involving five children.
To have a molestation victim’s advocate working for you, contact Mr. Allard for a confidential free consultation. You may call 408-289-1417. You may also fill out the case evaluation form to your right. We’re ready to help you.