An Open Letter To The Edgecombe County Public Schools Board Members In Reference To The Suspension Of Craig Harris Principal Of SouthWest Edgecombe High School After The Graduation Mess

First of all let me do an overview of how I see per the facts as I see them what lead up to the suspension of Craig Harris Principal SouthWest Edgecombe after he withheld a student diploma on Friday June 9, 2017. On the following Thursday June 15, 2017 Mr. Harris was suspended and it has not been officially announced why he was suspended by the Edgecombe County Public Schools.

I agree with Superintendent John Farrelly that it was unfortunate that during the media coverage several details were omitted, not considered or misconstrued.

First of all it is my opinion based on the facts as before me that Coach Shelton Langley 2017 Graduating Class Advisor and Craig Harris Principal did a great job on the ceremonial process until the mess happened with the student breaking the rules after he entered the stage. My video shows Coach Langley informing Mr. Harris that the student had pulled out an electronic device his cell phone and began reading a speech that was not approved. This were 2 violations, the student had an electronic device on the stage and then he began to read a speech that was not approved. This was an insult to the advisor, the principal, the entire staff, students, parents and all whom attended. But then on top of that there were more insult as the student was a part of contacting the local media sharing his story making appear that the advisor and the principal were disrespecting him when my video clearly shows that the advisor was informing the principal about the student has pulled out his cell phone but he attempt to make it look like Coach Langley and Principal Harris were disrespecting him by just talking behind him. At this time the principal could have insulted the student by standing up and asking for the microphone and if the student had not given it to him, the principal could have said the student was breaking 2 rules. The principal could have had the student removed from the stage which would have been another embarrassment. I feel the principal handled it well because he didn’t even say anything about the 2 rules being broken when he immediately followed the student’s speech as he stood and announced the students were officially graduates and that they could turn their tassels and march out.

The reason why the students do not receive their actual diploma during the ceremony is because if the student do something stupid it has been the rule of the day that the student will not walk and/or if they did something during the ceremony like the mess on June 9. This student marched and was told he would receive his diploma on the next week but Mr. Farrelly used his power to command Mr. Harris deliver the diploma on the following Sunday.

The media only shared the student’s side of the story and threw the principal under the bus. But this was done because Mr. Farrelly had already thrown the principal under the bus when he apologized to the student, said that Mr. Harris was was wrong for withholding the diploma sending a message to the community that it was illegal to withhold the diploma which is totally false. Mr. Farrelly said he didn’t see anything wrong with the speech.

Hell yeah something was wrong with the speech. He was not suppose to read a speech it was not approved. And then to read it from an electronic device he broke the rules.

I have a problem with Mr. Farrelly apologizing to the student because if Mr. Harris had done something wrong then he should have been the one to apologize.

Mr. Farrelly was wrong when he made the principal deliver the diploma on Sunday. I question Mr. Farrelly’s motive because he brought on more insult to the matter. The correct thing to do would have not to put Mr. Harris life in danger when he made him deliver the diploma on a Sunday. It is my opinion that Mr. Farrelly did that because the student was in the media on Monday being accepted into the Navy.

It is a damn shame that the message is out that it is okay for a student to disobey the principal but it is not okay for the principal to discipline a student while on his watch. The last time I checked the graduation is a school held event and considered the last day of school for graduating students. So since that is true then I don’t understand how Mr. Farrelly would throw his employee under the bus and making it appear as if the student was right. This is not like working in a store where “they” say the customer is always right. Oh hell no, I worked in the store business and if they were wrong I treated them as they were wrong.

It is a damn shame that because of Mr. Farrelly’s response to the student brought more insult to Edgecombe County and the nation because the student has been seen in the media almost worldwide if not worldwide. Nearly all of the media that they contacted, contacted me asking for permission to use my video and I told them to go to my blog for more information about the matter but I know of maybe 1 or 2 media outlets didn’t contact me but used my video anyway. I trust and believe that Mr. Farrelly shared with the media that he came in contact with the same information that he shared with me but the media intentionally chose not to tell the whole story. And when did the media stop reporting on the whole story? This is why it is so important that I cover meetings so because I give my spin on what took place but make the whole video available for everyone to see and they can form their own opinion.

I learned of Craig Harris Principal being suspended after it was sent to me by someone after they read it in the Rocky Mount Telegram. I have only heard rumors as to why. I don’t know the rumors to be true and since I don’t know Mr. Harris personally I have not been in contact with him. Matter of a fact I don’t even know if he live in Edgecombe, Nash County or where.

I have heard that Mr. Harris was suspended because of some grades being given to a student. First I heard that there were 2 subjects in question. The most recent I heard it was 1 subject in question. I heard that the student didn’t do well and was given an assignment to do and he didn’t complete it but the student was allowed to walk anyway. If this is true I hope that the principal suspension with pay should be enough. I also heard that there are a few young staff members at SouthWest that has a problem with being disciplined by Mr. Harris. I hope that Mr. Harris is not fired that he is not moved to another school and that this matter be brought to some closure on Monday evening during the special called meeting. On Friday I received a call from some retired educators and have spoke to them and some other stakeholders from the community that we want to attend the meeting on Monday to support Mr. Harris from what we have heard. Now if we do not have the correct information and his suspension grant more in depth of disciplinary actions then if we are to learn the truth, then we would accept the school board actions if they are not questionable.

If Mr. Harris is disciplined some kind of way and it is linked to the student I want to see the outcome correlate with the student. What do I mean? I will be waiting to see if Mr. Harris is disciplined some kind of way will the student diploma be taken back?

If I knew some staff members at SouthWest I would tell them that if the rumor is that school board is going to move Mr. Harris that they would request to meet with the school board in closed session to express how they support Mr. Harris. This was done several years ago when the rumor was a principal was going to be moved and the staff met with the school board and the principal was not moved.

I will be attending the meeting on Monday evening and I am somewhat emotional because public comments will not be allowed. So therefore I am sending this message so that you will know that myself and some stakeholders in the community are supporting Mr. Harris based on what we know as it relates to the rumor mill. But we know we stand behind the Mr. Harris withholding the diploma and telling the student that he could pick it up the following week. This is where I agree with Mr. Farrelly that Mr. Harris needed to set up time for the family to discuss the rules violation and to provide the student with the diploma but it should have been done the following week and at the school. Again I feel Mr. Farrelly put Mr. Harris life in danger when he was told to deliver the diploma to the student’s home.

In my closing, I am trusting and believing along with other stakeholders that I have been in contact with we that this school board will issue the best disciplinary action that will apply to Mr. Harris. All we are asking for is this board to do the right thing and to make sure that whatever come out of the graduation mess and the suspension of Mr. will be a learning experience for the student who broke the rules, the student that grades are in question per the rumor mill and Mr. Craig Harris disciplinary action.

Board members Evelyn Wilson Chair (BF), Ann Kent Vice Chair (WF), Dr. Evelyn Johnson (BF), Olga Dickens (BF), Marva Scott (BF), William Dino Eason (WM) and Rev. Raymond Privott (BM) I look forward to you doing the right thing.

Thanking you in advance.

Curmilus Dancy II
Stakeholders – Retired Educators, Current Educators and Community

Note: I have a lot going on and if you have any questions due to grammatical errors or any content in the letter please contact me for clarity.

Stay tuned for an overview of the SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation Mess that has been kinda sorta quiet as hell this week. Wonder why?

I have atleast 1 – 2 things that I have not heard anyone say during all of this mess. I mentioned it to some folk over the past couple of days.

As I have stated from day one that if all included need to be discipline then that is what I want. But the sad part the student’s disciplinary action was limited to what the principal could have done.

I am totally pissed off about the mess especially with the Superintendent throwing the principal under the bus.

I am totally pissed that the news outlets only reported the story as if it was only about the student side and didn’t report the whole story. Everyone of the outlest contacted me and asked me if they could use my video because my video was the best. I said yes but go to my blog for more information so they could get another perspective on what was going on. They too threw the principal under the bus.

It is a damn shame that the local radio talk show has not mentioned anything about the graduation mess when the entire community has been affected by this mess. Some folk who may not be on my social media might not even know all about the graduation mess. Everyone need to be made aware of that the principal has been suspended at SouthWest and it has not been announced by the school system why. It is a damn shame that we have 5 black board members out of a total of 7 and they ain’t saying anything. What good are they? But there are 2 board members here in the southern part of the county 1 black and 1 white and they ought to have had a meeting to report to the community. However my board member lives in the district that the school is in so they should be talking too. Oh well.

I don’t believe the student wanted to go along with the mess but was pushed to get up there and take the route he took. Some sources close to the student have told me 

#teamdancyCurmilus

SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation Mess Getting Closer To The Truth Coming Out

Getting closer to the truth coming out, keep following me better yet join me at the school board meeting Monday night. Since you have blocked me and you can still follow me because my page is public, you gonna learn the day.

The only camera running now is The DCN News Blog Online TV where you get the whole story and not bits and pieces.

Stay tuned for just a little bit more before Monday. #teamdancyCurmilus

Thank You Coach Delphine Mabry For Your Facebook Post About Principal Craig Harris Suspension At SouthWest Edgecombe HS Graduation Mess

image

Thank you for the post it is time for the school system to let the community in on what the problem is. They could say publicly what he is suspended for, that would not be too personal. I feel we have a right to know.

We have a black majority school board and they ain’t saying a damn thing publicly when it is a black male student and a black principal tied up in this mess. Yeah I like calling it mess because from the facts presented as I know them as I attended the graduation, videoed and took photos, following facebook and the media on the local, state and national levels, the only thing I am getting out of this is… It is okay for a student to disobey the principal but it is not okay for the principal to discipline the student. I don’t want to hear a damn thing about the diploma being held because that was the superintendent’s opinion that he felt it shouldn’t have been held. I have not seen anywhere that that is law. And if it is, damn if it ain’t a problem with the law because right down the road in Halifax County 50 miles away it was done and about 90 miles away in Fayetteville NC it was done. This was during the same week if I am correct. Not saying it should have been done but I am just ignant enough to believe that 3 schools would not have thought they could do it if it was a law. Hell it was done at SouthWest in 2009 when my daughter graduated and I recorded that also. The student in his robe hollered and he was escorted off the football field. I know he didn’t march. I was told he didn’t get his diploma until the following week.

I think I need to call a community meeting and have it at the school to find out what is going on. Seem like these pastors around here would do that. But then again you have these community organizations too. Oh well!

But the main thang is the school system ought to call a community meeting and let folk come and voice their opinions about the situation. The school board members get paid good damn money to represent us as they are elected by us. Ya’ll black folk better wake the hell up and hold these elected officials accountable. Not saying they are not right about the suspension process but they owe it to us to communicate to us even on a limited basis.

But you see I don’t need to call the meeting and other meetings because I speak out about issues so if I call the meeting it will seem to appear it is my meeting for personal reasons but you see if others have it and I go and voice my opinion, then they can’t twist that. Oh but then again they attempt to twist anything I do.

You can C.D. that! While You Run & Tell That! #teamdancyCurmilus

Superintendent John Farrelly Respond To The DCN News Blog Online TV About Marvin Wright Diploma Being Withheld During SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation On Friday June 9, 2017

See my Open Letter to the Superintendent by going to the following link: An Open Letter To John Farrelly Superintendent Edgecombe County Public Schools In Response To SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation 2017

From: John Farrelly [mailto:jfarrelly@ecps.us]
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2017 09:22
To: The DCN Online Blog/Internet TV Curmilus Dancy II (Butch) @ http://www.thepoliticalagitator. com <thedcn@embarqmail.com>
Subject: Response

Good morning Mr. Dancy,

Attached is a response to your blog post. These will be the last public comments I will make regarding the June 9 SWEHS graduation ceremony. You have been fair in your coverage of the school system for the past 5 years. That’s all I could ask for.

Take care,

John

John D. Farrelly

Superintendent

Edgecombe County Public Schools

The attachment

Mr. Dancy,

SouthWest Edgecombe High School has a long tradition of providing students with an excellent education. There are many prideful alumni throughout our community, the state and the country. The school is a focal point on the south side of Edgecombe County and rightfully so. The school is led by a committed staff that is focused on preparing students to be scholars and great citizens. Many students thrive at SWEHS and rightfully love their school. Parental and community support is broad.

 

Unfortunately, the media coverage that unfolded when an individual shared personal information on social media following the June 9 graduation ceremony set off a firestorm of negative attention for the school, several stakeholders, the district and the county. Many opinions have been formed without fully knowing all facts and several details have been omitted, not considered or misconstrued. When questions have been asked in an inquiring manner the responses have been consistent, swift and professional. When emails and calls are degrading and hurtful, they don’t warrant a response. Debating issues is welcomed and can be healthy but there’s a way to go about it.

 

Confidential individual information cannot be released. However, I can share the following 3 facts related to the June 9 graduation ceremony:

1. The valedictorian and salutatorian are the only 2 individuals who were asked to write a speech, sign an agreement and had a ‘deadline’. There were several speakers that were provided scripts. The scripts were developed so that students could be involved in various roles in the program. This has been customary for several years at SWEHS.

2. There was a violation of school rules during the ceremony.

 

3. Following the ceremony, a student revealed via social media that their diploma was withheld after the ceremony.

 

When a student violates school rules, consequences are almost always assigned. This situation was unique in that there was not an opportunity to assign traditional consequences because it’s obviously the last day of the students K-12 tenure. Thus, a decision was made to withhold an individual’s diploma.

 

The student earned the right to receive the diploma. In my opinion, what should have happened was a private conference with the student/family to address the rules violation and share disappointment in not following school expectations. Withholding the diploma was not the proper step. Once I found out that the diploma was withheld, I asked stakeholders to setup an immediate appointment with the family to discuss the rules violation and to provide the student with the diploma. I did apologize to the family and student on behalf of the school because I felt that the situation was mishandled. It’s not the first time that I have apologized to stakeholders on behalf of the district. If we have erred, then I believe we have a responsibility to own it.

 

Regarding the suggestion that the school had a right to stop the proceedings: That certainly could have been an option but would we be protecting the dignity of the individual? No. I don’t believe that option should have been used in this incident given the fact that the student said nothing inappropriate. If the speech was interrupted, I believe that would have caused great humiliation to the student in front of 800 people and a television audience. If profanity was used then I fully would have supported unplugging the microphone or asking the student to stop giving the speech. That did not happen in this case.

 

Each high school in Edgecombe County has set criteria, expectations and procedures in place for commencement exercises. I don’t believe the protocols need to change. Change comes in the choices we make. I hope that we as a community can learn from it, heal and move forward.

 

John

My response

From: The DCN News Blog Online TV Curmilus Dancy II (Butch) [mailto:thedcn@embarqmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:08
To: John Farrelly <jfarrelly@ecps.us>
Subject: Re: Response

Thank You!

I love your response. This is all I ask at anytime is that all involved tell their story.

Again my friend I appreciate you and wish you the best!

Your response is the best Father’s day present I could receive. Because all of the children of Edgecombe County are my children black, brown, white and other. I also recognize and understand that their parents may not like me but my God spoke to me years ago and told me to be a voice for the children. I will follow his instructions til the end!

I love you my brother!

Sincerely,

Curmilus Dancy II (Butch)

Dancy Communications Network

The DCN News Blog/Online TV

Videographer/Photographer/Reporter

Life Fully Paid Member NAACP/2nd Vice President

Edgecombe County Democratic Party Precinct Chair/County Executive Committee/State Executive Committee

(252) 314-5484

Blog: https://curmilus.wordpress.com

“I have no permanent friends no permanent enemies only permanent interest!”

John Farrelly response

From: John Farrelly [mailto:jfarrelly@ecps.us]
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2017 15:08
To: The DCN News Blog Online TV Curmilus Dancy II (Butch) <thedcn@embarqmail.com>
Subject: Re: Response

Love you too my friend. Brothers in arms always.

Sent from my iPhone

SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation 2009 A Graduating Student Was Escorted Off The Football Field When He Yelled Out

In 2009 when my daughter graduated and was the class president my wife and her just brought to my attention that a graduating student yelled out and he was escorted off the field, did not walk across the stage and didn’t receive his diploma until a week later.

I videoed the graduation so it is probably on the video.

Damn! I have heard so many stories about graduations over the past week.

#teamdancyCurmilus

SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation Mess Since My Inbox Has Been An Issue Then Here Is An Inbox That Has Not Been Talked About

I care about folk and I show them by reaching out to them not knowing how they are going to receive it but I am ready to reap the consequences. If I get cussed out I ain’t going to respond in the negative and say that I apologize for reaching out to you.

There are many inboxes I have gone in but including all parties involved for instance some females were on facebook going at it and I asked them to stop it and to remove the mess and they did. I have inboxed some females telling them I don’t like to see a female use the f-word publicly. Some receive it well and some don’t. Hey I have been told to f-me on and just recently by Marvin’s mother on facebook several days ago and my response was I bet you want to. But Greg Higgs have tried to paint a photo that I was disrespecting the female.

There will be many who read this and know this to be true but I dare to ask them to come forward because I know what I have done.

But to my main point I inboxed Cathy Barnes on Saturday evening and asked her to call me. When she called me I told her I read her daughter’s response on facebook to the graduation mess. I said have you read it and this is how I feel about it. I said I don’t think she need to get involved publicly and she is getting ready to go to college and she do not need this following her. Cathy agreed with me and even told me she know about facebook because she had gotten fired from a job for posting something on facebook.

I didn’t know how Cathy was going to receive me having a conversation about her daughter but what I do know is I was prepared for whatever she did cussed me out or whatever. She received it then but after following this mess I have seen little comments that I know were directed to me and I couldn’t get mad and still ain’t mad.

Cathy told me that the mother told her when she arrived at the graduation that they were not going to allow him to read his speech but he was going to do it from his phone. Cathy said she and her oldest daughter said they told her not to make him do it.

Enough said I think you get my point.

#teamdancyCurmilus