Parents outraged after teen found dead, convicted felon hired by - WNEM TV 5

Parents outraged after teen found dead, convicted felon hired by school

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Source: WWMT Source: WWMT

Parents are expressing concern after learning a Michigan teen found dead was set to testify in a rape trial against her alleged attacker who worked for the district before she was killed.

Parents who showed up to the Kentwood School Board meeting Monday had a lot of questions surrounding how and why a convicted felon was hired by the district.

The attorney representing 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya's family said they deserve answers.

School officials publicly addressed the tragedy two weeks after the body of Dumbuya was found in a wooded area in the West Douglas neighborhood of Kalamazoo.

 “Over the past week we as a Kentwood community have been rocked with sadness and grief regarding the loss of our beloved student Mujey Dumbuya,” Kentwood School Board President Mimi Madden said during the meeting.

Parents were impassioned and concerned.

 “As a parent that is unacceptable to have someone with a criminal record in the school system that has contact with our children,” Mary Bruce said.

Parents are questioning district officials about how former employee Quinn James, 42, who multiple sources said is a person of interest Dumbuya’s death, was hired as a groundskeeper with a known criminal record that included armed robbery and weapons violations.

The district said James' job didn't require any contact with students and the Michigan Department of Education said it was within its rights to hire him, because of the nature of his past offenses.

 “I would like to know what employees are in the Kentwood district that have criminal records that have contact with students,” Bruce said.

 “You really have to scrutinize it. I'm all for second chances, but you have to make a decision, what second chances are you going to allow? But sex offenses and things against children, you can't have that on campus when there are over a thousand kids,” Keith Edwards said.

Dumbuya was set to testify in a rape trial after accusing James of repeatedly raping her. He was let go in November 2017 after another rape allegation surfaced.

Christine Yared who is representing Dumbuya's family said that wasn’t enough.

“As to the school district I would say a criminal record does matter and certainly there are people who have felony records and they are entitled to employment and they should be employed, but in particular to certain jobs where they shouldn't be if the criminal record involved a gun felony,” Yared said.

James has not been charged in connection to Dumbuya's murder, but he is being held at the Kent County Jail on an unrelated count of criminal sexual conduct.

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