Principal Suspended Over Dorchester Teaching Assistant Incident

BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Public School Department has place a school principal on unpaid suspension over her handling of a 2010 incident involving LeShawn Hill.

Hill is currently facing charges of lewd and lascivious behavior after a witness allegedly caught him and a 14-year-old non-verbal autistic teen with their pants undone in a classroom at the Harbor School in Dorchester.

Shortly after those charges surfaced, The King School Principal Jessica Bolt told Superintendent Carol Johnson that Hill may have been behind a second assault on a different victim at The King School in Dorchester in 2010.

Bolt had investigated the incident and determined the there was not reasonable cause to believe the child was put in danger.

But, according to Supt. Johnson, Bolt violated protocol by failing to report the incident to police.
“This is not the procedure that is clearly called for in our protocol, which calls for all staff members to report allegations of this type to the proper authorities so they may initiate an independent investigation,” Supt. Johnson said Friday. “This ensures that experts trained in detecting child abuse can talk to children, identity areas of concern, provide proper resources to families, and begin legal proceedings if necessary.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

State law “requires mandated reporters to immediately make an oral or written to DCF (The Department of Child and Families) when, in their professional capacity, they have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of 18 years is suffering from abuse and/or neglect.”

Supt. Johnson said she was disappointed by Bolt’s actions, but calls her “a talented and proven school leader.”

“We continue to have faith in her commitment to students’ well-being,” Supt. Johnson said.
All of Boston’s Principals and Headmasters have already begun retraining in proper reporting protocols.

Comments

One Comment

  1. gggrrramps says:

    Mr. Mayor,

    Your ‘Public School System’ has ‘ENABLERS’ in positions of authority & power, people who look the other way when confronted with tough situations…..Instead of doing their jobs they’re solution is to be ‘silent’ or cover it up by moving the problem to another school!

    Why is the ‘Peter Principal’ running rampant in your Schools? ……I’ll tell ya!

    Politics, Cronyism & Hacks…..

    A little 1st grader is ‘bullied by a fellow student & the School Leadership threatens the Lad & his family with a ‘Sexual Harassment Law suit!….You’re, they’re ‘silent ‘.

    Now two students maybe more, one a ‘Special Needs’ student who ends up in the hospital @ the hands (or some other extremity) of a School Official!…Then we find out it’s happened B/4 @ another School….How many more victims & Schools will be identified?

    There’s a ‘CANCER’ lurking the halls & Administrative Offices destroying young lives that are entrusted to ‘you’ Mr. Mayor & your ‘School Leadership….(where’s the ‘Elected School Committee’?)

    Given the growing number of victims, incidents & locations, you’ve got multiple cover up’s & ‘many’ doing the covering up!

    If the BPS has a ‘code of conduct’ those people who were involved S/BE fired & or indicted!

    IMO: There’s @ least 5 or more Administrators or employees involved in sweeping ‘stuff’ under the rug!

    “FIND THEM & FIX IT!

    Then tell us who!

    gramps

  2. dave says:

    one incident may be a misunderstanding but 2, this guy is a scumbag and should be locked up forever!!! ANYONE CONVICTED OF ANYKIND OF CHILD MOLESTATION OR ANY FORM OF SEUAL ABUSE SHOULD BE LOCKED UP FOREVER!!! IT HAS BEEN SHOWN WHEN THESE SCUMBADS GET OUT OF JAIL THEY ALWAYS GO BACK TO THE SAME BEHAVIOR!!! IF THEY WERE ABLE TO DO IT ONCE EVEN THINK IT THERE IS NO CHANGING THEM, ITS IN THEIR DNA AND YOUR NOT GONNA GET IT OUT!!!!

  3. Joan Hogan says:

    Their Is Absolutely No Excuse for The lack of Reporting of Any Incident Pertaining
    To A child Being abused or suspected of being abused. This Is Just How Boston
    Public Schools Cover up Incidents. I Had To File a Report on my own On behalf of my Autistic son When he was being Abused by a Teaching assistant . I took The School dept. to Court ,and The Judge ordered my son be transferred to another school, as In addition to summonsing The School Principal to Court. The School
    Dept Transferred the Aide to Another School, Instead of Firing her.

  4. bp says:

    The cover up in schools is only just coming to light. If you think the Catholic church sex abuse scandal was bad I am willing to bet the schools have them beat.

    There is NO EXCUSE for not reporting and protecting the alleged perp and not the victim.

    1. jshore says:

      Dear BP and Joan Hogan,

      This is an isolated case and is still being investigated. This article does not provide any information about what happened at the King. It only tells us that the principal didn’t follow protocol. Would she keep a sexual assault a secret? I doubt it. What information of child abuse at the King does this article present?

      So many unanswered questions, in my experience, a Special Ed Student and Paraprofessional rarely spend more than a few minutes away from the group to go to the bathroom. The BPS Special Ed classes are very small and they would be missed. Was this student in an inclusion class with a full complement of students? Was this the only paraprofessional in that inclusion class? Was this an elective class? The elective teacher might not have even known that the student was in the building because LeShawn Hill and the Special Ed student were coming from a different classroom!

      I am a teacher in the Boston Public Schools and have worked with many, fine, caring paraprofessionals. We work as a team in the best interest of the student. I want parents and families to know that and to feel that their child is safe. I hate to see these hard working paraprofessionals with big hearts demonized over this isolated incident. Paraprofessionals toilet students, and change their cloths if there are accidents. They are trained and help intervene if a student becomes assaultive. Many paraprofessionals follow students for years; some even follow individual students (in the case of one-to-one paraprofessionals) to middle and high school. They get to know the student, and their family, over time and advocate in the best interest of that student. Teachers couldn’t do their job without them!

      1. Liz says:

        I am so glad that you posted this comment! I also work at a BPS school and we take any form of abuse/harassment very seriously. In my school we have an inclusion model and my office is directly next to one of the severely special needs classrooms. The paras in that class are extremely caring and loving with our students and I agree that they are as hardworking as any other person in our school. There are many questions that are left unanswered right now, and it’s understandable that people want to know what it going on. But with that said, I do not think that all para-professionals/educators should be labeled as negligent/abusive because of this. There are so many teachers/school staff who are invested in these students and want to see them succeed and go far. I hope all of the effort & work in BPS is not overlooked because of this sad man’s actions!

      2. Joan Hogan says:

        The Principal And All School Staff Are Mandated Reporters. The Idea That They Need to be told and Trained on this Issue Is Stupidity And Negligent ! I am sure Their are Dedicated and Caring Staff , however, the Principal In this Case Caused
        Depraved Indifference To These Children.

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