Academy of Dover Confirms Teacher Struck Student And Did Not Call The Police or Attorney General Office

Today at the Charter School Accountability Committee meeting at the Delaware Department of Education, Academy of Dover confirmed the “incident” alluded to in the letter the DOE sent them last week. A teacher struck a student but no details were given about the nature of the assault. Academy of Dover Head of School Cheri Marshall did state the teacher was immediately suspended without pay, and then terminated with board approval. But then it was said the teacher resigned, so the details are a little fuzzy. This is the same school that insisted former Head of School Noel Rodriguez “resigned”, but it was confirmed today by board member Nancy Wagner that Rodriguez was physically removed from the building. This completely contradicts Marshall’s firm “he resigned” to me when I called the school for confirmation on Rodriguez’s termination last fall. I guess when an employee is terminated at the school, the official stance is “they resigned”.

Marshall did say it was a student they had issues with all year long and numerous calls were made to the child’s mother. The mother was immediately called when the incident happened. The mother declined to press charges. However, there was no mention by Marshall or any member of the board about contacting either the police or the Attorney General’s office to report the crime. It is required by Delaware state law to report all incidents of this nature. When asked again if there was any other part of this investigation, Marshall said no. The DOE informed Academy of Dover the mother contacted them about the incident.

In regards to Noel Rodriguez, it was confirmed by Wagner that Rodriguez and several staff members had tumultuous encounters. But this did not come out until after Rodriguez left, as Wagner stated staff were too scared to come to the board. The suspicious purchase card transactions were described as a very stealth-like operation by Rodriguez in setting up different accounts. The board were not even aware of these many purchases until last fall when their annual auditor notified them of several red flags coming up. Wagner also reported the former board members all had very close ties with Rodriguez, much like Family Foundations Academy’s former board was set up during the Moore/Brewington era.

The Mosaica $2 million judgment came up, and the school stated they were not ignoring the judgment and tried for many years to work things out with Mosaica. It surprised the school when the court overruled on a previous ruling and the judgment was enforced last month. The judge involved in that ruling will be hearing arguments against his ruling on June 22nd. The State Board of Education and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy will make their decision on June 18th. Academy of Dover’s attorney did state an agreement could be worked out between the two parties prior to that court date, but nothing is firm or in writing. When asked how long the new court ruling could take, their attorney said it could be the same day or it could take weeks.

In my opinion, even with all the changes the board may have made, it is obvious there were and continue to be serious issues with the school’s ability to effectively educate its 300 students. With financial judgments and past mismanagement, employee theft of state funds, a teacher striking a student, and the board’s inability to realize what is going on until after the fact, I fear for the students at this school. If I were their parents, I know what my choice would be. A board should be more aware of what is going on at a school, and the fact the teachers and staff were afraid of the head of school speaks volumes about the board’s decision making ability.

13 thoughts on “Academy of Dover Confirms Teacher Struck Student And Did Not Call The Police or Attorney General Office

  1. Assuming that you were actually there, and not distorting facts and inflating your own importance as usual, WHAT DOES IT REALLY MATTER? Goodness knows the AG’s office doesn’t actually investigate or go after any charter leaders who do bad things – sadly, this would just be another matter sitting on a post-it that no one acts on.

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    • Yes, DL, I was actually there. And there you go with that whole “inflating your own importance as usual” again. The fact that you won’t comment on the heart of the article, only what you feel others won’t do in comparison to what the school didn’t do, makes me wonder if you care about the students in this school. The ones that are the victims in all this adult nonsense. Cause I’m not hearing a lot of discussion about that. I’m not hearing much about how violence from a teacher to a student may have traumatized other kids in the classroom. Cause that’s the kind of thing we just don’t talk about, right? Don’t pretend to know my motivation for anything, cause you are clueless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If this is really about helping kids, rather than spending all this time and energy creating sensationalized headlines and getting your picture taken and dropping names, you’d be working with schools and parents and kids directly to make things better.

    You may think you’re a hero for “shedding light” on issues, but you’re too lazy to get the issues right – resulting in hysterical nonsensical writing that isn’t credible and net harm to the system, parents, and kids.

    In the hours you spent writing this post and going to hearings and commenting on FB and Twitter and whatever, you could have done a lot of outreach to the parents at AOD, helped navigate the parent through the system, worked with the teachers to learn about proper procedure, and any number of things that would have added value. You can tell yourself whatever you want, but your actions speak for themselves.

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    • DL, or whoever you are this week, how do you propose I do this “outreach” to parents at AoD. How do I get in there to work with the teachers? I’m another parent who is sick to death of the lies and fraud these schools are committing. How can you navigate parents through “the system” when that very same system is corrupt, broken and filled with cover-ups. Thank you very much for your advice, but I will write this blog how I see fit. You claim to know everything, so please, shed some light on what the issues are. Define the “value” you speak of, because from my vantage point, your attempts to discredit me through your various “anonymous” pseudonyms shows me your intentions are much less than honorable. The things you want me to do, why don’t you do it? In the meantime, I’ll continue shedding light in my “nonsensical” way. Sounds like you follow me around a lot, I would have to wonder why that is. I think you have much bigger fish to fry there DL, and we both know it. You can attack the person actually revealing this information, the bulk of which is available through public record or public meetings, or you too can attack the system… unless you are already a part of it, which makes your intentions more than obvious.

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  3. And just to prove that you’re intelligent enough to act as a spokesperson for parents and students, would you please dispense with the disingenuous logical fallacies of arguments by silence and incredulity (I know those are big words, I hope you can figure out how to Google the definitions), and do your readers the courtesy of answering two direct questions:

    1) If the AG’s office has refused to take action on the other bad people doing bad things in charters (for almost a year), what do you expect the AG’s office to do for this parent?

    2) Why do you blame everyone but the AG’s office and AOA, and never them?

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    • I can’t speak for the AG’s office. I don’t write a blog about the AG’s office. If you want to, be my guest. Why do you refuse to blame the charter leaders and boards who ALLOW students to be put in harms way by their selfish and callous actions, all in the realm of protecting their own self-interests?

      So if I understand this correctly, I should be going after Matt Denn and Tom Wagner because charter school leaders go bad and decide to steal money and lie and cover up stuff. Because it must assuredly be Denn and Wagner’s fault, right? Wake up DL, your glass house is shattering…

      As for the “other” bad charter leaders, all I know is some type of settlement agreement was reached with the FFA duo. So what should I be blaming Denn and Wagner for? I actually heard Academy of Dover try to protect themselves today by blaming the state accounting system for an ex-leader getting away with years of personal theft. While it may have made it easier for him to do it, he still chose to do it. He still chose, every time he hit yes on “do you accept these charges”, to steal taxpayer money. This was a leader of children, a person who was supposed to guide a school to success. Instead, he and others have shamed this school, shamed these students. Parents will be getting a letter from the school letting them know they may have four months to switch schools cause Academy of Dover may be closing down. And it keeps happening over and over and over, all over the country. But let’s blame the state governments for the choices of greed. Wake up!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. See, I asked for a direct answer. Clearly, you don’t understand what that means, or are unable to answer a simple question. So to distract from all that, you yell about a lot of things and hurl blame and try to change the subject and make assumptions and yell about other things so we all think you know so much. Just so you know, you’re doing that badly too.

    There is plenty of fault here. I’m not so simple-minded or afraid of making a nuanced argument that I am laying the blame at the feet of any one party. BIG problems like this involve failures at multiple levels – the classroom teacher, school leadership, the board, the authorizer, and a lot of issues in the bigger system (lack of training for special education teachers, lack of information and support for parents with special needs, etc.) There is no question that multiple people are at fault.

    But if you’re going to criticize someone for not reporting an issue to the AG or AOA, the reporting to the AG or AOA has to actually be a bad thing. Neither agency has done SHIT, despite each one having multiple legal obligations. In this case, you might as well be shouting “OMG – AOD Didn’t Call the Tooth Fairy!” because the tooth fairy is about as likely to help the parents and the students of the state as a whole. (More likely, maybe. A lot of kids got money from the Tooth Fairy last year, but people who steal money from schools still walk free with stolen goods in their houses.)

    If you want to be taken seriously for calling for change for the system as a whole, you can’t blame only certain actors. If you want to do a service to the people of Delaware, and push all of these other forces in the right direction, you would do well to use your pulpit to put pressure on these two offices to oversee everyone that they are legally obligated to oversee. It makes sense, it’s the right thing to do, it supports all of your objectives, and it will make for real and enduring change.

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    • So now we are calling ourselves “Cathy”? What’s wrong, did DL, Ted, Eleanor or Walter not fit the theme of this post? You are quite the chameleon my friend, but you are too arrogant to catch on to the simple fact that you are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs a blind person could see. I was wondering where you disappeared to. Thanks for answering the question without even realizing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Regardless… it shows the serious underside of Charter Schools.. If you give someone unlimited power with no accountability, you get trash…

    Charters are trash, It’s in their charter! In fact they have so many problems they have to roll consistent yahtzes just to have everything happen right…

    Time to get rid of them.

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  6. Pingback: Charter School Employee Strikes Student; (But Did Not Strike The Deputy). | kavips

  7. Have you reached out to local/state media? It is almost impossible to believe that if there is documented information (attachments from DOE, etc.) about a child being abused in a public school that this can only be found on wordpress blogs. People have a right to know so that they can make conscious choices for their children’s futures.

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