Cedar Rapids School Custodian Accused of Sexual Abuse

A Cedar Rapids school custodian is on administrative leave after he allegedly sexually abused a teen girl over a two-year period.  Police say 53-year old Michael Beard is accused of sexually abusing the teen when she was between the ages of 13 and 15.  He was arrested Aug. 27.  Beard, who has been a custodian at several Cedar Rapids-area schools over the last 27 years, most recently worked at Madison Elementary.  The Cedar Rapids Community School District released the following statement:

The Cedar Rapids Community School District was made aware of allegations against and the arrest of an employee. While the police investigation did not involve his role as a District employee and the alleged conduct did not occur on school grounds, the District took action pursuant to Board policy and placed the staff member on administrative leave immediately after becoming aware of the criminal charges. Student safety is of utmost importance and the District will fully cooperate with law enforcement in this matter.

The district said Beard also held positions at Hoover, Grant, Pierce, Coolidge, Truman and Arthur elementary schools in addition to McKinley, Harding and Taft middle schools. He was also employed at Jefferson and Kennedy high schools.  Authorities said the alleged abuse did not happen on any school grounds.