Your 9-year-old daughter gets off the school bus and tells you what a boy did to her:
Attempted to take cell-phone pictures of her “boobies.”
Attempted to grab/touch her buttocks and performed lewd, sexually-explicit gestures.
“Humped the seat” and put his hand in his pants while wagging his tongue at her.
Held his hand to his mouth and announced to other children that this meant, “licking and sucking a d**k.”
When your older daughter attempts to defend her younger sister, the boy:
Threatens her, saying, “F*** you, I’m going to kill you! I’m going to hurt you!” and “I’m going to f******g take my d***k and shove it down your throat while you’re sleeping.” and “I hate you, you idiotic b***.”
(These statements were reported by one Clinton Township family.)
When you rush to the school authorities for their help, they explain that this is all because:
“Sometimes kids get a little flaky with the onset of puberty.”
What do you do for your daughters at that point?
That is the stated position of the school superintendent — and our school board seems to have no problem with it.
A Clinton Township family recently made complaints about the Clinton Township School District’s (CTSD) failure to immediately address threatening sexual harrassment by a boy against their daughters. (Courier News: Clinton Township parents demand action from school board after alleging that boy harassed their daughters.)
Three months later, the board of education (BOE) is ready to issue updates to its discipline policy.
What seems to guide such a delayed response to serious threats made to three young girls? Our children are flakes — you can’t believe what they say. They’re going through puberty — so let’s teach them that during this difficult period sexual attacks against them may mean nothing.
The CTSD employs psychologists and social workers. We pay them a lot of money to care for the educational, psychological and social well-being of our children. What is to be expected from them when their boss proclaims that the the children they are responsible for get a little flaky?
This is the response I received from acting superintendent Dennis Fyffe, when I expressed my outrage to the Clinton Township Council that Fyffe characterized school girls as “flakes.” He copied this response to the entire Council.
I must respond to your reference to my comment about being “flaky.” This is a misquote and I categorically deny making the statement. Furthermore, it is a statement I would never make since it is contrary to my beliefs. What I actually said was, “Sometimes kids get a little flaky with the onset of puberty.” The distinction is critical as there was no reference to gender. Kevin Carroll and Judi Hammond were both present and have confirmed this.
Clinton Township School District
PO Box 362
Lebanon, NJ 08833
908-236-7235 x 218
There was no reference to gender. The new superintendent and a school principal were present when the acting superintendent said it.
So who has filed a complaint against Fyffe?
The top administrator in the district, with the support of the BOE, guides education in Clinton Township under the premise that boys and girls all “get a little flaky.” That must be a technical term picked up while earning a degree in education administration. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a social worker to recognize that there is a far more insidious problem here than one child threatening others on the bus (which is problem enough by itself).
We believe that children come first.
What happens when specific school leaders openly violate the district’s beliefs and reveal their warped views of childhood? How far will a school board go to protect certain adults who run our school district and who are responsible for the safety and healthy upbringing of our children?
Two parents stand up to protect their children and in the process expose a rotten bureaucracy that threatens all children. Mr. Fyffe did not appear on his own. He was hired by the school board and the board continues to hire new administrators. The hiring process continues to be driven by the same DNA.
How many parents will take their heads out of the sand, stop pretending that everything is hunky-dory in the Clinton Township district, and demand that what’s rotten be removed so the healthy, caring employees in our schools will have the freedom and support to do their jobs?
If this makes you wonder whether next time it’ll be your “flaky” kids who will be the victims, it’s too late. All our children are already victims. When other children see adults fail to protect one child, they all learn that children come last.