I was a very involved parent when our son attended Denkmann Elementary in Rock Island because I think education is a two-way street. Teachers need the support of parents at home to ensure that students are learning. As they say, learning doesn't stop when kids leave school.

Principal John Freiden and his staff were exceptional educators, and partners, and Denkmann really had the atmosphere of family.

When our son moved on to Washington Junior High, we stepped back, believing it was time for him to develop good study habits on his own.  A story came to light that has me questioning that decision.

As Barb Ickes reported in the Quad City Times yesterday, parents whose daughters were alleged victims of sexual assault by a male student at Washington are struggling to get answers as to what happened, and how the school staff responded, and in this case, failed to protect the second alleged victim after the first incident.

Our families experience at Washington is mixed. Teachers have been excellent with their communication and concern for students. The front office has been hit and miss in their response to issues like the parent portal - that allows parents to review grades and keep an eye on process from a distance - not functioning for the entire first half of the year.

This issue is obviously much more serious than a simple parent portal. As the father of a student, you can bet I think all parents of Washington students deserve very frank answers as to exactly what occurred, how Washington staff failed to respond to prevent a second incident, and what steps they are taking to avoid future assaults, and improve their response when and if another incident does occur.

- Craig


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