TERRE HAUTE, Ind, (WTWO/WAWV)– The Vigo County School Board is investigating claims that board member James Skelton inappropriately met with the mother of a student who was the subject of racial harassment at West Vigo High School.
The allegation was made during the most recent board meeting on Monday by a member of the public.
Board president Amy Lore confirmed an investigation was underway.
“We were all there and we all heard those allegations being made. The legal counsel was present. When allegations are made, we take those seriously and look into them,” she said. “That’s exactly what’s happening right now. Our legal counsel is investigating.”
Lore said the purpose of the investigation was to “determine the truth of the allegations. To find out if any wrongdoing has happened.”
The meeting occurred on Nov. 30th, at the Varsity Club room during an Indiana State University basketball team. Crystal Lowe, the mother of one of the racial harassment victims, said she talked to Skelton at halftime of the game.
“He came to talk about the situation which I feel is very inappropriate,” Lowe said in an interview on the phone. “I don’t feel he intimidated me because I’m not a person easily intimidated, but he did come to try and influence the situation.”
Skelton, who declined to do an interview on camera but provided a statement to local media, said the meeting occurred “with her permission” and that the nature of the conversation “was between two parents.”
“It had absolutely nothing to do with my position on the school board. I had not been sworn in, and was not an official member at that time. Aside from that, the conversation was cordial, and I thought we both walked away with a better understanding of one another’s perspective,” the statement read.
Lowe said she was asked about a social media post that Skelton wanted taken down, posted by one of her family members. She said she felt the situation compromised his position on the board.
“In my opinion, he should not be a board member at all,” she said.
Lowe raised concerns about Skelton being involved in any potential discipline for adults implicated in the situation. Skelton’s statement said he would “abstain from reviewing matters related to the recent complaints regarding racial harassment at West Vigo High School.”
“I am deeply committed to serving every member of our community as a Vigo County School Board trustee and I look forward to making sure our school corporation fosters a learning environment that supports our students’ success and well-being,” his statement read.
We will continue to follow the investigation as it unfolds.