Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

'Huge campus disruption' at John Hopkins Middle



The rumors said there was a riot Friday at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg. And according to this email sent out last night by principal Claude Effiom, they weren't far off the mark.

Effiom goes into great detail about what he describes as a "huge campus disruption," which included two groups of boys squaring off in the courtyard after an alleged bullying incident and a large crowd of students who ran after them "like a mob expecting something new to happen." He doesn't mince words about the impact: J-Hop "received a severe black eye to our sense of safety, pride in our school and public image from visitors and parents who saw the worst of the school."

But Effiom also offers a plea to keep things in context: "Please, remember our problems of safety and extreme disrespect come from a limited, very limited number of students. They do need to be prevented from affecting our school climate in this manner, but at times like this, please do not forget that we have many fine students deserving of our love, protection, and support ... "

"I have worked to remove many difficult and challenging students from our school, but that has not been enough. I will be talking to district officials on Monday about my continued concern for your safety and dignity, but please help me by taking some time from these hardships to focus on our great kids, they really do need our reassurance that they will remain foremost in all we do."

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:52am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours