What we’re about to write may rub some people the wrong way. They may say we’re being judgmental. But we believe it’s time someone said it.
As the Las Vegas City Schools board grapples with the question of whom to hire as its next district superintendent, now that Richard Romero has stepped aside amid cloudy conditions, we hope morality will be considered. Yes, morality.
Understand that we believe most of East’s teachers to be moral. They’re dedicated to their jobs and would never intentionally hurt a child in his or her developmental years. But we are also aware that some seriously inappropriate behavior has occurred, mostly of a sexual nature, and we’re sick of it.
We’re sick of educational leaders (a principal and a superintendent) leaving under a cloud of suspicion about alleged misconduct.
We’re sick of the district having to settle in a case involving a sexual relationship between a teacher/coach and a teenage student — which, by the way, is a case of multiple rape offenses if the criminal charges hold up. And we’re none too happy with the idea of that teacher’s spouse, in a leadership position of her own, pressuring other teachers to sign a petition in support her husband, then receiving no disciplinary consequences as a result of her professionally inappropriate actions.
And, of course, we’re sick of hearing about boys being abusive to fellow teammates, while under the supervision of adults who were either clueless or uncaring.
And let’s not overlook the charges of “inappropriate” behavior leveled against a counselor and staff member. The counselor was eventually cleared; the staff member terminated.
Have we left anything out? Again, these incidents are not indicative of the good works of most of the district’s educators, but they do point to a tolerance for misbehavior that we, as parents and as a community, should not be tolerating.
We need to teach our girls that they are more than a piece of meat, that they must be respected. And we need to make sure that those who are assigned to teach them will lead by example and respect them.
We need to be teaching our boys that they should stand up for women, not tear them down, and that abusing and bullying anyone is unacceptable and wrong.
We trust that the Las Vegas City Schools won’t rush into a decision on a new superintendent. It’s not too late to say that our schools someone to lead the district away from so much bad behavior. And to do that, he or she needs to be above reproach.