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Concerns grow as FBI steps into Spokane schools mandatory reporting dispute with police

According to Spokane City councilman Michael Cathcart, a letter states that the FBI has received allegations of criminal activity in Spokane Public Schools.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The FBI and Spokane City Council members are now getting involved in the dispute between the Spokane Police Department (SPD) and Spokane Public Schools (SPS) over the mandatory reporting of crimes on campus.

After a few days of strongly worded letters back and forth between the police and school districts, a Spokane City Council Member posted a letter today he says was written by the FBI and sent to area principals.

Spokane City Councilman Michael Cathcart posted the letter late Wednesday afternoon on his Facebook page. In it, the letter states the FBI has received allegations of criminal activity in Spokane Public Schools and also references concerns that SPS employees are being pressured to not report the problems.

KREM 2 spoke to Spokane City Council Member Michael Cathcart, who posted the letter, to find out more.  

"I say it all the time, we have a right to live in a safe community, our kids have a right to be in a safe school, and parents have a right to know what's going on with their children," Cathcart said. "So, just every element of this was so concerning to me, and now that the FBI is involved I felt like the public just has to know what's going on."

Cathcart also said he has made a public records request from Spokane Public Schools and the Spokane Police Department about one month ago. He says he expects those requests to come through in the next week or two. KREM 2 did reach out to the FBI to independently verify the letter and have not heard back, but Councilman Cathcart said he's confident the letter was indeed sent from the FBI to area principals.

I'm grateful that the FBI is now involved in the investigation into our potentially concerning situation within the...

Posted by Councilman Michael Cathcart on Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The public back-and-forth between the Spokane Police and the Spokane Public Schools really began on Friday when Police Chief Craig Meidl sent a scathing letter to the Spokane Superintendent saying that the district was failing to comply with mandatory reporting laws. The district fired back with its own letter.  

The district maintains it still has not received any complaints from parents or teachers about its policy on mandatory reporting and insists that all employees should feel safe to contact law enforcement.  

We will continue to track this story, as again, the district has said they have a meeting scheduled at the end of the month.

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