My heart goes out to the child who is the victim of sexual violence at Ocean Avenue Elementary School. I also want to express support for the victim in the West End of Portland who was attacked, allegedly by the same perpetrator. I hope that they can eventually find peace.

The perpetrator of this violence worked in multiple school districts and agencies, where vulnerable young people were in his care. What were the conditions of the perpetrator’s leave from these previous positions? Nothing short of an investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s Office should be accepted by Mainers after reading this story.

As a member of the Maine Education Association, I expect full cooperation and structural changes to due process, if necessary.

If administrators in other districts looked the other way to get rid of a “bad apple,” then they should be held accountable.

I have a son with special needs in Portland Public Schools. He is nonverbal and in a wheelchair. I have met the most selfless and incredible people throughout my son’s life. Those professionals deserve to hold their heads up high and to be proud of what they do. Yet now the worry that I have always had in the back of my mind every day that I sent him off to school for the past 12 years is right at the forefront.

We must demand more from our administrators, our government and our union. We cannot allow violent people to work in our schools. We need an independent investigation and public report.

Geoffrey Slack

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