Ken Mauldin: School board must take action
After listening to almost an hour of claims that our high school has been long-infected with rampant sexual harassment and assault under the supervision of our superintendent, our new school board decided to let the superintendent investigate the claims rather than holding an emergency meeting and addressing the matter through the board’s authority to appoint an independent investigator.
The school board’s lack of action after hearing these families’ experiences represents a complete disregard and a shocking disservice to those that claim to have been victimized by the leadership of our district.
This community deserves a board of education that will respond to parents, not another board that simply continues the same old tradition of looking the other way and allowing the toxic environment and the culture of sexual harassment and assaults in our high school to continue.
It’s disgraceful that our school board listened to parents’ repeated claims of sexual assault, indifference and/or retaliation by district officials and then entrusted one of the accused administrators to investigate the claims. It’s obvious that if the current superintendent either cared, or was capable of making the necessary changes, we wouldn’t be talking today about how students claim to have been sexually assaulted and parents have been consistently ignored by the superintendent for years.
Allegations of a culture of sexual harassment, sexual assault and hiding information from parents requires a serious response, not the same lack of board oversight that created this circumstance and allowed it to grow into the dangerous situation we have now.
Those among us that would abandon these young women and their families and who refuse to practice any oversight of the abusive conditions in our district don’t deserve to sit on our school board. In fact, any of our school board members that refuse to take definite and discrete actions to protect students from the corrupt leadership of this district and the dangerous environment they have created in our high school, should be recalled by voters immediately.
As an alternative to recall efforts, perhaps disinterested board members could simply resign and step aside to make room for people that are willing to do the job and protect the students in our schools.
Continuing to defer to this superintendent’s judgment related to these matters is a blatant failure of the school board’s responsibilities to this community.
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