WELLSTON, Okla. (KFOR) – A former student at Wellston Public Schools says she knew about an alleged inappropriate relationship between a former teacher and student in 2017.
In February, Robert Blankenship, a former Wellston teacher, was charged with sexual assault of a former Wellston student.
Wellston schools told News 4 at the time that he was no longer employed with the district and would not confirm whether or not they were aware of the charges while he was employed.
A different student says she told the school about the relationship in 2017.
News 4 is concealing her identity because she is a minor.
She said, “Everybody knew that something was happening with that student and that teacher.”
She says as the accusations spread, the school’s principal called her in.
“She just told me that she didn’t believe me, that I was lying, threatened to kick me off the cheer team for it, told me I was trying to ruin a teacher’s career with no proof,” said the student.
Three years later, the proof came in the form of court documents filed in Lincoln County.
Blankenship is now charged with sexually assaulting a former student in a locked classroom.
“They didn’t talk to him, they didn’t talk to her. They just told whoever came to them, ‘No, you’re lying,” and ended it there,” said the student who reported the incident.
News 4 talked to Wellston school officials by phone. They first told News 4 the claims didn’t happen, but moments later, said they did know about the accusations. They say the case was investigated, but they found no evidence the accusations were true at the time.
News 4 asked the school how they investigated, but no details were given. We also asked if the school reported the accusations to DHS and were told they had no record of any reports.
Under Oklahoma state law, the school would have had a responsibility to report the accusations.
Wellston schools offered News Four this statement, “Any allegations of inappropriate conduct by a student or staff member is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Student safety and well-being is a top priority at Wellston Public Schools.”
Blankenship was arrested and later bonded out of jail. He is expected to appear in court March 12.