Editor's Note: This article is a deeper dive into one of the stories alluded to in
In December of 2019, myself, a mom at Manual who was also a JCPS teacher, her attorney, and another mom who runs a district-wide parent and teacher advocacy group, met with the JCPS Superintendent to inform him of felonies that she believed were taking place on Manual’s campus, including alleged sex and drug trafficking (of which she had submitted photos to the principal in May of the prior school year).
On or around the last day of school in 2019, when this mom first became aware of inappropriate behaviors involving her freshman daughter, as well as those of her friends, she reported it to the principal. When her complaint was handled poorly, she reached out to the Superintendent via email, to no avail.
Open records revealed that the Superintendent never replied to the URGENT email, even though he was the only one copied on it. Instead, two days later, his secretary (who was not copied as I mentioned) forwarded it to an assistant superintendent. This bully of a man dead-ended her complaint by accusing her of trying to make their sacred flagship high school look bad, among other things. She was so blown away by his gaslighting and attacks that she ended up hanging up on him. That’s when she reached out to me.
In August, I notified the internal investigations folks, in accordance with instructions I had received previously from the Superintendent (this wasn’t our first tête-à-tête on the subject of internal investigations showing favoritism by failing to properly investigate certain perpetrators of inappropriate behaviors), about how to file a complaint that would get some traction. After much fruitless back and forth using these recommended avenues, I finally invited the mom to come to our next meeting with the Superintendent.
It was during that fateful December, 2019 meeting, that the district’s highest ranking official claimed he had never seen the email that warned of “felony activities taking place” that “puts students in extreme danger” until he learned about our upcoming meeting. He informed us it was standard protocol for his secretary to provide him cover in the way of plausible deniability by sneaking into his email and forwarding anything that could possibly destroy his career for someone else to handle.
JUST KIDDING. Well, he did say that, just not in those exact words.
Regardless, he knew now and there’s no time like the present to do the right thing, so the mom proceeded to fill in every important detail. In addition to evidence of minor students involved in transacting with sex and drugs on campus, we let him know about a teacher at that same school who was reported to have solicited some of his students on Tinder. The Superintendent informed us that as a mandatory reporter, he would need to report this to the authorities.
We also let him know about the “biggest drug dealer” at that school was none other than the son of a man who was arrested in 2007 along with a JCPS bus driver for cocaine trafficking. This is the SAME MAN who was one of the individuals sought by the FBI in the latest crime ring roundup just last month!
We left the folder and felt optimistic something would finally be done. For insurance, in January of the following year (2020), I spoke to the board during the public comment period, as I often do. I presented JCPS Board members with their very own copies of the folder we gave to the Superintendent the previous month. A copy of that correspondence can be found in the district’s official minutes and below.
I also accompanied the terrorized mother and daughter to their interview with internal investigations. I have not been able to obtain any evidence that a thorough investigation by outside agencies ever took place, however, I was able to obtain a copy of the internal investigation that was conducted, which, after a six month review, was deemed “unsubstantiated.” A copy of that report is also below.
Is this part of a bigger pattern or practice of crimes and coverups? I hope not, but don’t we owe it to our students to investigate?
Below are some of the images in the handouts that were presented to the board during the January 14, 2020 meeting, which were obtained and redacted via JCPS Open Records.
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