Kimberly (amaranthineelan) wrote in fem_activism,

School district ignored warnings, then silenced girls fondled by teacher

This is a letter writing/petition signing campaign. I'm trying to reach as many feminist communities as possible, so you may find this crossposted.

I'm a senior at a high school quite near to Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington. The front page article of the Seattle Times today was about a court case that was covered up regarding an elementary school teacher's molestation of 11- and 12-year olds, link here:

But the kicker? The elementary school principal lied to parents and other principals about the fact that this teacher was feeling the breasts of young girls. And now he is the principal at Skyline High School.

I am calling for this man's resignation in a letter which will be emailed to ALL staff and faculty at Skyline. I will be reading the letter to my AP Government class tomorrow, collecting signatures calling for the resignation of Principal Young, and mailing the letter, carbon copies of the signatures, and hard copies of the articles to all of the school counselors, vice principals, and Principal Young himself.

I have created an online petition asking for the principal's resignation (Link Here) and I highly encourage you to sign it. Also, please feel free to publicize this post, petition, andletter as widely as possible to other feminist boards and blogs (while giving credit, of course. :)) I would like this letter and article to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Kimberly _______, on the behalf of
Concerned Students
_____ High School
______, WA ------
October 22, 2006

c/o Skyline High School
1122 228th Avenue SE
Sammamish, WA 98075

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing you on the behalf of a group of concerned students at _____ High School. A Seattle Times front page article, dated Sunday, October 22, 2006, has brought to our attention a matter of grave concern: your principal, Ed Young, has a shockingly dishonest past of ignoring and defending sexually lewd conduct by his school’s employed teachers.

In fact, Mr. Young consistently failed to act on teacher and parent complaints regarding one of his teachers’ molestation of fifth and sixth grade—11 and and 12 year old—female students during his tenure as principal at Kokanee Elementary, thereby enabling the sexual victimization, physical molestation, and verbal abuse of innumerable elementary and middle school-aged children. There is no possible excuse for such blatantly dishonest, unprofessional, and criminal behavior.

From 1996 onward, Mr. Young consistently defended, concealed, and enabled teacher John Carl Leede’s pedophilic sexual molestation of 11- and 12-year olds even after he was informed that the man was putting his hands on the breasts and backsides of these young children.

Principal Ed Young failed to alert district or school officials of the absolutely inappropriate behavior of John Leede, and he in fact later told concerned parents that Mr. Leede had “a clean file.”

When a parent of one victim filed a complaint in 1996, instead of consulting the victim’s family and the school counselors to arrange a meeting, he forced the young victim into close contact with the molester who had grabbed and rubbed her breasts. Principal Young made this young girl meet with both him and Leede, allowing the teacher to “defend” his lewd, inappropriate, and utterly reprehensible actions.

A father who witnessed Leede “touch his daughter’s breast in a school hallway” at Kokanee filed a verbal complaint with Principal Young, who told him that the matter would be resolved. Later Mr. Young claimed that he could only investigate and resolve this blatant sexual molestation if the father provided a written complaint. When the father filed a written complaint, Principal Young told the father that Mr. Leede had been “spoken to” regarding his predatory behavior. In truth, all Principal Young told Mr. Leede was that he should hug children from the “side,” not the front.

During Principal Young’s employment at Kokanee Elementary School he lied to parents, teachers, and even other school officials about John Leede’s disgusting conduct. Even following the mass of complaints from parents that their daughters had been fondled by Leede, Mr. Young told a concerned Woodin Elementary school principal that John Leede did not have a problem with touching students, thereby leading to Leede’s transfer from Kokanee to Woodin, where he would continue to exploit and victimize his young, innocent students.

As an elementary school principal, Mr. Young ignored student, teacher, and parent warnings about a man who was verbally harassing students in the classroom and sexually preying upon young girls in and outside of his classroom. Principal Young failed to uphold the right of his elementary school students to a safe and healthy educational environment while attending his public school.

In his role as a principal, young children looked to Mr. Young for protection against physical, mental, and emotional danger and harm at school. Parents looked to him for support—they begged him defend their children from the sexual advances of one of his staff. Principal Young failed both his young students and the parents of those students. Now, as the principal of Skyline High School, he cannot be expected to uphold a standard of school safety.

Principal Young cannot be trusted to defend the physical and emotional safety and well-being of any student--whether an 11 year old in elementary school or a young woman about to apply to college, any student who is the victim of sexual violence on or off school grounds deserves to receive the full support of school, district, and law enforcement officials in investigating and prosecuting such grave and reprehensible crimes. Principal Young has proven that he cannot and will not provide this support and defense to his students. As such, I and my peers call for an immediate tender of his resignation.

John Carl Leede was not arrested until May 20, 1999—-three years after Principal Young first began receiving complaints about Leede’s molestation of children. It was not until the summer of 1999 that the Northshore School District found probable cause to fire Leede. It was not until June 8, 2000, that Leede was found guilty: his teaching certificate was revoked, he was required to register as a sex offender, and he was sentenced to 36 hours of counseling and a mere eight months in prison.

For four years, John Carl Leede’s rampant sexual abuse of children went literally unchecked and unquestioned by Principal Young. Had Mr. Young listened, sympathized, and investigated more—had he been willing to defend his students from molestation as was his primary duty as principal—numerous victims of Leede’s advances would have remained innocent. Had Principal Young done his duty, these victims would not be victims.

Thank you,

Kimberly _______

Senior, _____ High School

Please visit the following websites for more information:

This absolutely infuriates me, and I plan to campaign against this principal long and hard until he is fired or tenders his resignation. I also emailed this to the author of the article, and please feel free to get in touch with him regarding this letter as well.
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