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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Dan DeWitt: Protect students or be fired

9

April

Last week we wrote about a Hernando County school psychologist being suspended for 10-days without pay after she failed to properly report an alleged rape. Here's Hernando Times' columnist Dan DeWitt's take on the story:

LaVerne Kalafor — suspended school psychologist — has lots of excuses, lots of reasons she got a raw deal.

There should have been signs posted at Eastside Elementary School reminding staffers to report suspected child abuse to the state hotline. And on Feb. 13, when a second-grader told Kalafor that she'd been raped by her stepfather, no such signs were in sight.

Kalafor tried to tell assistant principal Heather McCarty about the girl's report before leaving for the day, but McCarty was nowhere to be found.

And in an email on Monday to Times staffer Danny Valentine, Kalafor denied that a note that she left for McCarty was difficult to decipher: "Why would anyone leave an important note that would be illegible?"

Good question. But here are some better ones:

Why did Kalafor merely leave a note when the safety of a child was at stake?

How could she, with more than 30 years of school experience, not know that state guidelines require her to immediately report suspected abuse?

How could someone with her training — or, really, anyone with a heart or brain — allow a child to board a school bus back to a potential abuser?

How could she leave the girl's side?

Click here to read more of the story.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 4:40pm]

    

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