Friday, June 10, 2016

SOA's Cook Has Some 'Splaining to Do to CCSD

On the face of it, the Charleston County School District should fire School of the Arts Principal Shannon Cook for covering up a teacher's exploitation of a student. The real question is, why did she protect algebra teacher Patrick Ratigan for over a year.

Good algebra teachers are hard to come by, but still!

In March of 2015, Cook had hard evidence of a relationship between Ratigan and a senior girl at the school whom he had made his "teaching assistant." Even so, she chose not to document her actions and, most importantly, did not follow CCSD protocol to notify the district. She wasn't new at her job, and neither was Ratigan. Is this the first student that Ratigan had approached? Had she covered for him before? We'll probably never know unless other former students come forward.

Meanwhile, Ratigan must have known that he was risking his future as a high school teacher.This personable-looking young man not only damaged a teenager at least a decade younger but also completely insulted and embarrassed his wife, a fellow teacher at the school, whom he had married in the fall of 2012. 

It now appears that CCSD was the last to know. Only when approached with a Freedom of Information Act request did its bureaucrats discover what parents and teachers had complained about for a year or more. How could that happen? Did no one ever contact the district headquarters, or did those at the Taj Mahal ignore the situation? 

As the saying goes, heads should roll.

1 comment:

Tony Geinzer said...

This is the long tip of the long iceberg. I find if roles where given away like that where they had to be 21 and in College, not 18, it is rotten all the way home. CCSD is not doing any breaks here.