Schools warn families of Outdoor School ex-worker facing sex abuse charges
East Multnomah County Schools are warning parents about an alleged pedophile who worked and volunteered at a popular Outdoor School program that some local students attend.
Jared Kelly White, 23, is being held on $13.5 million bail after a Multnomah County grand jury indicted him on 54 felony sex crimes involving children. White was indicted Jan. 28 and he was arrested Feb. 3 at a residence near Southeast 126th Avenue and Bush Street.
Via a recorded message, the Reynolds School District contacted parents whose children attended the Outdoor School sessions where White worked. The message said a detailed letter would follow. Reynolds is sending the letters in multiple languages. The district also posted a notice on its web page.
Were trying to make sure people know, said Andrea Watson, the Reynolds districts director of communications.
Gresham-Barlow School District also posted a notice on its web page with a letter from the Multnomah Educational Services District, which runs the Outdoor School.
We have sent a letter to all the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade families, said James Hiu, deputy superintendent at Gresham-Barlow schools.
The letter was delivered via email for families with an email address, and a printed copy was sent to families who have not provided an email address to the district, Hiu said.
District officials are urging families with concerns to contact the Portland Police Bureau.
The Centennial School District has not participated in Outdoor School for a number of years.
At MESD, the safety of students is our first priority, and we work continually to do all we can to ensure that they have a safe, productive learning experience, the MESD letter said. In this case, we took every precaution and still had someone working in our program who should not have been working with children.
The letter also said the known victims were acquaintances of White and not students who attended Outdoor School. Investigators, however, said there may be more victims.
White appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court Feb 3, and pleaded not guilty to 15 counts of first-degree sodomy, 28 counts of first-degree sex abuse and 11 counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration.
According to his Facebook page, Outlook news partner KOIN News 6 said White was an Outdoor School program leader and posted several pictures with young children in them. In 2014, he posted a message saying hes wanted the job at the school for five years and now Ive finally earned it.
Laura Conroy, spokeswoman for MESD, said: We are working closely with our districts and schools to notify parents of students who attended outdoor school at the Sandy River, Namanu, Arrah Wanna and Adams sites during the time that Mr. White was a student leader, a volunteer, or an employee.
Conroy said White worked there from March 2014 to October 2015 when the investigation began. He was also a volunteer in 2011 and 2013, and student leader in 2008 and 2011, the MESD letter said.
All of our employees have to pass a background check, she noted. Unfortunately in this case, Mr. White didnt have a record, so nothing came up.
KOIN reported it had independently confirmed White has no previous criminal record.
The Multnomah County Child Abuse Team conducted three separate investigations in 2015 into allegations of abuse that began in December 2007 and continued through September 2013, KOIN reported.
The juvenile victims have been identified, Portland police said, noting they arent related to White but are known to him. White also worked at an event childcare company, KOIN said.
MESD has extra safeguards in place for outdoor school, which include not allowing adults in the cabin with students and making sure people are always in groups of three.