I would like to be able to go a few days without reading news coverage of a school scandal. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Whether it’s bad-apple teachers souring the dedicated efforts of their non-moron colleagues, or administrators who put the school’s needs ahead of the students’, it seems something stinky happens almost every day.
Look, I don’t even go near the endless parade of teacher-on-student romance cases we hear about. I would have to launch a whole new Weather Station for that. Weather Station Sick? I don’t want to do that.
I just read about another rotten case (right after dropping my kids off at school), this time in Colchester, Essex, England. The facts are clear: a seven-year-old girl was tied to a schoolyard fence by several older boys and whipped with a skipping rope. She suffered injuries. The school told her parents that “an incident” had occurred, but did not elaborate further, citing privacy issues. The lunch supervisor, who found and comforted the girl, took it upon herself to tell her parents what had happened, and she was fired for breaching the school’s confidentiality.
First of all, the school failed this child by not protecting her from older kids. Secondly, the school failed this family by closing ranks, rather than dealing with the problem. Were the boys disciplined? We’ll likely never know. And we don’t need to. The victim’s parents, though, have the right to see the outcome of this attack on their little girl.
The girl’s father, Scott David, has gone very public with this story, and has launched a campaign to have the lunch supervisor, Carol Hill, reinstated. Meanwhile, he’s yanked his kids from Great Tey and found them a quality school. Hill is gone. The David kids are gone. The bullies are still in class.
In a statement, Great Tey Primary School claimed its priority is to provide “the best possible education” for the children entrusted to its care each day. I have to call bullshit on that one. This school’s priority seems to be providing the best possible protection for itself, and if a little girl gets hurt along the way, fire the one person who dared do something about it.
UPDATE: There may be more to the school’s reasoning than originally stated. And this allegation makes the school sound even worse.
Update 4: Jan. 7, 2011: It took this long for common sense to prevail.