SARANAC, Mich. (WOOD) - Parents said that more than one student reported an inappropriate relationship between a former Saranac High School teacher and a then-16-year-old student, but were told to mind their own business.
Those reports of Krag Sanford's relationship with the student -- as well as inappropriate cell phone and Facebook connections -- were topics of conversation at the Saranac school board meeting Thursday night.
"I have a lot of concerns about how there aren't any boundaries between students and teachers here at the school," said concerned parent Mark Snyder.
Last week, 59-year-old Sanford accepted plea deals in two counties in connection to the relationship, which police say started in the summer of 2010.
He submitted his resignation that fall and was paid for the rest of the school year as part of a separation agreement.
In the fall of 2010, former superintendent Jeanette Adams wrote in a school memo that the district was trying to keep the situation quiet.
"... And at this point, there is nothing that would legally prohibit him from returning to his position but... [we] believe it would be in the best interest of the district if we negotiate a separation agreement with him. It might be necessary to pay for the remainder of this year's contract with him to make it happen. We have been able to keep knowledge of this very quiet and would like to continue to do so," the memo read in part.
Authorities didn't start investigating until the summer of 2011 after a family member of the student tipped off police to the relationship.
On Thursday, parents demanded answers.
"I want to feel safe that my daughter's going to school here. I want to know that she's safe while attending here at the school," said Mark Snyder.
"They went to people. They were told mind their own business. They were told it was being dealt with. There's no safey net for these kids. And I want the kids educated," said Laura Snyder, another concerned parent.
He wasn't superintendent at the time, but now-Superintendent Maury Geiger said he feels everything was done appropriately.
"We had procedures in place at the time and we continue to have procedures in place that ensure the safety of all students and staff," said Geiger. "There were procedures that were followed. We worked cooperatively with the police department in reference of a former employee of the district."
Geiger said in April that the district finished its own internal investigation before ever contacting police.
The now-17-year-old is now about 11 weeks pregnant with Sanford's child. The two have filed for a marriage license.
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