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Atlantic City BOE adds $50K to extend Frazier investigation

The Atlantic City Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to add another $50,000 for an independent investigation into the employment of a now-admitted sex offender.
The decision came after several residents called out the district at Tuesday night’s meeting, demanding answers in the case and transparency in the investigation.
The case of Kayan Frazier has drawn renewed attention more than two years after his 2019 arrest on child pornography charges. He is now awaiting sentencing in federal court.
But it was how his career as an Atlantic City substitute teacher ended in 2017 that is the subject of the investigation.
Frazier was working at Pennsylvania Avenue School when he met the boy who would become his victim in late 2016.
In February 2017, Principal La’Quetta Small reported that Frazier was having the student sleep at his home. She followed up the report that March, noting that the sleepovers continued, and the boy was sleeping in Frazier’s bed.
But Small’s own timeline shows that she first found out that Frazier — who is her cousin — was having the boy sleep over more than two months before she filed her complaint with the company that provides the district’s substitutes.
In November, a split board voted to have an independent investigation into the case, capping spending at $50,000.
When the bill surpassed that, it appeared the investigation would die quietly, as the law firm tasked with the probe was told to cease its work.
The Porzio, Bromberg & Newman firm was set to be on the executive session agenda Tuesday.
Then, the public spoke.
Many questioned why the public was not being updated on what was going on.
“The schools are supposed to be safe havens,” Shameeka Harvey-Cottman told the board. “You need to listen, no matter how disgruntled the parents are. At least show us that you care.”
She noted that robo-calls go out for little things all the time, yet the school district did nothing to notify parents when a former teacher was arrested on child pornography charges.
“If you cease this investigation, you’re sending a clear message to me as a mother,” Councilwoman Latoya Dunston told the board.
She noted that the board had no problem scrapping a superintendent search that had cost the district $25,000, yet did not want to go beyond the $50,000 cap to look into what went wrong with Frazier.
“I know my child is worth more than $50,000,” she said.
Activist Steve Young read from the complaint filed by the victim’s mother, noting the mental suffering that continues. He read off things like suicidal thoughts and that the boy cannot go into a public men’s restroom.
“Every child that goes into our school system deserves a safe zone,” Councilman Mo Delgado said. “Please do the right thing.”
At the committee meeting before Tuesday’s regular meeting, board President Shay Steele questioned if Porzio had been thorough enough in its investigation, indicating that was really why the board might break with the firm.
But sources close to the case tell BreakingAC that much of the $57,000 billed so far was due to hours put in just trying to get the documents and interviews necessary for a thorough investigation.
Steele was one of the four board members who voted against the independent investigation in October, along with now-Vice President Pat Bailey, Ruth Byard and then-Ventnor representative Kim Bassford
After returning from executive session, the board moved to add another $50,000 to allow the investigation to continue.
But board member Al Herbert warned those who came out to Tuesday’s meeting that the fight may not be over.
“What I’m asking that the public do is pay attention,” he said.
Herbert said some pushed in executive session to increase the cap to an amount that would complete the investigation, “but some board members did not see fit to do that.”
“So we’ll be back in another month or two increasing this again,” he said. “When it does, we will need the public support. It’s inevitable.”
It was not clear if the additional funds would also include more cooperation from the district.

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