Tarnished Turnaround: Overnight comments

Our investigative report on Warrington Middle School and the under-reporting of crime and violence in the Escambia County Public School District has already gotten over a dozen emails. Here are two of the best:

OMG, you are incredible! Thank you so much. This still needs followup. What I still do not see is outrage from the parents, the general public….from the taxpayers for gods sake! I am very, very limited as to how much I can say in public, using my real name. I wonder what will happen in response to this article. Will teachers just continue to stand quietly by in fear of retribution if they speak? There is so much more than this…..where is accountability? If I performed my job as poorly as Malcolm or for that matter, Ms. Rush, I would be handed a pink slip without even a second thought. You have to remember that Mr. Thomas and Ms. Rush have the power to hire and to fire without presenting as much as one reason. Would they tolerate the type of behavior from their subordinates that they have themselves done? I seriously doubt it. The article that you published today was very well written but the unfortunate result is an overwhelming desire to vomit. Thank you Rick, this is a very good start.

I read your article about what is happening at WMS. It really saddens me because I had two daughters that attended that school and was really happy about the small environment and attention that the students received. The SRO’s were great, the staff and both principals that they had (Garthwaite and Nixon) knew what was happening. I had my daughter read this and she couldn’t believe what was going in there now. My youngest left there in 2005. I hope this article doesn’t fall on deaf ears and people stand up and take notice. Thank you for spotlighting something that might otherwise not receive any attention.

My hope is that other teachers and parents will share their stories. Parents are afraid their children will be singled out if they speak out. Teachers live in fear that their contracts will not be renewed and that they will banned from employment in the Escambia County school system.

Please know that I protect all my sources. You can email me your stories: rick@inweekly.net.

We can’t fix this problem if good people live in fear. Our children deserve safe schools and our teachers deserve to teach in safe classrooms. There is more to education than FCAT scores.