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March 17, 2022

Demonstrators at Manual protest JCPS response to sexual abuse allegations

Protestors+gathered+outside+Manual.
Cooper Walton
Protestors gathered outside Manual.

A small group of protestors gathered on Cardinal Boulevard outside Manual on Tuesday afternoon, speaking out against JCPS’ continued employment of twins Ronnie and Donnie Stoner. The protestors held signs reading “JCPS employs pedos” and “Stop the Stoner Cycle.”

Protestors included JCPS parents, as well as accusers of the Stoner brothers who were calling for the two to be removed from district payroll. Alyssa Foster, 20, is one of the accusers who was present.

“There’s no reason they should be around children at all,” Foster said. “We’re out here to hopefully bring more victims forward and let them know we stand with them.”

“Please don’t be scared to speak out, we will have your back,” Amy Jones, who has accused Donnie Stoner of sexually assaulting her daughter, said.

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Former duPont Manual head football coach Donnie Stoner has been indicted on 20 charges including six counts of rape, all relating to incidents that occurred with a 17 year old student at duPont Manual High School starting in spring 2023.

According to files obtained through open records, former school safety administrator Ronnie Stoner has faced at least two JCPS internal investigations, but both have been dismissed either due to “unsubstantiated” claims or “inconclusive” evidence.

Both Ronnie and Donnie Stoner have been “reassigned” and are “not working with students,” JCPS spokesperson Carolyn Callahan said in an email.

JCPS’ Policy/Procedure Manual states that “an employee may be suspended with pay or reassigned” during a Title IX complaint procedure.

According to Callahan, JCPS investigations are halted when a criminal investigation is taking place, and “all JCPS policies and procedures are being followed.”

Multiple protestors claim to be victims of the Stoner twins, including Foster, who identified herself as allegedly being sexually assaulted by Ronnie Stoner at the age of 13.

This claim mirrors a 2022 internal investigation into Ronnie Stoner obtained by open record request, in which a student claimed to have had numerous “sexual interactions” with Stoner. These incidents allegedly took place during her time at Newburg Middle School in the 2016-17 school year, and all occurred when she was 13 years old. It is unknown if Alyssa Foster was the accuser in this investigation.

According to a confidential document from JCPS Compliance and Investigations, representatives notified Child Protective Services (CPS) and the LMPD Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) within a month of receiving the complaint in May 2022. While CPS “elected to not conduct an investigation,” CACU waited until August 2022, after their investigation had concluded, to advise JCPS to continue with an internal investigation.

JCPS concluded from their internal investigation that the claims were “unsubstantiated.”

Among the protestors was Aryalle Stoner, 20, Ronnie Stoner’s daughter, who was vocal at the protest about her alleged experiences with her father.

Aryalle Stoner leads protest outside of Manual. (Cooper Walton)

“I was molested by Ronnie Stoner starting in sixth grade all the way up until my senior year in high school,” Stoner said in an interview at the protest.

Aryalle Stoner feels “sick to [her] stomach” about the Stoner twins’ employment, and she has formed close bonds with the other victims present.

“I thought I was the only girl, and I’m not,” Stoner said. “This has made the victims stronger, we call each other sisters because of how close we’ve gotten.”

When the school day ended, many students came to observe the protest.

Protestors handed out t-shirts to supportive students that read “stand with child victims” and “all lives matter except pedophiles.”

Protesters give shirts to passersby. (Cooper Walton)

Principal Michael Newman directed bus traffic to ensure a smooth dismissal, but chose not to comment on the protests, citing JCPS guidelines. JCPS police also arrived on scene to monitor the protest shortly after it began.

Dr. Newman directs traffic around protesters. (Cooper Walton)

JCPS’ Policy/Procedure Manual states: “Public statements concerning controversial or potentially disruptive matters shall be issued only by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.”

Newman stated in a July 31st newsletter following the arrest of Donnie Stoner that he was “unable to share any additional information” as the situation concerns “personnel matters.”

This story was originally published on Manual RedEye on February 7, 2024.