Bellwood parents ask questions, share frustrations to school board over handling of coach

Local News

BELLWOOD, Pa. (WTAJ) — Parents voiced questions and concerns at a school board meeting Tuesday to the Bellwood-Antis School District about the state police investigation of middle school wrestling coach Ryan Blazier, who is accused of sexually assaulting children.

Parents asked questions and shared frustrations for over an hour. The room was full, and some parents were crying.

“He’s a suspected molester and you let him in this school,” a concerned parent said.

“We have been told by the Pennsylvania State Police that it is an active investigation and that we cannot disclose certain things until the investigation is complete,” Dr. Thomas McInroy, Superintendent for the Bellwood Antis School District said. “Once the investigation is complete then there will be full disclosure of everything,” McInroy said.

One parent says she asked her child what the school told them and if counseling was offered.

“Our kids didn’t know anything,” a concerned parent said. “All they know is that they had questions, they don’t understand what’s going on. You need to make a list of resources available from outside this school.”

McInroy says the district is working on having counseling available to all children, not just wrestlers.

“We have offered counseling to the wrestlers,” Superintendent McInroy said. “We are planning more counseling services, we have to have time to put things together.”

State Police are working to determine if any other children were victimized by Blazier. State Police from Hollidaysburg and Harrisburg investigated at Bellwood-Antis High School Tuesday afternoon and evening, according to State Police Trooper, Joseph Dunsmore.

Dunsmore was at the meeting. He is asking anyone with information on the charges to Blazier or any other victim to call State Police in Hollidaysburg.

The school board has said they were contacted by Child and Youth Services (CYS) in December and were told about the investigation. The school board says they put Blazier on a safety plan as recommended by CYS, taking away his keys, fob and not allowing him to be alone with children.

RYAN BLAZIER

In January the district decided to suspend Blazier. Parents say he should have been suspended earlier.

Blazier was arrested on Thursday, facing several sexual assault charges involving three children, two of which were allegedly on school district property. Officers say they’re are committed to conducting a fair and thorough investigation.

Blazier will next face a preliminary hearing. He is currently is custody at the Blair County Prison.

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