Changes Come To Plano ISD School After Teacher Arrest
MURPHY (CBSDFW.COM) - A campus-wide parents meeting following the arrest of a coach and teacher on indecency with a child has brought changes to Plano ISD’s Hunt Elementary School.
The conviction last year of a teacher charged with abusing two students and the recent arrest of another on charges of sexual misconduct with a child upset a lot of parents at Hunt Elementary.
Plano ISD superintendent Richard Matkin held a meeting with parents, but it ended in chaos because angry parents weren’t getting the answers they wanted.
Now, the district is announcing it will double the number of security cameras at Hunt Elementary. Any class or office doors without windows will be replaced and additional counselors and training for staff is being added.
The letter, sent home with parents on Friday, was shared with local media:
October 26, 2012
Dear Hunt Elementary Parents,
On the heels of the parent meeting hosted at your campus, I want to offer my thanks to the many families who chose to attend and offer information about immediate measures to be taken to address this situation.
It was with the best of intentions that the district hosted the parent meeting on October 23 to connect the Hunt Elementary School parents and families with additional resources and information. I realize that many walked away from the meeting feeling unheard, and I want to convey my apologies for this sentiment. However, from that meeting and the continued input I have been receiving from parents, please know that I clearly see the residual hurt and concern that exists within this school community, and I want to share the following details about your school:
- Additional cameras will be added to gymnasiums and common areas. The current plan being implemented is to increase from 40 cameras to 88 cameras.
- All solid doors on offices and classrooms are currently being modified to contain glass/windows.
- Additional counseling staff will be assigned to the campus.
- A full-time assistant principal will be assigned to the campus.
- All paper and window coverings will be removed from doors and interior windows; however, security systems for lock-ins, lock-downs and storm procedures will be followed when necessary.
- Members of the campus leadership team will be in every classroom on a daily basis.
- Training will be provided for Hunt Elementary School personnel related to the particular issues faced this month.
- The district will engage a third-party review of our human resources practices and procedures to validate current processes.
Staff members are working to answer every question received at the community meeting. I would ask the community to respect this process as the district is required to comply with the request of law enforcement to avoid any action by the district that could compromise current or future investigations. The district must also review answers from a legal perspective to protect the rights of any potential victims, witnesses and/or accused individuals. Many of the questions posed at the meeting involved information that, if provided in response, would violate legal protections against disclosure. These answers will be posted on the Hunt Elementary School website shortly.
Multiple messages will be coming your way informing you of next steps. You will receive the updated Q&A from the October 23 community meeting. You can help by thoroughly reading the newly updated Q&A document. There will be a notice sent regarding parent engagement opportunities with campus and district leadership. Look for these messages on your campus website, via eNews and by hardcopy notices.
It is without a doubt that this is a time for us to focus on the safety of children and to make diligent efforts to provide a secure learning environment. Please be assured that I am committed to the students, parents and staff at Hunt Elementary School.
Superintendent of Schools
Plano Independent School District