Public Media for Alaska's Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Former Principal Chris Carmichael Has Two Prior Allegations Of Inappropriate Behavior With Minors

Lower Kuskokwim School District

The Lower Kuskokwim School District has divulged two prior allegations of inappropriate behavior with minors by former Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael. LKSD’s attorney, Eugenia "Jeannie" Sleeper, said that police investigated both incidents, and ultimately no charges were filed. One of those police investigations has since been reopened. 

In February 2018, a student complained to Bethel police that Chris Carmichael had inappropriately touched her. Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis said that when the police department investigated the case, Carmichael claimed that the touching was accidental. She said that given the evidence they had at the time, it was “not a very provable case.”

Davis made these comments on Dec. 13, the Friday after Carmichael’s arrest. Since then, the District Attorney’s office has reopened the case. Both Davis and the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment further about an open investigation. 

Sleeper says that when police told LKSD about the report of inappropriate touching back in 2018, Carmichael was placed on administrative leave while the district conducted its own investigation. Sleeper said that no cameras caught the alleged incident. She said that the district interviewed the alleged victim where the incident had occurred, and asked the student to demonstrate what happened. According to Sleeper, the district found that as Carmichael walked through a doorway, the back of his hand brushed against the student who was holding the door. Sleeper said that it was a sweeping motion from the student’s belly to her chest.

After making the determination that the touching was accidental, the district brought Carmichael back to the school. Sleeper says that Carmichael was on paid administrative leave from Feb. 21, 2018 to Mar. 8, 2018. However, Sleeper said that this was not Carmichael’s first allegation of inappropriate behavior with students. There had been another incident two years before.

In February 2016, while Carmichael was in Bethel, Sleeper says that Alaska State Troopers investigated alleged inappropriate social media communication between Carmichael and a student in another village; Sleeper would not say which village. Sleeper said that Carmichael was placed on administrative leave at that time as well. She said that troopers gained access to Carmichael’s Facebook account but reported no findings, and Carmichael was brought back to Gladys Jung Elementary School.

If you have any evidence regarding the open investigations against Carmichael, you can contact the FBI at (907) 276-4441.

Greg Kim is a news reporter for KYUK covering environment, health, education, public safety, culture and subsistence. He's covered everything from Newtok's relocation due to climate change-fueled erosion to the Bethel chicken massacre of 2020.