Bossier Schools hires outside firm to help families affected by reported sex abuse case

1923
Bossier Schools Superintendent (right) and Dr. Grady Bray (left). (Photo by Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Bossier Schools is offering assistance to families in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving a teacher.

Bossier Parish Schools has hired an outside crisis management team to assist school personnel with assessing and counseling students and families affected by the fallout from the arrest of Aubrey “Perry” Norcross who is charged with rape of a student and video voyeurism of another student at Benton Elementary.

The school district will also host a community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Benton High School gymnasium. Staff from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, Gingerbread House, and school officials will be on hand to answer the public’s questions.

Superintendent Scott Smith held a press conference Saturday afternoon to announce the meeting and introduce the head of the management team, Dr. Grady Bray.

Smith did not field any questions, saying the incident is under investigation by the BSO and wanted to make sure that it “maintained its integrity.”

Dr. Grady Bray. (Photo by Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

“This morning, I saw the very best of our school system as 600 Bossier Parish schools volunteers — students and staff came to the assistance of United Way all across the district helping families in need. That’s what the Bossier Parish School district is all about. It is in stark contrast to the shocks and sadness of the last 72 hours.”

Smith said the district is working with Benton Elementary as that is where the most immediate need was and is where the accused worked.

“Our faculty and staff continues to work with our support team members…[who] make sure Bossier Parish families get the support they need,” Smith said. “The Bossier Parish School family is committed to ensuring students receive every form of support that we can provide them so our mission of quality education.”

Smith urged parents, students, and teachers to call 318-773-5146 if they need any assistance with this crisis.

The district hired an outside crisis management team, Disaster Management International of Little Rock, Ark. They will be working with the school district’s personnel to “fill in the gaps” of providing crisis analysis, counseling to families, education programming for schools, and consultation to district leadership.

Dr. Bray is a board-certified sex therapist with extensive experience in cases of rape, incest and other sexual crises. He said his team of six professionals has already been meeting with numerous families and will be available well into next week to help families.

“The most common thing we hear from families is ‘How do we talk with our children about this?’…Where do you start? On the foundation you’ve built, how much you have talked with your children about the privacy of their own body. That’s a conversation you need to have,” he said. No one has the right to touch you anywhere you wear a swim suit and if they do, tell mommy and daddy. This is a terrible, horrific reality.”

Dr. Bray said the first line of defense is in their own home. He said that is why establishing trust with children is crucial. He urged parents to get a sense if everything is okay by talking about the right to privacy according to their own family values.

“Talk with them about their activities. Take time each day to just have a conversation with them. Talk to your kids…you want to build that trust so they are comfortable telling you anything that happens,” Dr. Bray said.

Norcross, 47, of the 2500 block of Waverly Street in Bossier City, is currently incarcerated in the Bossier Maximum Security Facility and faces a total bond of $900,000 ($700,000 on the 1st degree rape charge and $200,000 on the charge of video voyeurism.) 

Smith reiterated that Norcross is on unpaid leave and this has been so since the very first charge was announced Wednesday.