Letter to the editor: School officials, not public, deserve criticism

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The July 8 meeting of the Marion County school board yielded some interesting observations. Mr. Barney Tharp was approved on the agenda to address the board, but addressed the public instead.
Mr. Tharp described a situation at the high school in which his grandson was in full-spectrum sensory meltdown that created imminent danger of harm to himself and staff. The young man was restrained by former Marion County High School Principal Stacey Hall and two unnamed staff members. Mr. Tharp made criminal allegations of child abuse against the three although charges do not appear to be pending. If Mr. Tharp truly believes his grandson was abused, then it is he who is charged with a duty to report abuse to the proper authorities. The crime is the administration’s failure to provide for the needs of students with disabilities, which could have presented the drama, and the trauma.
Mr. Tharp’s grandson did not deserve to be exploited by his grandfather in defense of public officials facing child abuse litigation. Parents did not deserve to be chastised for pursuing charges of abuse of their children. The public did not deserve castigation for not supporting an illegitimate superintendent and a school board that operates on bankrupt credibility. The corruption of the Marion County school board has created an environment that abuses the district’s most vulnerable students.
Dennis Yaste