Exclusive: Mother Of Possible Victim Speaks Out After Principal's Suicide
By Erik Rosales
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) — Parents of students who attend Orange Center Elementary School in Fresno County are questioning their children about any usual activity on campus. This after the school's principal commits suicide while being investigated for inappropriate activity with students. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims confirms her deputies were investigating the principal of Orange Center Elementary School. Deputies say a school employee reported that he saw the principal, 42-year-old Lance Clement with a girl in the principal's office with the lights off. Investigators talked with more than 20 people and found more victims. They also found the principal had given out gifts, talked inappropriately with some of the students, and called an abnormal number of girls to his office. However when deputies arrived at the principals Kings County home to serve a search warrant, they found Clement took his own life with a gun. One mother who claims her daughter was a possible victim says, "So far what I understand is that he was grooming my daughter to become a victim. I'm not sure what else. Psychologist have spoken to her, but not everything has been disclosed so even I'm not sure of everything that's going on." Even though the principal was found dead, the woman wants Fresno County detectives to continue the investigation. She says others on campus knew what was going on, but didn't report it. The mother says, "I think there was people who questioned it but didn't really have the courage to come forward. If they are guilty, there should be consequences." No one at the school wanted to talk about the allegations. Mother says, "If they are guilty they should come down, too, because it's not fair to the children. We parents, we send our children to school to be safe and to find out things happening. It's devastating." One man picking up his son at the school says some of the gifts given to the students included MP3 players along with other electronic devices, and even cash. Sheriff Mims says there is still an ongoing investigation. Detectives are currently going through the principal's home computer and looking over other evidence. Deputies say when they got the principal's school computer the entire hard drive had been removed. The Orange Center Board of Trustees is working with law enforcement, and a crisis response team is on campus. Meanwhile, parents say they plan to voice their concerns at the next board meeting, set for next week.
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