‘Disgusted;’ Parents still left with unanswered questions from Milton-Union school board

WEST MILTON — Local parents were left without answers again by a local school district.

Parents waited as members of the Milton-Union Exempted Village School District board held a special meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting comes after a former custodian, Jerry North, 59, has been accused of sexually assaulting a child on school property.

The school board went into executive session for two hours.

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“Just advised by council not to provide any kind of comment yet so ongoing litigation, not a good idea so again per the advice of council no comment at this time,” Brad Ritchey, the district’s superintendent, said when asked if he had a message for parents.

Last month, two parents filed a lawsuit against the board, the superintendent, and North.

The suit claimed the district did not properly investigate the allegations North sexually assaulted their son at Milton-Union Elementary School between August 2019 and May 2021.

In May investigators arrested North. He now faces multiple charges including rape.

“I felt disgusted that could happen in our school. How could a child be assaulted in the school building? Like, how can someone not know that that had happened? I just don’t know how it’s even possible,” Amy Stevens, a parent said.

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This week North’s attorney sent News Center 7 a statement that said in part:

“The wild and unsubstantiated claims against Jerry are completely false. Jerry and his family are the only victims here and those that see the reporting need to understand that Jerry is not just presumed innocent, he is.”

Parents, like Stevens, said they just want answers and justice for the child who was allegedly assaulted.

“I just want the board to understand that the parents feel like somebody needs to answer for this kid like somebody failed him. I mean, it was probably more than one person, but he was failed. And they need to feel like something is being done. I just think we really need change,” Stevens said.

The board’s next meeting is Monday.

They said there will be public comment and parents Wednesday said they want to be there for that.

North is currently not in custody.

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