As reported yesterday here, Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education candidate Taryn Bowman, who is running for the District 4 seat against incumbent Nancy Meister, closed her appearance at the Sarah Smith PTA candidate forum with a strong statement.
Dan Whisenhunt at the Reporter Newspapers followed up with Ms. Bowman (see here) and reports,
Reporter Newspapers asked Bowman to explain what, if anything, a school board member could do in response to a report of a rape at a public school.
“Ms. Meister is responsible for holding the superintendent accountable,” Bowman said. “To date, we (parents, community members) have not been informed about the outcome of the sexual assault incident. That’s unacceptable. Ms. Meister is aware of the incident and she has not held the superintendent accountable regarding providing an update to parents about the reported assault. If I represented District 4, we would have an update by now. The reported assault happened last school year. A reported sexual assault is very serious and the students, teachers, parents and community members deserve to know what happened and to be reassured that their school is safe.”
Reporter Newspapers also asked,
And what about a student bringing a gun to school? What can a member of the Board of Education do to stop something like that? What would Bowman do if she were on the Board of Education?
“We need a comprehensive and effective safety and security plan. Ms. Meister can insist that her employee, the superintendent, develops and implements a safety plan that ensures that all students are safe,” Bowman said. “We must monitor incidents and measure the effectiveness of the plan. What is monitored is done; what is measured is done well. While it is everyone’s responsibility to help foster a safe environment for children, it is certainly an expectation that our board member holds the superintendent accountable and ensures that all students are safe. We need someone who will not stand on the sideline while students are assaulted. I will hold the superintendent accountable for providing a safe school environment for all students.”
My sense is that this story has a long way to go – as I hear more from the candidates on this, I will continue to update the story.