As a retired teacher from Spring Cove Middle School, I am very disturbed by charges against the school by therapeutic aide, Carletta Nicholson.
I spent several years as a leader in the Celebrate Diversity program. I encouraged many families to bring their children to participate in Celebrate Diversity. Back when we actually were a middle school, I planned and helped to facilitate interdisciplinary units on civil rights and the holocaust.
Our students were aware of the challenges facing other racial and ethnic groups. We not only taught but modeled tolerance.
Today the school no longer has time for such units. They are running a strictly junior high type schedule and spend most of their time preparing students to excel in the state mandated tests.
Because of the testing and money constraints causing drastic changes in staff and scheduling, the units are no longer being offered.
I understand that events since 9/11 have affected the way many people think.
As educators and parents, it is imperative that we teach by example. We need to ensure that our next generation learns to find the good in people no matter what their race or religion, that our children not be swayed by generalizations targeting any group.
I find fault not only by the school and its staff, but also the Children's Behavioral Health Inc. of Johnstown that placed this person there. Where were they when the mistreatment was taking place? Did they communicate the problems to the principal and superintendent? What support did she receive from her employer?
There is plenty of blame to be shared here. I believe the school, staff, and parents needed to be held accountable so that some appropriate life lessons could have been taught in the context of the alleged actions.
Now may be too little, too late.