Kentwood school board discusses student’s death, investigation of ex-employee

KENTWOOD, Mich. -- Monday night's Kentwood Public Schools board meeting focused on a former employee who is now a person of interest in a young student's death.

Mujey Dumbuya, 16, was reported missing out of Grand Rapids on Jan. 24, and was found dead four days later in Kalamazoo.  Authorities are investigating how she got there and what happened, and have named former Kentwood Public Schools employee Quinn James as a person of interest.

James, a former grounds and maintenance worker, was fired from the district after reports of sexual assault against Dumbuya.  A report to police claims James assaulted Dumbuya four times while she was 15 years old.

"Over the past week, we as the Kentwood community have been rocked by sadness and grief after the loss of one of our students, Mujey Dumbuya," Kentwood School Board President Mimi Madden said Monday. "Every life is precious, and her light was especially bright. When one so young is taken from us it is devastating to all within our community and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her family."

Madden went on to say that the district is continuing to work with law enforcement and is also conducting their own internal investigation.

The initial decision to hire James did not sit well with at least one parent at the meeting.

"I understand that there was an employee that was hired knowing that he had a criminal record, and his position, that he was qualified for this position, that did not require contact with children," they said. "As a parent it is unacceptable to have someone with a criminal record in a school system working for the school that has contact with our children."

The district said in recent days that the two met during a summer break through parties unaffiliated with the school. James is currently behind bars on separate sexual assault charges from 2014 involving another underage girl.

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