OUR VIEW: Lawsuits, secret deals undermine accountability

Rumors have been circulating for several years about a sex scandal at the Plymouth-Shiloh schools. A janitor supposedly walked in on an administrator and a teacher in flagrante delicto in December of 2004. Two years later, the board was presented evidence that convinced them to start a formal investigation, according to Superintendent James Metcalf.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

Rumors have been circulating for several years about a sex scandal at the Plymouth-Shiloh schools. A janitor supposedly walked in on an administrator and a teacher in flagrante delicto in December of 2004.

Two years later, the board was presented evidence that convinced them to start a formal investigation, according to Superintendent James Metcalf.

Three months later, Shiloh Elementary Principal Fayette Adams has resigned. Actually, she's on "administrative leave" through August (i.e. she's getting paid but she doesn't have to come to work) when her contract will be terminated two years early. There is no admission of guilt, and nothing will be put on her permanent record. And when she's interviewing for her next job, her references have agreed to "speak of this no more."

A cynic looking at this arrangement would be tempted to assume one of two things:

The agreement to his incident under the rug cuts both ways and is as much in the interest of the board and district administration as it is of Mrs. Adams perhaps there is some truth to the rumor that the school tried to cover the incident up before it decided to investigate it, for example.

Or, the cynic might think, the school doesn't think it can fire someone, even someone who had sex in a school with a subordinate without getting sued. (This convenient arrangement does nothing to ensure that the teacher, who has since moved out of state, does not sue the district for sexual harrassment.)

Either way, it's a sad commentary on our times. One of the key lessons in growing up is learning that actions are supposed to have consequences. How sad that the grown-ups in charge of teaching that lesson to our children have yet to learn it themselves.

One has to wonder, how apt was Adams, as principal of Shiloh, to wipe clean the records of her students and forgive and forget their indiscretions?

But these concerns are all academic. The real question is what if she gets hired somewhere else? Plymouth-Shiloh may simply be passing the problem on to the next guy and the next student body. And we all know what happens with problems that just get passed on and never get fixed: They get worse. So much for the Golden Rule.