Dear Editor:

I am writing in reference to the article published on September 26, 2019 titled “JES 2nd grader had knife at school.”

I have a vested interest in this situation as I am an alumni and mother to a second grader at this school, who was not notified by the school.

This issue runs much deeper than this one incident — there needs to be heightened focus on the school administration, specifically superintendent John Jackson, and the failure to communicate properly with parents. This administration is more concerned about their reputation being tarnished and their state ratings than with the safety and care of our children, whom they are charged to protect while within those walls.

News of this incident spread like a bad game of telephone as only parents of children in this child’s class were notified, who then talked to other parents.

Panic could have been prevented had parents been notified of the incident by the school rather than third-hand from other parents or the children.

Bullying is one issue, with an incident at Jefferson Academy immediately following this one at JES, in which the bullied children were punished and the bullying children were not.

There is concern of the child that brought the knife to school possibly being bullied, which contributed to this incident, and yet there continues to be no initiative to address this, or plan to better communicate with parents and necessary community partners.

Openly communicating about these concerns and bringing awareness to parents is necessary to facilitate change within the school’s administration and stop the attempt to cover up concerns.

Thank you for publishing this article and ensuring concerns continue to be brought to parents and the community's attention when the school will not.


Linsey Phillips


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