COLFAX, N.D. — A small North Dakota school where alleged student misbehavior is the subject of a criminal probe has decided to have an independent investigation conducted.

The board of the Richland 44 School in Colfax approved the move Tuesday night.

“We need to figure out what really happened, and what went wrong,” board President Lisa Amundson said. “An independent investigator is what makes sense.”

The investigator will be chosen by the district’s legal counsel. A time frame wasn’t immediately decided.

A parent first notified the school of the alleged student misconduct on Jan. 17. School district Superintendent Tim Godfrey has said the alleged misbehavior happened in the boys’ locker room. Neither the school nor the sheriff’s department will comment on rumors that younger students were sexually violated in a darkened locker room by older students.

Some students were suspended last month after a school investigation, though officials haven’t provided details. The county sheriff’s office and state crime bureau are investigating.

The grade 7-12 school has about 160 students. Mayor Scott Gauslow has said the situation has “put up a divide” in the normally tightknit community of about 150 people live in the town 30 miles south of Fargo.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.