New Hanover County Public Schools

The New Hanover County School system is facing at least two lawsuits and multiple questions about an alleged failure over decades to protect children from sexual predators.  When he took the post as Interim Superintendent in February, Dr. Del Burns understood his top priority as the development of more effective protocols for complaints and misconduct. 

WHQR spoke with Dr. Burns about the changes he says are needed.

New Hanover County Public Schools is facing a crisis of public confidence.  On Friday, Feb. 7th, Superintendent Tim Markley announced his resignation with a separation agreement that gives him $228,000.  That’s slightly less than half the value of the remainder of his contract.  The move comes after three high-profile cases of alleged sexual abuse of children by teachers. 

WHQR caught up with Board of Education Chair Lisa Estep.

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Tim Markley is stepping down.  Friday afternoon, school officials announced his resignation and separation agreement after a nearly-six hour closed Board meeting followed by a unanimous vote.  

Peter Frank, a band teacher at Roland Grise Middle School in Wilmington, faces multiple felony charges of sex crimes against children.  He is just the latest in several recent high-profile cases involving employees of New Hanover County Public Schools and allegations of child sex abuse.  

Edward Orde / Wikimedia Commons

New Hanover County redistricting of its high schools is complete; as for middle schools, the process continues.  The Board of Education plans to assign middle school and elementary school students in 2021.

https://www.stopbullying.gov/

Bullying is a public health problem.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the working definition of bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”  It can occur in-person or through technology.

RedforEdNC

Teachers held walkouts this year in at least six states:  West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina. The reason often cited in news headlines is salary.  But take a deeper dive, and you hear concerns about pension funds, funding for K-12 curriculum, and intangibles – like the lack of respect for the profession.

David Woo / Flickr

North Carolina has a teacher shortage.  Enrollment in Schools of Education within the University of North Carolina system has dropped 30% since 2010.  And that, according to WRAL, is having a big impact on the number of teachers available to North Carolina schools.

Clyde Edgerton has written ten novels, three of which are now movies.  Of those produced, his favorite is Killer Diller.  In 2013, he wrote a book of advice, Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers, and he’s also written a memoir:  Solo:  My Adventures In The Air.  His short stories and essays have turned up in New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, Southern Review, Oxford American, Garden & Gun – among others.

Makaristos / Wikimedia Commons

The revised Presidential Executive Order banning travel from six mostly-Muslim countries, called a “watered-down version” of the first by President Donald Trump, is now blocked from going into effect by two federal judges -- in Hawaii and Maryland – as of Thursday morning.    

But in light of the movement to crack down on who is coming in to the country, we’re also seeing a crackdown on people who are already here who may not be here legally.  The efforts to find those people are called Targeted Enforcement Operations. 

UNCW

As North Carolina legislators begin a new long session in Raleigh, both political parties have pointed to education as an area needing attention.  The first day of the session, Republican lawmakers filed a bill in the House to address class sizes.  That’s because last year, a newly-passed law reduced maximum class size – but came with no additional state funding.  That left some school systems looking down the barrel of cutting in other areas – such as arts and physical education.  That will be addressed this session.  And Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has listed education – particularly

Cape Fear Community College

Those in high school years years ago might remember shop class or home economics as assignments for students deemed unable to cut it academically. 

New Hanover County Public Schools

A new school year typically heralds change and with that, plenty to discuss. Which is why last week, Dr. Tim Markley, New Hanover County School District’s superintendent, made appearances at Ashley, Gregory and Laney Schools to host Q&A sessions with parents. Markley also addressed the implications of state cuts to public education head on. The superintendent is urging educators and parents to start viewing public education like a competitive business.