Protecting principals over children

A story in the Nov. 17 News and Observer, “N.C. shifts school crimes law,” makes me wonder if we have lost our collective minds in North Carolina (read the article at Our legislators and governor signed into law the decriminalization of school principals reporting suspected crimes, including sex offenses. It should not only be a crime but a felony crime to not report childhood sexual abuse. How could this bill become law? There was only one (yes one) dissenting vote. It is extremely weak-minded thinking that this “… will encourage principals to report more legitimately serious crimes without having to worry about being prosecuted themselves for not passing along every rumored instance of misbehavior.” What could be a more legitimately serious crime than child sexual abuse? Once again child sexual abuse is being minimized.

Why shouldn’t principals be afraid of prosecution? The fear of prosecution in and of itself is a substantial deterrent. Principals are educators and leaders of schools. When did they become experts in law enforcement? When did they become judge and jury of what should be reported? We already have a system in place that is staffed with experts — they are called the police. They are the trained professionals, not the principals. What kind of convoluted logic is used to give principals “breathing room to find out if it is worth reporting”? Equating the sexual abuse of a child to the stealing of a pencil or ice cream sandwich is a direct insult to all of us who have been sexually abused.

How can Gov. Purdue sign this bill into law watering down the already weak laws protecting our children? This in no way helps any child feel more protected. Big deal you could lose your job if you are principal. So what? SB394 protects principals over the protection of children. It just weakens an already weak system.

This new law should be repealed immediately and be replaced with a law that makes it a felony crime for anyone to not report a suspected sexual abuse. Our children deserve to be put first.

Everyone with children should be writing their legislators and Gov. Perdue to demand that this is law be reversed. If someday, heaven forbid, they have an issue of this nature, the law will already be in place and their child will be safer.

— Charles L. Bailey Jr.
Fuquay Varina, N.C.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.