A former San Jose elementary school principal was convicted today of failing to report suspected sexual abuse of a student by a teacher in her school, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. After a day and a half of deliberations, a jury found that former O.B. Whaley Elementary School principal Lyn Vijayendran, 36, was guilty of misdemeanor failing to report suspected child abuse by a teacher.
Vijayendran was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and given a $600 fine, Deputy District Attorney Alison Filo said. Filo hopes this will highlight the importance of reporting abuse and urge people to err on the side of caution. Vijayendran was tried for failing to report multiple complaints from parents in October 2011 in connection with the actions of teacher Craig Chandler, 35, who has been charged with lewd acts on multiple children.
The principal conducted her own investigation into allegations that Chandler had subjected a student to a bizarre and abusive classroom lesson and concluded that no crime had been committed. However, evidence later surfaced that five girls at the school had been molested, including one girl who was molested weeks after Vijayendran first learned of the allegations.
“It is not their duty to investigate, it’s their duty to report,” Filo said. “This was a woman that made a terrible, terrible decision in October of 2011.” The jury of seven men and five women took nearly two days to deliberate before reaching a decision today. Chandler has been charged with five felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14. His trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 5.
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