Peckham superintendent suspended following numerous allegations of sexual abuse

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KAY COUNTY, Okla. – A long-time educator and school superintendent has had his education certificates suspended after numerous allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against him.

Gary Young is the superintendent of Peckham Public Schools, a district west of Newkirk. He’s been licensed with the state since 1978.

In the past few months, Oklahoma Department of Education officials have gotten several reports of alleged sexual abuse by Young.

In a Board of Education meeting Thursday, the board voted for the emergency suspension Young’s teaching and superintendent certificate along with the teaching certificates of two other Oklahoma educators accused of sexual misconduct.

“An opportunity that the board has is to protect student safety and any of these suspensions come typically because of a student safety issue,” said Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, “and that  would be the case in these particular names.”

After the suspension was announced, the Department of Education released a redacted version of the application for Young’s suspension. According to the application, complaints against Young include the sexual assault of adults and minors, the grooming of minors for sexual abuse, and the unfair compensation for teachers in exchange for sexual relationships.

Included in the application is a 2015 report made to Blackwell Police alleging a “heavily intoxicated” Young rubbed a girl, kissed her, “and encouraged her to go to the basement with him.”

Multiple former Peckham students came forward saying they were made to feel uncomfortable in his home. One claimed he called her “into his bedroom where he was laying there butt a** naked.” Two former students claim he made inappropriate comments, including “You girls look hot. You should just get naked and go swimming.”

During an out-of-state trip with a girl, he allegedly bought her alcohol, “then while driving with her put his hand between her legs, propositioned her for sexual favors and asked if she wanted to go back to the hotel with him.”

Former Peckham teachers and staff also came forward with allegations. One alleged Young “‘started grinding his crotch on me and started moaning after she described to him that she was upset about missing her father.'” Another said that when she refused his sexual advances, he gave her a poor evaluation.

In 2009, someone allegedly saw Young rub lotion on an infant’s “private area…,” and a child he would go on trips with would allegedly inexplicably return with a “very red and raw-looking penis.” Young also allegedly gave a boy a bath who later said Young “inappropriately touched his private parts while bathing him.”

“From now we will send an order effectuating that suspension to him, Mr. Young, as well as the school board that will not permit him to be around school children or children on school property,” said the Department of Education General Counsel Brad Clark.

Clark said the department has been in contact with the Kay County Sheriff’s Office for about a month, and that the sheriff’s office and DHS have been informed of the allegations.

The sheriff directed questions to District Attorney Brian Hermanson. Hermanson is out of the office this week and directed his staff not to comment at all.

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