Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Conversation with Superintendent Scott

Avon Lake Schools Superintendent Bob Scott said today that he is very proud of the students who assisted in the investigation and have been rallying around the 16 year old victim. “We had over a hundred kids who got off buses that night and right away saw what happened to the car. They were outraged by what they saw. The search started right then and there basically.” Superintendent Scott said that the kids took a “this shouldn’t happen to anybody” attitude. “I heard one of the kid’s say that Justice needed to be done here and we need to make sure that it happens.”

Superintendent Scott said that because the vandals included the personal ethnic slurs that took the crime to another level. “There are 1200 kids in this school and of course over the years you have incidents where a car might get keyed or something. Perhaps a boyfriend / girlfriend dispute or some kind of friction out in the community, that happens when you have kids this age and we would have dealt with that accordingly. This takes it to a level that is so extreme, the racial slurs that were written takes this from a disciplinary type of issue to the level of basically expulsion, we can’t have you hear with the other kids.”

The process that the Superintendent is following goes like this. There was an initial hearing that basically removes the two young men from the school for a maximum of 10 days. The Superintendent has received a recommendation for expulsion of the two students from school Officials. A meeting has been arranged for Superintendent Scott to meet with the two young men next Wednesday. (The date had to be mutually agreed upon by the school and the families.) They are allowed to bring their parents and anyone else who they want to attend. Superintendent Scott will meet with each separately and hear what they have to say for themselves. Policy dictates that the Superintendent has 24 hours to deliberate before making his decision and notifying the families.

Superintendent Scott has been with Avon Lake for 3 years and in education for 27 years, he says that this is the worst he has seen in all his years in education. “I have seen things scrawled on walls, names scrawled on walls directed to an ethnic group but this is by far the worse I have seen.” Superintendent Scott said that although this is obviously a very difficult time for the victim the other students have really rallied around her and are supporting her. “She’s been very strong and she is back in school but its not easy everyday to go through especially now that the news agencies have picked it up, that truly is causing a great deal of stress for her and her family. The family feels that this is something that is private and that they should be able to deal with without the world watching.”

The Superintendent said that right now the schools first focus is helping the girl and her family. “We want to help them get through this the best way possible and we’ll struggle through the next couple of days with them so that we can move on with them. The other piece of it is the pride of the students but it’s also a good teaching opportunity for us. We work constantly on the issues of individuality and of being accepting of other people for what they are and this is an opportunity for us to step in again and work with the kids so that we can get better.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sympathy is with this young lady and her family. I am glad that her classmates and the staff of the school is supporting her during this time.
With our society being so culturally diverse, there is no room for such abhorring behavior to occur.
I hope that these two young men are dealt with harshly and have to take anger management classes, cultural diversity classes and perform community service. Maybe that would teach them a lesson! Patsy

6:30 PM  

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