MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo.– The Manitou Springs school district has issued an alert to faculty, staff, students and caregivers, informing them of the arrest of former teacher and coach Matthew Barton.

Barton was arrested by Manitou Springs Police Department on six counts of the felony crime of Sexual Assault on a child by One in a Position of Trust on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. 

The following is the letter:

“Dear Manitou Springs School District Community,

“We just issued a notice to parents and staff regarding an update that a former teacher has been arrested on charges of sexually inappropriate behavior. The alleged incidents and charges date back more than ten years and no current staff are named or involved. This comes after the release of the Manitou Springs Police Departments Press Release on this matter. 

“We continue to work with the authorities in their investigation to protect our students and are focused on providing a safe, nurturing environment in which they can learn.

“I know this notice comes only a few weeks following the arrest of a different former MSSD employee (who had not been employed with the district since May 2016).

“Since the original notice in December, our high school students were able to learn more about their rights as students under Title IX and that all employees of MSSD are mandatory reporters. We know that a one-time meeting with students is not enough to convey the importance of each and every student feeling safe 100% of the time—physically and emotionally. 

“I must say that I am saddened that there is an additional allegation about a prior employee being accused of committing a crime against a child. I assure you that we will work closely with law enforcement.

“As I mentioned in my email last Friday, we are organizing a community engagement event related to how the recent arrests have impacted our community and the steps we are taking to continue to be proactive. More information will soon be released regarding this community engagement event. 

“If you or your child have any information to report concerning this former employee or have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to the Manitou Springs Police Department at (719) 685-5407. If you have any district-related questions regarding this matter, please contact the District Office at 719-685-2024. 

“Very Sincerely,

“Elizabeth A. Domangue, PhD
Superintendent of Schools
719-685-2001 (office)
719-502-5387 (cell)”