Parents question Central Cambria district about alleged sexual abuse

EBENSBURG – A concerned parent questioned Central Cambria School District officials during Monday’s school board meeting about rumors of alleged sexual abuse involving a sixth-grade boy and multiple other middle school students.

School officials said they could not comment on the incident in question but said everything was being done to ensure students’ continued safety.

Patrice Ressler told school board officials she represented several concerned parents who had heard reports of a sixth-grade boy who had allegedly sexually abused other male students.

The “strictest disciplinary action” should be taken by school officials in punishing the individual, Ressler told the board.

James Ressler, Patrice’s husband, said after the meeting he understands the student in question is serving an in-school suspension. But the student has routine contact with other children on the bus to and from school and can see the alleged victims from the room where he is serving the suspension.

Central Cambria Superintendent Vincent DiLeo said he could not comment on student issues but said the district is a safe place for students to learn.

“I think the school is a safe place,” DiLeo said.

DiLeo pointed to the recent threat of a school shooting discovered at the high school and the response from local and state police.

Police and community members, along with the district, have done everything to ensure students’ safety is a priority, DiLeo said.

The Resslers said after the meeting they believe the district has not done enough to protect students and punish the alleged abuser. The couple has two students enrolled in the district.

The alleged abuser should be immediately removed from school as Cambria Township Police investigate the incident, Patrice Ressler said.

“Most importantly, this child needs help,” she said.

Cambria Township Police officials could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.