Media Archive

Support for Principal

Article from Bangor Daily News, Saturday, April 19, 2003

Letter to the Editor:

We write this letter in support of our principal, John Robinson, who was in the news recently for an alleged assault of a student at Penquis Valley High School (BDN, April 18). In understanding the nature of the media, we acknowledge that "man bites dog" makes for an interesting story However, we are disappointed in the unfair coverage of this affair by two local TV stations and at least one local newspaper. It is particularly unfair to a man who has
given 32 years to education and has never been remotely accused of inappropriate conduct.

In an attempt to set the record straight, a few facts are in order. The principal was called out after school to stop a fight between the alleged victim and another student who had him on the ground and was hitting him. In the process of separating the two, the alleged victim swung at the principal and allegedly spit in his face. There was undoubtedly contact between
the principal and the student, but to what extent and in what context is yet to be determined.

The alleged victim, as recently as last month, wrongfully accused another staff member of hitting him. A little legwork by the news media would have thrown into question the
credibility of one of the participants and provided a more balanced presentation of the facts.

John Robinson treats students fairly and with compassion. It is ironic to us that the alleged victim has himself, in the past, been a recipient of his fairness.

It is impossible to "un-ring" a bell once it is heard. We fully support Mr. Robinson in this difficult personal and professional time. We also challenge the news media to return to Penquis Valley High School once this incident has been resolved and to cover it with the same zeal it recently demonstrated. We'll be waiting, but we suspect that restoring a person's
good name isn't quite as interesting as destroying it.

Tony Hamlin and
37 students at Penquis
Valley High School

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.