Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Prosecute Former Estill Principal Over Sex Activity in Middle School

What happened in Estill Middle School four years ago should make every parent and taxpayer angry. We should especially be really, really enraged that no one has held an adult  responsible for activities that harmed the students under the school's care. Who was in charge of the school, the principal or its preteen students?

The school may have the worst physical environment, the highest percentage of free-lunch students, and be nearly 100 percent black. None of that matters if the adults in charge are in fact doing their jobs. Annoying as it is, we can understand that prosecutors could not bring a strong case of criminal conduct against the preteens; however, the same is not true of the principal and teachers. Universities may have abjured in loco parentis, but middle schools do not have that choice. Clearly, this activity was allowed by negligence.

You have to wonder, as I do, how much the activity of the previous school resource officer, now convicted of sexual assault of a student at the school, contributed to overall problems. No one was paying attention to his suspect activities either. Quintina Moore, the school resource officer who replaced him, at least had her head on straight and reported what was happening around her. She must be incredibly frustrated that no action against anyone concerned has taken place.

Well, perhaps one action happened. The principal of four years ago is now the assistant principal. 

Yes, you read that correctly. You can't make this stuff up. Why has Hampton County District 2 allowed Synetria Hawkins to continue supervising the students she failed? Must be related to Mr. Big.

No one can be held responsible for all of the ways in which preteens can hurt each other. However, providing a climate and lack of supervision that allows them to do so without repercussions should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Ms. Hawkins loses her certification for life? Good.

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