News

Former principal to stand trial

King County District Court Judge Robert Stead has decided to hear a case against former Sacajawea Junior High School principal Fannie Kelley after all.

Stead filed a ruling April 19 — reversing an earlier decision to dismiss failure to report child abuse charges against Kelley — after receiving and reviewing more information presented by the state.

In March 2000, an anonymous caller told Kelley that 49-year-old para-educator Nancy Alexander-Anderson was having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old developmentally disabled student.

City attorney Gurjit Pandher originally filed the charges against Kelley in December 2000.

Failure to report child abuse is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The school district fired Alexander-Anderson, who later was convicted of third-degree child rape. She was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

During a district investigation of the reported relationship, school officials discovered that a woman had called Kelly telling her to look into the relationship between Alexander-Anderson and a student with whom she had been spending significant after-school time.

The caller alleged the two were engaged in a sexual relationship but, because she wouldn’t give her name or provide a written statement, Kelley assumed it was a prank call and dismissed it, according to court papers.

That amounts to failure to report child abuse, Pandher said.

The district placed her on administrative leave in December 2000 and issued a letter stating that while there were no findings of violations or misconduct from anyone other than Alexander-Anderson, Kelley used poor judgment in dismissing the phone call.

Two days later, Pandher’s office filed charges against her for failing to report suspected abuse.

The school district fired Kelley in January 2001.

She has appealed her termination and pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

Kelley’s trial date hasn’t been set.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and ejahn@fedwaymirror.com.

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