Jason Buyaki, Rivanna District representative to the Albemarle County School Board, and Eric Strucko, Samuel Miller District representative, independently have called for the resignation of embattled Albemarle County Supervisor, Chris Dumler.
Among an otherwise stone-silent school board, both members cite concern over Dumler’s sexual battery conviction, the message projected by his continued presence on the Board of Supervisors, and Dumler’s ability to freely roam Albemarle County schools without escort.
Buyaki suggests changing school board policy on sex offenders so that: “any individual who has been convicted of sex crime should be escorted at all times as a precaution and preventative method.” Strucko says he’s “open” to considering such a revision.
As of publication time, Albemarle County School Board members, Diantha McKeel (vice chair), Ned Galloway, Steve Koleszar (chair), Pam Moynihan, and Barbara Mouley, had not responded to The Schilling Show’s request for comment.
Read below for questions asked of the Albemarle County School Board, and for responses received from Strucko and Buyaki:
Schilling Show inquiry:
From: Rob Schilling
Date: February 20, 2013 10:09:19 AM EST
To: School Board <email@example.com>
Subject: Media Inquiry: Request for Comment on Supervisor Dumler
Dear Albemarle County School Board Member,
In light of Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler’s conviction on sexual battery charges, I’d like your individual comment on the current situation.
- Current Albemarle County School Board policy does not bar Mr. Dumler from visiting Albemarle County school property while students are present. Do you have any concerns regarding Mr. Dumler being on Albemarle County school property while children are present?
- In light of the Dumler situation (an elected convicted sexual batterer who can roam our schools), do you believe Albemarle County School Board policy needs amending? If so, how?
- Will you personally call for Mr. Dumler to resign from his position? Why or why not?
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to these queries.
Jason Buyaki response:
From: Jason Buyaki
Date: February 20, 2013 10:34:32 PM EST
To: Rob Schilling
Subject: RE: Media Inquiry: Request for Comment on Supervisor Dumler
- Yes, I do have concerns. Sadly, sexual offenses seem to have an upward trend in our society. While Mr. Dumler’s actions were not against children, we must take necessary precautions to safeguard our children. Mr. Dumler was a community leader whom citizens and students could look to as an exemplar, however, he pled guilty and was convicted of a grievous crime of hurting a woman or women. Clearly, this in not ethical or moral behavior by the standards our our society. I believe that our nation succeeds only when we have leaders of solid ethical and moral standards, who strive to live up to that code daily. Sometimes our leaders fail such as the case with Mr. Dumler.If Mr. Dumler is on school grounds, what message does it send to our students? That to harm women is acceptable and that there are no short and long term consquences for those that would perpetrate such harmful, unethical, and immoral acts? Some, but not all students would most certainly perceive it that way. The overarching message would be one of tolerance for such behavior, which I do not condone (the behavior or the tolerance of such behavior). Mr. Dumler will always carry that baggage every time he steps onto school property.As a side note and one that parallels our current conversation, February is Teen Dating Violence Month. We should aim to teach students, at home preferably but domestic abuse defeats that kind of message, that one whom harms another in a relationship will certainly do it again without quality intervention. In truth, the best result is for the harmed one to exit the relationship and report the incident.
- It is the policy of the Albemarle Schools that all visitors report to the office of the school they are visiting, state the reason, collect a visitor badge, and carry on with their business, most times unescorted by school personnel. Our policy KNA: Sex Offenders on School Property would not apply to Mr. Dumler’s crime because he was not convicted of a violent sexual offense according to Virginia law. Our policies have procedures and precautions for allowing individuals who are registered sex offenders onto school grounds under careful supervision.I have come to the logical conclusion that any individual who has been convicted of sex crime should be escorted at all times as a precaution and preventative method. Policy KNA does not have any provisions for such, and therefore a change should be enacted.
- If Mr. Dumler was an employee of the School Division, he would most likely be terminated from his employment with Albemarle County Public Schools. As I wrote previously, we must have moral and ethical leaders and the public must hold their leaders accountable. While nothing in Virginia code requires Mr. Dumler to resign, it is the responsible and reasonable course of action and I am astonished that incident has gone this far. I call for Mr. Dumler to resign and let the healing process begin and ask that the Board of Supervisors hold a special election at the nearest opportune time to allow the residents of the Scottsville Magisterial District to elect a new representative.
Eric Strucko response:
From: “Strucko, Eric J *HS”
Date: February 21, 2013 08:06:50 AM EST
To: ‘Rob Schilling’
Subject: RE: Media Inquiry: Request for Comment on Supervisor Dumler
I received a few emails outlining the parameters of Virginia law with respect to sexually violent offenses and our school policy regarding access to buildings/grounds. Chris Dumler’s case apparently does not rise to the legal standard of an offense triggering banning from school property according to the policy. That said, one of my board colleagues wants to explore the matter further and examine if we would considering requiring an escort for Chris Dumler when on school property. I am open to having that discussion. Chris Dumler’s admission of guilt, subsequent conviction, and the nature of his offense are serious matters to me.
Regarding my view as to whether or not Chris should step down…my personal feeling is yes…given the seriousness and nature of the offense and his admission of guilt, I think the proper course of action for him is to resign his seat. I realize that Virginia law does not mandate his removal from office, but such a criminal conviction does not reconcile with what I think is the standard of behavior for someone holding elected office.
Filed Under: General
About the Author: Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.