California Principal Found Guilty of Failing to Report Teacher Abuse
Lyn Vijayendran was convicted on a misdemeanor count, is serving 6 months of probation
Former California principal Lyn Vijayendran was convicted on a misdemeanor count, after ample jury deliberation, as she failed to report suspected abuse of children by a fellow teacher.35-year-old Craig Chandler, a second grade teacher in O.B. Whaley Elementary School, in San Jose, is currently jailed, awaiting prosecution.
The principal was alerted by an 8-year-old student and her mother about the teacher's behavior, yet he chose to do nothing to put an end to the situation.
As a second case of child abuse surfaced, a vice principal at the school notified authorities. Chandler is now facing charges for having abused five children at the school.
According to USA Today, 36-year-old Vijayendran has managed to avoid jail time, but is serving 6 months of probation, and will have to perform 100 hours of community service work.
Local newspaper Mercury News reported that principal Vijayendran had been aware of the situation since October 2011, three months before Chandler was arrested.
The first victim's mother reportedly spotted “a crusty white stain” on the little girl's jacket, and prompted her for an explanation. She then accompanied her to the principal office, where the student described the abuse, in detail.
When Chandler explained that he had involved her in an unorthodox lesson plan, Vijayendran believed him, and wrote everything off as a misinterpreted gesture.
One member of the jury openly condemned her lack of initiative in failing to alert proper authorities.
"She stuck her head in the sand rather than pull the alarm. [...] I think she didn't want this ugly thing to be true," one juror said.
Others were more lenient, as the principal's actions were not guided by any unlawful intent.
"There's a lot more people to be blamed for this. She's a good person; we all saw that," another juror argued.