Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: District inept in response to assaults

Letter by James McDonald, Tacoma on April 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm with No Comments »
April 16, 2013 1:53 pm

I read with keen interest the article regarding Tacoma Public School District’s response to sex offenses involving teachers and students (TNT, 4-14). I believe the issue reveals a much bigger problem with the district regarding its responses to all assaultive behavior.

Both my daughter, a former student, and my wife, a current high school teacher, were assaulted by students. In both cases, the district’s response was inept at best.

In the incident involving my daughter, the school did not take action until I contacted the school board directly and threatened legal action. In the recent incident involving my wife, the principal hung up on me on the day of the assault; we have not been notified whether any investigation was conducted or completed and/or whether any corrective measures have been considered.

I believe this reveals a bigger problem of deliberate indifference to this type of behavior, and I hope it doesn’t take a tragedy to get the decision-makers’ attention.

I know many teachers are frustrated, and some have left their schools or even the profession altogether due to the lack of a cohesive program and policy regarding student behaviors, and students are intimidated to say anything.

As someone who has loved ones who have been affected by this deficiency and who has implemented and managed security and safety programs for many municipalities, I believe I am in a unique position to offer this critique.

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