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Several local high school staffers arrested for not reporting student’s sexual assault

Police car with red and blue warning lights

WELLINGTON, FL– Several Palm Beach Central High School employees have been taken into custody after they allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a 15-year-old student to police.
Five people were taken into custody on Monday including, Principal Darren Edgecomb, 58, Assistant Principal Dan Snider, 49, Assistant Principal Nereyda Garcia, 37, Chorus Teacher Scott Houchins, 53, and School Behavioral Therapist Priscilla Carter, after the student’s father contacted a Palm Beach County detective stating that the staffers failed to report their daughter’s sexual assault after being notified about it.
According to the report, a student wrote a letter expressing concern for the victim after the victim had allegedly been sexually assaulted off campus by two students, one of which was said to be a relative of a school employee.
The student wrote that they “witnessed both of [the accused] not taking no for an answer,” and said that after the incident, the victim expressed suicidal thoughts.
On June 16, 2021, the letter was given to the chorus teacher, who read it and then gave it to staff members in the administration’s office.
Authorities say the student was then called into the office to be evaluated but she was asked only about her suicidal thoughts. It was “determined that she was not a risk to herself and did not need to be Baker Acted,” according to the report.
The person who evaluated the student then left a letter outlining the student’s suicidal thoughts in the mailbox of the school counselor.
The student was eventually called in for a meeting with Assistant Principal Garcia where the victim outlined her sexual assault claims.
“Assistant Principal Cayado De Garcia did not report the sexual assault” to law enforcement or the Florida Department of Children and Families, the report found.
According to the report,
In a meeting on August 19, 2021, one of the employees told police that they did not report the incident because they did not believe it occurred.
The state Education Department reported that all of the involved were charged with not reporting a sexual assault.
Houchins, Garcia, and Snider received a $3,000 bond, while Carter and Edgecomb had their bonds set at $10,000 after it was determined that they attempted to undermine and downplay the incident.
Edgecomb also agreed to take a college-level course on leadership and 3-years probation as part of his plea deal. The settlement did not, however, come with an admission or denial of guilt.