I received an anonymous message this morning concerning Delaware Met. We may be entering a new level of abuse inflicted by this school on their students. As if everything already happening isn’t bad enough, I am now hearing about issues concerning the school hiring prison guards to “control kids”, multiple suspensions, and issues with confinement. While these allegations have not been vetted, it follows the alarming trends with this school. To that effect, I emailed the DOE, Governor Markell, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn, and some legislators in regards to this. I also called the Delaware DOE about this and left a message. I did receive a return call just minutes ago from them and I advised the Charter School Office of the information conveyed to me. Someone needs to do the right thing and get in there and shut this place down. There are many students with disabilities in this school and not following, implementing, or creating an IEP for them is a recipe for disaster. Below is the email I sent out not long ago:
From: Kevin Ohlandt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Nagourney Jennifer <email@example.com>; Blowman David (K12) <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Godowsky Steven <email@example.com>; Markell Jack <firstname.lastname@example.org>; O’Mara Lindsay (Governor) <email@example.com>; Denn Matthew (DOJ) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Williams Kimberly (LegHall) <email@example.com>; Kowalko John (LegHall) <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Baumbach Paul (LegHall) <email@example.com>; Sean Matthews <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Gray Teri (K12) <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:54 AM
Subject: Delaware Met
Good morning all,
I received an anonymous and very troubling message this morning concerning the Delaware Met. As I’m sure you all know, this school is under formal review. But if this message is true, there could be human rights violations going on at this school, in current time. I know most of us don’t see eye to eye on education policies, but I’m sure we can all agree that no student in Delaware should have any rights violated whatsoever.
The message I received concerns many of the items already covered in Del Met’s formal review letter, but also issues concerning the hiring of prison guards, multiple suspensions and issues of “confinement”. The last of these concerns me greatly. Many of these students may have IEPs and Federal and State law clearly indicates matters of punishment for students with disabilities. Confinement sounds very serious, and I fear for these students safety.
I’m not sure who has to get in there, but something needs to be done. This school is out of control and something beyond a formal review needs to take place immediately if these types of things are going on.
Thank you for your time, and I appreciate any response to this very disturbing situation.
I strongly urge parents of students in this school to go public with what they know. Do not let this school intimidate you or your child. If what I am hearing is true, I would highly recommend you do not send your child to this school. Let the cards fall where they may, but if it is a matter of safety and human rights, please do the right thing for your child. This is a wake-up call for all of us in Delaware, and I am letting you know I care about your kids. I have never issued a message like this before, but look out for your kids. I strongly commend the DOE for doing the right thing with putting this school on formal review, but this has now become a matter beyond them if these events are occurring. We need to keep our children safe, first and foremost.
Who is actually running this school? Is it Innovative Schools? The Delaware Leadership Executive Director who stated he would farm out the “day-to-day” operations to an intern? What is going on inside this place?
To that end, parents need to name names and let those with the ability to do something operate out of full transparency so they can get in there. Schools need to be a safe haven for children, but this sounds more like prison conditions. I won’t deny there are probably some bad behaviors going on with some teenagers in this school, but if the school is unable to adequately deal with this than the center will not hold. I heard from another parent of severe bullying going on at this school and the administration not dealing with this properly. Something needs to be done…NOW!!!!
UPDATED, 12:10pm: This developing situation is being looked at very seriously by the Delaware Department of Education. As well, I am being told there are two rival gangs within this school and this seems to be the heart of the issues. Someone is going to get killed in this school if something doesn’t change immediately. We need all hands on deck here, and parents should be very concerned. I am begging the school: If you cannot handle this, do not hide. Don’t think you can wave a magical wand and fix this. If it is beyond your ability to control, please, just shut it down. The Delaware Met is not an alternative school. You do not have the necessary supports to handle those students. Do the right thing.