October 23, 2021

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MCPS, Youngster Protecting Products and services Realized About Sexual Allegations Towards Walt Whitman Instructor, Crew Coach

In a thorough letter, to the Whitman Crew Community, the Whitman Crew Boosters Board of Directors acknowledged it understood its coach may perhaps have had a sexual romantic relationship in 2018 with a previous crew member. They have been also aware the partnership allegedly began pursuing her graduation, and that the guardian concerned experienced claimed it to each Montgomery County Community Universities and Child Protecting Expert services.

Kirkland Shipley, a former social studies trainer and rowing coach at Walt Whitman Superior College, was arrested this week and charged with initial and next-degree baby sexual abuse of a secondary school college student, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Law enforcement Office.

He at present is on paid administrative leave from Montgomery County General public Faculties, according to an MCPS spokesperson.

In light of the allegations, the tumble crew program, together with Study-to-Row, has been suspended, in accordance to the letter, which MyMCM been given from the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County, MD.

In accordance to the Booster board’s  letter, in July 2018, “a guardian knowledgeable the Board of a rumor of a sexual relationship” and that “This rumor came to gentle a person month after the board had initiated an investigation in response to an unrelated specific boating grievance with regards to Mentor Shipley.” 

The Boosters board mentioned that MCPS was knowledgeable of the allegation. As a member of U.S. Rowing, Walt Whitman Crew also notified SafeSport.  SafeSport has “exclusive jurisdiction more than allegations of sexual abuse and the method by which those people allegations are investigated,” it mentioned in the letter.

The board awaited phrase on its results, which hardly ever came. “Neither MCPS, SafeSport, nor Montgomery County Baby Protecting Providers claimed any results of sexual or bodily misconduct to us,” it reported in the letter.

The booster board did not reply to a request for comment from MyMCM.

“We are heartbroken and disgusted by the data which arrived to mild past week regarding Kirk Shipley’s alleged sexual abuse and sexual misconduct. When we were informed, we quickly severed all ties with him and instructed him not to have any make contact with with existing or former athletes, mom and dad, or other users of our neighborhood,” the board pointed out in its letter.

“We are amazingly sorry for the agony and anguish that all of our athletes and mom and dad are encountering. We regret offering Shipley a placement for this slide year and, in retrospect with what we now know, that was clearly the incorrect final decision. We, as Board customers, are also mother and father of athletes and we would never knowingly place our small children at hazard. We know lots of dad and mom, recent athletes, and previous athletes are disturbed and indignant. You have every proper to be. We are as well.”

In June, the board acquired unfavorable suggestions on Shipley in its yearly survey, even though there was no mention of sexual misconduct. As a final result of the study, the board suspended Shipley and hired an independent investigator to critique the crew plan. That investigator claimed, “There have been no allegations (or findings) of any physical or sexual misconduct on the portion of Mentor Shipley or everyone else concerned with the system,” the board observed in its letter.

SafeSport knowledgeable the board that it  experienced been given a grievance about Shipley in Oct 2020, which they closed in July as there was “not adequate to report.” Then, on July 19 it been given new info so it reopened the case, but did not inform the Whitman Crew workforce.

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has more than 35 years skilled encounter crafting for newspapers, publications, non-revenue newsletters and the net.