UPDATE: This story has been updated to include an interview with the online activist Kasper Decoy and a local Bath Township resident.
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Bath Community Schools has sent a notice to parents confirming it is investigating social media posts regarding one of its staff members.
According to an earlier email sent by superintendent Paul Hartsig, the posts were “not violent or threatening” but the school is “investigating the situation.”
A new letter shared with 6 News from Bath Community Schools and Superintendent Hartsig said “The Bath Township Police Department is conducting an investigation into this incident and the staff member in question is on administrative leave and not on school property.”
Hartsig goes on to say, “Our goal, as always, is to keep our students and staff safe. I understand that there is a desire for more information and as I am able to share details regarding this incident I will continue to do so.”
In the earlier email to parents, Hartsig said, “Bath Community Schools recently received notice of very concerning posts regarding a staff member. These posts were not violent or threatening. We are investigating this situation and take the safety of students and staff seriously. Please know that we will provide more information as we are able”
6 News has reviewed the posts but has not yet been able to independently confirm the accuracy of their content.
Kasper Decoy is the online pseudonym of the person who blew the whistle Wednesday night on a school district employee.
6 News is not identifying the employee because he has not been charged with a crime.
Kasper Decoy, who released the interactions online, declined to be identified out of concern for their safety. The online activist is part of a national movement that purports to identify and reveal ‘pedophiles.’
The account of Kasper Decoy posted a string of alleged messages between the school employee and Kasper Decoy pretending to be a 14-year-old girl.
“At first, he was being very careful with what he was saying,” Kasper Decoy tells 6 News. “He knew he was talking to a 14-year-old. And then, eventually, it switched over to him wanting me to call him master and he wanted to discipline me. He wanted me to discipline him.”
Kasper Decoy says the conversation began “ a couple of days ago” on an app called Whisper. Whisper is based in Venice Calif. It explains itself as a platform where “people share real thoughts and feelings, forge relationships and engage in conversations on an endless variety of topics – without identities or profiles.”
The app claims “Whisper is spearheading a movement that believes that happiness starts with being your real self.”
Kasper Decoy said the conversation eventually moved from the Whisper App to Google Voice.
“Right from the beginning he knew my age,” Kasper Decoy said. “He wanted to meet up with me, asked me if parents knew I was on the app. Those were just all red flags to me.”
All of the text messages and the calls have been turned over to law enforcement and the Bath Community Schools, Kasper Decoy said.
“If I can get on there and pretend I’m 14 years old, imagine all the other kids that are on there and are actually 14 years old,” Kasper Decoy said.
Word of the allegations spread quickly through the Bath community, said Ruth Miehlke, a resident of Bath Township.
“Everyone heard about it late last night, and then this morning,” she said. “You know, a small community, social media goes fast, fast, fast. So I think at this point it’s a shock to everyone.”
While the concern is circulating about keeping youth safe from predators, she tells 6 News she wants the community to wait to form an opinion until the investigation by authorities is complete.
“Everybody’s wanting to keep their children safe. but on the other hand, they don’t want to go out with a witch hunt,” the resident tells 6 News. “And, you know, make somebody guilty before they’re not guilty.”
Bath Community School leaders declined to identify what building the employee worked at, only confirming the person was not on school property and on leave. 6 News reached out to the employee but has not heard back.