Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

More questions than answers in school hiring scandal

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As a parent and grandparent, I have been quite vocal about the poor state of training the school resource officers — sheriff’s deputies — have in Johnston County and the fact that only 15 out of 46 county schools will have them in fiscal year 2019-20. This leaves about 25,000-30,000 kids exposed and without in-school protection. I don’t know the true number of the kids in our elementary schools because the school board and school administration won’t tell me.

As a veteran police officer and having just completed my second year as a federal background investigator conducting background checks from public trust through top secret, I have to wonder why Johnston County Public Schools is hiring criminals. Apparently, I should be more concerned about the teachers/personnel who are already inside the schools versus any external threat. How many more are there? How and why did this happen? Whoever handles security measures/background checks for the schools should have their own backgrounds, transcripts, experience and education checked, as they have done a very poor job and further undermined the confidence parents and grandparents should have in the protection of our kids in schools.

Why did the investigation into the teacher in Cleveland take so long by the sheriff’s office? Why is the sheriff’s office only beginning the investigation into the second teacher after school is already dismissed for the summer? Who hired and allegedly vetted these people? What led to investigating them? Will intelligent, reasonable and intellectual thought go into solving these issues?

Well, we’ll probably never know, because they fall under the huge “personnel matter” umbrella that Johnston County uses. Don’t expect a public forum where we as parents and grandparents can ask questions about it, as the school board and Superintendent Renfrow will not tolerate such questions.

Jim Davenport