NewsLocal NewsInvestigations

Actions

Olathe parents allege elementary teacher played favorites with female students

Year book Blur full.jpg
Posted at 7:34 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 19:56:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This is the second of a three-part series. You can read the others below:
Part 1: Olathe teacher could face no jail time due to wording of Kansas stalking statute
Part 3: Parents hope to use incident to raise awareness of Kansas' stalking statutes

---

Parents of a former fourth-grade student in Olathe Public Schools said they believe a teacher who took inappropriate photos of their daughter acted similarly with other female students in the past.

Kristyn and Anthony Antonucci said they believe James Loganbill — who has since retired and had his teaching license revoked — played favorites among female students in his class.

"He would slip our daughter a calculator before a math test where he wouldn't slip anyone else one,” Kristyn said. “He would let her eat lunch in the classroom without paying with her golden tickets, but everyone else would.”

Loganbill admitted, according to an affidavit, that "for the past three years there has always been a girl who wore tights and admitted that last year, he took pictures of another student."

After their case went public, the Antonuccis said they received messages via email and social media from former students, parents and teachers who said this was part of a pattern of favoritism.

"Aside from disgusting, it's just so sad that when our story became public, just the amount of outreach from kids of previous years," Anthony Antonucci said.

‘He treated me like I was the best thing in the world’

Rachel Martin, who now lives in Texas, said she grew up in Olathe Public Schools, where Loganbill was her fifth-grade teacher at Countryside Elementary School in 1993.

"I remember thinking I had gotten lucky because we got the cool, male teacher," Martin said.

Looking at old yearbook photos, she said, she has fond memories of being the self-described class pet.

"He moved my desk right next to his,” Martin said. “My desk didn't move the rest of the school year. Every day I got to go to school and he treated me like I was the best thing in the world.”

Now, she said she views those memories in a different light and is among the former students who have shared their experience with police.

The Olathe Police Department declined to confirm Martin’s account, or if any other reports related to Loganbill were being investigated, citing the ongoing investigation.

However, another student, who spoke to 41 Action News on the condition of anonymity, reiterated what Martin and the Antonnucis shared.

She said Loganbill was her teacher in 2011 at Pioneer Trail Middle School.

“I was targeted as one of his favorites,” the woman said. “I was aware of it due to the special treatment I received, such as not taking exams or working on any assignments. My friends at the time spoke up and told a counselor, who then directed them to our vice principal."

Some of those friends and former classmates confirmed her account to 41 Action News, stating that when they reported Loganbill's behavior, they were allegedly met with skepticism and disbelief.

The anonymous student said Loganbill moved to another school in the district.

"I don't think other students were protected in the sense that he kept being passed to a different school to keep doing the same inappropriate things,” she said.

No charges were filed in the 2011 incident.

The Antonnucis and former students said the complaints were handled internally and were never turned over to police.

Although he declined further comment, Loganbill's attorney said his client maintains that was a different situation.

The Antonnucis intend to file a civil suit against Olathe Public Schools, which also was cited as a reason when the district and the school board president declined multiple requests for interviews.

Similarly, the Antonnucis said they are not currently able to comment on that aspect of the case.

Regardless of what happens in civil court or with Loganbill's criminal case, the Antonnucis said the Kansas stalking statute needs to be updated due to the loophole that could potentially allow Loganbill to walk.

Editor’s note: Per the family’s request, 41 Action News is not showing the girl’s face or using her first name due to her age and the accusation involved.

Correction: An earlier version misidentified the middle school where Loganbill taught. He was a teacher at Pioneer Trail Middle School.

Know of something we should look into? Leave us some info below.