She dealt with a number of child abuse cases while she managed a local children’s advocacy center for a few years. According to Malm, “They think ‘it can’t happen here. ‘This is our lovely, beautiful school, child care center, hospital,’ or whatever. ‘We’ve spent millions of dollars to make this place special.”
A 2013 study estimated that one in 10 kids in the U.S. are sexually abused. Last year alone in Midland, over 700 children and teenagers came forward to authorities to detail abuse or neglect.
“Abusing someone is a horrific crime…if you don’t report it you’re letting it happen which is just as horrific,” said Malm.
At Midland Christian, it seems like things are returning to normal. The baseball team is back on the field and an interim superintendent was named to run the school while Superintendent Lee’s case is being processed.
On March 16, one month after the arrests, Interim Superintendent Kelly Moore introduced himself to students by giving a sermon. He focused on loyalty and friendship.
He told students gathered, “You are part of the community of Midland Christian School. I don’t care what’s happening anywhere in the world. You are part of this family.”
Then he described his decades-long friendship with Superintendent Lee’s family.
“I have lifelong friends that are the leaders at this school who are having some challenges.” He continued, “So why am I here? Real simple, I’m here to help some friends. That’s all that I’m about. I’m not here to lead you. I’m not here to fix anything. I’m not here to change anything.”
Lee and the four other Midland Christian leaders that were arrested are still employed at the school, but according to a statement, a “fully informed decision about their futures” at the campus will be made once their cases are resolved.
Marfa Public Radio reached out to the school for comment and a spokesperson provided a written statement that said:
“Midland Christian School remains committed to the safety and well-being of our students, in addition to the support and implementation of resources for our faculty and staff.”
Officials refused to answer whether their staff has been properly trained to report suspected abuse or neglect.