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Wyola school official arrested on child endangerment charges following school shutdown

wyrest.jfif
Posted at 1:10 PM, Oct 16, 2023

Update 7 p.m. Monday

A Wyola School Facebook post states "There is school tomorrow, Tues. Oct. 17th."

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A Wyola School official has been arrested and faces multiple charges in the midst of a weeklong school shutdown.

A Crow Tribal prosecutor confirmed Monday that Kenneth Deputee, the Wyola School principal, was arrested over the weekend by BIA officers. Deputee was scheduled to appear in Crow Tribal Court at 1 p.m. Monday on 88 criminal counts of child endangerment, the prosecutor said.

The arrest follows a turbulent period in the small town on the Crow Reservation that began in early October when conflict erupted between parents and school officials. Parents claimed that teachers and administrators had engaged in abusive conduct toward students.

According to charging documents in Crow Tribal Court, each charge filed represents one child in Wyola who was unable to attend school because of the closure.

On Oct. 11, Deputee was contacted by BIA law enforcement, who asked him why school was closed, according to charging documents. He said school would reopen the next day, which was also when a school board meeting was scheduled.

Prosecutors then alleged in the charging documents that Deputee unilaterally canceled that board meeting and did not reopen school.

School activities were canceled during the first week in October, and classes have been canceled since Oct. 8 without explanation from school officials.

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