TREYNOR, IA – There were two aisles and just as many sides in the Treynor, IA high school auditorium Monday night. The school board held a special public input session for the community, divided over board and administrative action following the sex abuse conviction of Superintendent Kevin Elwood’s teenage son, Kreighton.
Kreighton Elwood, 18, served 14 days in the Pottawattamie County Jail following his September guilty plea. Four victims came forward with the abuse allegations.
“As a Board we have policies and procedures for years that have stood the test of time including confidentiality entrusted to us with student and personnel issues,” said Treynor School Board President Jerry Hempel.
Months later, the community is still divided among those who support the administration, and district residents calling for an internal investigation of how the situation was handled.
“This is not a witch hunt against Mr. Elwood. This is a time that we need to look at policies and the way things were handled,” said resident Lisa Chambers during the session.
In an effort to show support, Glen Fleming turned in a petition of support for Elwood, saying it had a hundred signatures.
“People that have signed it would like it to be part of the legal public record to show support for Superintendent Elwood,” he said.
Another faction turned online to voice their disapproval. So far the group asking for Elwood’s dismissal has collected more than 160 signatures.
Monday’s public meeting was just the latest in the saga that has the town of Treynor talking. Despite the controversy, others said it was time to move beyond the issue.
“We can change this dynamic from, ‘It's either/or,’ to ‘Things will work out.’ What do we do to move forward?” said resident and former school board member Jim Murray.
“I look forward to getting the much needed answers not only for my children,” said Sarah Saar, “but also the peace of the community.”
The Board took no action following the open forum. President Hempel said he was aware of complaints made to the Iowa Association of School Boards. He said the administrators and the Board would cooperate with any state investigation, but that the district’s attorney had also done his own investigation.