Parents leave Roland Grise support meeting with mixed emotions

Updated: Feb. 5, 2020 at 9:33 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - After a week of turmoil within the New Hanover County School district following the arrest of band instructor Peter Frank,the district hosted a support night for parents of Roland Grise Middle and Hoggard High.

Representatives from the Carousel Center, Coastal Horizons, district senior staff, school administration and law enforcement were there to offer support and resources to victims of possible crimes.

As parents left the meeting, one mother said it started out on the right note. She did not wish to be named for fear of retaliation against her children who attend Roland Grise.

“At first the meeting seemed to be going pretty well. They took all of our questions and answered them per se but when it came to accountability, everything sort of gets skirted,” she said.

School board members and administrators have publicly spoken on what steps they are taking to prevent sexual abuse against students, but many parents have demanded accountability for things that happened in the past.

Frank was the third school district employee to be charged for sex crimes with students in the last two years. Additionally, search warrants confirm there were notes in his personnel file about past instances he was accused of inappropriate behavior with students.

“It’s looking forward we’re going to do A, B, C and D. But I want to know looking back why A, B, C, and D were not done. Why everything was swept under the rug, why no one is being held accountable and nobody is taking the blame except Judy Justice. I want to know why. Why?” she asked.

She said parents asked many questions that were not answered and wants to see action.

“Accountability. I want someone to say ‘yes it’s our fault. We dropped the ball and we are going to do everything we can to fix it starting with getting rid of everybody,’” she said.

When asked about her confidence in Dr. Tim Markley’s ability to serve as superintendent, she, like many others, called for him to resign.

“The superintendent? No. He needs to do the right thing and resign like five minutes ago,” she said.

Another parent, Cara Emerson, viewed the meeting differently.

“I thought it was a great meeting. I think it gave us as parents the opportunity to voice our concerns as well as our frustration,” Emerson said.

But when asked when she had confidence in the school board and superintendent she was not as positive.

“Honestly, no.”

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