The mandatory reporter law in Georgia was strengthened in order to provide for the protection of children, not the overzealous prosecution of educators. The Cobb County School District is responsible for implementing a policy and training teachers and administrators about the law and mandatory reporting. Instead, CCSD seems to be conducting a roving witch hunt for those who do not report anything and everything in a school.
The situation harkens back to the time that Cobb Schools declared that a “Tweety-Bird trinket” was a weapon and suspended a student from school. These situations occur when common sense and reasonable judgment are lost.
Principal Crawford’s case appears to target a principal who had little to no involvement in the overall situation. The alleged rape never happened and the consensual touching between the two students occurred off campus. It would seem that the Awtrey counselor, assistant principal and the child’s mother all were satisfied that nothing occurred and the matter was closed.
The district’s own timeline says that Cobb DFACS said that the situation was not reportable under the law and the police department determined that no crime had occurred.
Despite all this information, the district has charged the principal as if it has nothing better to do. Apparently addressing drugs and gangs in schools is a secondary priority. How can a teacher, counselor or administrator do his job if the School District and DFACS and law enforcement cannot even get on the same page?
No one wishes for even a single act of child abuse to go unreported, but educators and administrators cannot reasonably be expected to educate children if they are looking over their shoulder and being second guessed and persecuted by the District. The District should be supporting educators, not punishing them for trying to do their jobs.
The career of Trudie Donovan was brought to an improper end, unfitting of her years of service. After being arrested, photographed, bonded out and then waiting two years she has finally been cleared, but she can never be restored. I hope her case becomes a lesson to the District for the future and that Mr. Crawford’s charges are dropped.