(The following letter was sent to The Schilling Show. The author wishes to remain anonymous out of safety concerns for the children involved):
Mr. Schilling, first and foremost, thank you for helping to bring this huge problem to light. I do imagine that these problems are happening at all the middle schools around here. The difference is that no one knows about what is happening, thus it is not worried about. I happen to have a child who is not at all comfortable with the happenings and shares everything they see and hear with me. It is shocking that more attention has not been paid to this. What is even more shocking was the reaction from the board members in attendance excluding. Mr. Strucko. Obviously there is a lot that goes on at Walton that I can share, however I cannot corroborate any of it. Sharing this info. with you only serves for me to try and fuel your fire in affecting change for these kids, which for me is what this is all about. Creating a school for my children where they are not scared. I am not naive to think that instances don’t or should not happen, the breakdown at Walton is at the top. They are not dealing with these issues (cursing at teachers, fondling in the hall, dress code) like they should. It has created a culture where these kids know that nothing will happen to them other than maybe a few words or LBD (lunch break detention). There are 2 people at the top here, it is hard to say that they are not responsible. Yes the happy faces were on last night and the correct phrasing was used in most cases, but really! They should be embarrassed. Are their egos that big that they cannot admit defeat and move on. They are being played like fools. Step up to the plate and make changes. All I heard from Ms. Dwier-Selden is the need to improve communication with the parents. If it ends with that, we are in trouble.
When home, the questions and answers that Ms. Selden-Dwier had prepared were shared with my child. My child sat down and read it, looked up, smiled, and asked if he/she was allowed to use the term “BS”. Sad that a child would be able to blow right through that smokescreen. On to the rumors, and only the major ones (cause those are the only ones that matter, right).
We can start at the beginning, when the principal search began for Walton last year. This is all second hand info., but evidently there was a search committee formed. They had a list of candidates that did not include Ms. Selden-Dwier. They narrowed it down then all the sudden she popped up on the list, but was not in the running. The selection people (school board?) took the evidence under advisement and appointed Ms. Selden-Dwier principal. Who? Where did she come from. Your guess is as good as mine, but maybe you should ask Pam Moran, they are good friends I hear.
Everyone surely has heard about the 2 students that were caught backstage in full intercourse. Was this consensual, I don’t know.
I hear they got 3 days suspension. Maybe this is county policy, but again students at that school were told by multiple staff members (I cannot confirm admin) not to share any of this info. with anyone who may ask about it. Waltongate continues. Where is administration during all of this. Why are kids wandering around the school when they should be in class?
I cannot count how many teachers (with and without tears) I have heard that have divulged their fear for themselves and the school. They are getting cussed at by 12 and 13 year olds in class, and when they are sent to the office, the kids return soon after with words of wisdom from “the office” to improve their life skills. These teachers are tired of the lack of support from admin. What they do is nothing, because it does not do any good. That is the culture we have created at Walton.
My plea to you Mr. Schilling is to not let this topic fall by the wayside. Walton is the example here, but this has sweeping consequences that can affect every school in this county. We need you to make things better for these kids that are scared to go to school. Yes that is right, scared. The first thing my child does when they walk in the door from school is head to the bathroom. That is because of the fear of what might happen to him/her or what they might see when they go in the bathroom. Smoking, illegal drugs, bullying etc.
It breaks my heart to hear a child say that they cannot believe no one cares enough to change this place (Walton) and that is what is being said.
I have heard from one to many that when they know you are the one talking, your child suffers. It is a shame. I realize that this may not be useable information without my name, but at least you know a bit more about the situation and maybe you can help spread the word.
A Concerned Parent