On February 20, 2013 The Schilling Show issued a series of three questions (restated below) to members of the Albemarle County School Board regarding convicted sexual batterer—and current Albemarle County Supervisor—Chris Dumler.
Heretofore completely silent, four of seven school board members have issued responsive statements. To date, board members Barbara Mouley, Pam Moynihan, and board Chair, Steve Koleszar have not acknowledged The Schilling Show’s initial inquiry.
Jason Buyaki and Eric Strucko have called for Dumler’s resignation and a discussion of school visitation policy changes. Ned Galloway is nauseated by the experience and has requested that Chris Dumler not visit Albemarle County Schools.
Original questions and Diantha McKeel’s response follows:
Q1: 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?
A: All Albemarle County policies are based on State of Virginia Code. As school board members we may have personal opinions regarding a multitude of legal issues but our position as leaders of the school division require that we follow state law. Our school division principals, administrators and school board attorney have an excellent working relationship with the police and the courts and are notified of those individuals determined to be of concern and a process is in place to determine their access to our schools. Mr. Dumler was not convicted of a crime involving children and must be treated in the same manner as any AC citizen convicted of the same crime. If we were to apply this burden evenly we would have to run criminal background checks on everyone who comes on school property as many citizens have similar convictions.
Q2: 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?
A: As you have stated on your show,”public policy should not be made or changed based on a single situation”. And, school board members have no power to over-ride state law. However,I am always willing to have a public discussion at the board level about improving school policy, based of the best advice from our staff and school board attorney. I am confident our elected state legislative representatives are aware of this community discussion and will decide if it rises to the level of changes to current law.
Q3: Will you personally call for Mr. Dumler to resign from his position? Why or why not?
Mr. Dumler is not a member of the school board and it is inappropriate for me to weigh in on his future on another board. My opinion carries no weight in law and would not be based on an understanding of the evidence or facts surrounding his conviction and for plea deal. I do have respect for our judicial system and the judges and attorneys involved in the case. I trust their ability to weigh the facts and act appropriately on behalf of our community. There is a legal process in place for Mr. Dumler’s constituents to follow if they choose. However, I am concerned regarding the pain and acrimony this event has caused within our community and hope that it will soon be resolved. I want high quality education to be the focus of our school division work.
Filed Under: Government and Governance
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.