A few weeks before the violent assault at Howard High School of Technology, a group of Howard students jumped and beat up a student at Freire Charter School, in the mid-town Brandywine section of Wilmington. How come we haven’t heard about this? Because even though the Wilmington Police Department wants to act, they can’t. Apparently there is a memorandum of understanding between Howard High School of Technology and the Wilmington Police Department. There is a video of the incident but Howard refuses to name the students from their school. And they don’t have to because of the agreement with Wilmington P.D.
I searched high and low for this agreement, and the only reference to it came from the New Castle County Vo-Tech District’s Student Handbook:
While I doubt this is the real Memorandum of Agreement with Wilmington Police Department, I am hard pressed to find any justification for Howard’s administration to withhold the names of their students that assaulted another school’s student off their premises.
So what exactly is going on with this school and why is the district downplaying everything? They say their school is safe, but the things coming out indicate otherwise. As well, Howard’s school psychologist resigned February 5th of this year according to their February board minutes:
While it is not known if Howard hired a new psychologist since they haven’t updated their board minutes since, Randolph is still listed on the Staff Directory of Howard’s website. The school has a Principal, three Assistant Principals, and three Guidance Counselors.
I have to know: What kind of world are we living in when the police can’t act because a school is protecting students? Something is seriously wrong with this school and I am afraid more students are going to get hurt. What happened to Amy Francis-Joyner was an unspeakable tragedy, but no one else is tackling the problems with the administration at this school. How many more students will be hurt or even die before this district wakes the hell up?
You would think their Board of Education would say something, but they have not issued any press releases or talked to anyone publicly about what happened and continues to happen at Howard. Like the Delaware State Board of Education, vocational district boards in Delaware are appointed by the Governor of Delaware. That’s right. They were appointed by Governor Markell. And our Delaware Secretary of Education… where does he come from? New Castle County Vo-Tech.
I saw a segment on Channel 6 ABC News from Wednesday about the charges filed against the three students involved in Amy’s murder. They interviewed a student who said he is not allowed to talk about it. Excuse me? I knew the district put a gag order on the teachers but now they are doing it with students. So the next time I see Superintendent Dr. Vicki Gehrt at Legislative Hall or some education meeting and she wants to give me one of her indignant looks, know that she is withholding vital information about the safety of one of her schools. You can look like the wounded party, but your school is out of control and you damn well know it. You can choose to ignore the situation and risk the safety of more students or you can actually do something about it. Or the board can replace her. Either way, students’ lives are far more important than the illusion this district is casting.
Just this past Monday, Howard Principal Stanley Spoor rather arrogantly told students and the press to not believe everything you hear and say on social media. Well Mr. Spoor, maybe when the school and the district starts owning up to what is REALLY going on there, then you can start preaching from your pedestal. Until then, please keep your students safe and make sure there is adequate coverage in your school to watch students.