When two constitutional officers from two different governmental entities have a disagreement, it can get messy. With a local press that loves to stoke the fire and never lets facts (or lack thereof) get into the way of a good story-- the conditions become even more fertile for disagreements.
I would like to hope that a recent, very regrettable and disgusting incident at Tate High School does not turn into something that takes on a life of its own; I hope this incident and the ensuing controversies, speculations, and prognostications do not create a wedge between school personnel, The Sheriff, SROs, Administration, Parents, students, and School Board Members. Hopefully, we can all concentrate on preventing incidents like this Tate H.S. assault from happening, and not play "rock em sock em robots" publically in the media over blame and responsibility.
But the Tate H.S. incident of March 1st --which was horrendous and disturbing-- continues to be discussed in the media. Today, a report concluded by the school district Investigator was released to the School Board and the local “press”.
In the report, we learn that an ECSO SRO was notified, in a luncheon meeting on March 2nd, of all information known up to that time by school personnel regarding the March 1st Incident. The notified SRO was assigned away from the school on March 3rd. Two days later, on March 4th, that SRO turned in a report that was apparently deficient, and that officer was reprimanded by his superiors in the ECSO.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff is characterized as being frustrated in an article in the PNJ ( “Tate High assault, silence probed--- School waited days to report alleged sexual assault to Sheriff's Office” PNJ 3-18-2011 ) – from that article: “the Sheriff's Office did not learn details of the Tate High School incident until three days after it occurred”
"We would have expected to have been notified immediately either directly to the Sheriff's Office or through our school resource officer with the specifics of this possible crime so we could make a reasoned determination how to approach it," Morgan said. ‘And that is the law.’”
Well, I guess a meeting between the SRO, Principal, and multiple Tate H.S. deans on March 2 (1 day after the incident), where the latest details of the incident were discussed at length, does not count as noticing the SRO of the incident?? Umm, okay. What, then, would constitute notice to the SRO?
But I digress.
This incident will be handled by the courts, and the guilty will be punished; hopefully the ECSO and the ECSD will not engage in an ugly, public fight over who was right and who was wrong, who did this right, and who did that right. Hopefully we can just get past that sort of posturing and ensure that communications are improved and investigations of this nature are handled better going forward--- By both agencies.
That’s what I’d like to see happen from this tragic event.