February 13, 2005

System allows conduct issues to fall through cracks

Herald Tribune


MANATEE COUNTY -- State and local policies aimed at protecting school employees from false accusations can also make it easier for people with records of improper conduct to continue working with kids.

In the last few years, a volleyball coach accused of sexually abusing students in Charlotte County ended up working with high schoolers here, and a bus driver who took three middle school students shopping for underwear left the district without reprimand.

Most recently, a complaint against Joseph Gilpin, who resigned as assistant principal at Haile Middle School last month, never made it into his personnel file and wasn't forwarded to the state.

These and similar incidents reveal a district beset by scattered recordkeeping, cursory investigations and the seemingly apathetic -- or highly cautious -- attitudes of administrators, all of which can result in complaints falling through the cracks.

Open to interpretation

Posted by kshaw at February 13, 2005 10:09 AM