Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Clewiston Mom Claims Middle School Not Safe For Students

Mother Believes Son Being Treated Unfairly By School

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The mother of a middle school child is complaining to authorities over what she claims is unfair treatment of an honor roll student suspended from the Clewiston Middle School in December and "unsafe" conditions at the school.

Trish Adams, a social worker at the Glades County jail, says she is getting nowhere with school authorities after trying to contact the Superintendent and board members, and getting no response to her complaints.

Adams met with the middle school principal trying to narrow why her son was suspended and why her son's grades went down even though she says she was told the suspension would not affect them.

Adams say her honor roll student "who is rarely in any trouble" was suspended on December 14th for the rest of the week after inappropriate contact with a girl student.  Adams complains that she was not contacted about the suspension or given an opportunity to be at any meeting school officials had regarding the incident.

Her son missed the school's science fair, taking place during the suspension, which she feels hurt his grades.

She has written school officials saying "the wording of the suspension paper says it sounds like something more serious than a push."  Adams says her son told her he pushed a girl.

Adams says according to the school's vice principal, "the girl student threw a carton of milk at my son and my son pushes her away from him, hard enough that it caused her to fall."

She says in her letter, "According to my son, the principal told him to stop, using foul language (he used the word “pussy”) and rough handling, even though when he told him to stop my son replied yes sir and did not move. He also reports that the girl has a history of last year and this year faking falls and injuries and over dramatizing events."

Her letter to school board members continues, "The principal assured me her behavior was being addressed, however I know she was not even suspended for one day. The first accounting of the story from Mr. Johnson said my son was sitting in the chair when he put his hands on him. 

"When I questioned this he changed his story to state that he was standing and did not know if he was going to continue to act up. Both the school resource officer and Vice Principal were present during this conversation and my inquiry. 

"Both admitted that my son is not a trouble maker and the school resource officer even stated that he does not know who my son is which tells him he is not a problem child.

"I am not okay with Mr. Johnson ever putting his hand on my child, as he obviously does not have the restraint to know when it might be appropriate and when it obviously is not. I am not okay with him using foul language toward my child. He states he never uses foul language on campus, however there are enough students and adults that have spent time around him that they would be easy enough to discount." 

Adams want a formal apology from Mr. Johnson to her son for his language and an apology to her for lying about it. She says in her letter, she would also suggest anger management and social skills training for Johnson.

In a second letter by Adams sent to Assistant Superintendent for the Clewiston district Gordon Swaggerty, she asks for "an apology from Mr. Garry Ensor for lying to me and my son and an apology to my son for calling him a liar."

Adams says the middle schools is not a safe place and "according to the kids there are fights on the campus every week and often daily, according to my son, many of which are never seen by adults or dealt with. Obviously they have problems controlling the students, to make an example out of my child who is well behaved and an excellent student is not acceptable."

"I want an investigation of the safety procedures done. I suggested in a PTO meeting in the beginning of the year that the principal was present at; that they begin a gang awareness program and address any gang issues that may be present. It does not appear that they have acted on that."

Adams says she does agree that what her son did was wrong and she is not excusing his behavior, but says what the girl did was wrong, but she suffered no punishments at all.

She feels Johnson's behavior was "abusive." She has contacted the state's Office of Safe Schools about the incident.


  1. Ron Joseph5:14 AM

    I stand behind you 100% Trish.. Stand strong lady!

  2. Anonymous10:12 PM

    if you talk to enough people (former students, former employees), you will find this is a very common occurrance, When I talk to people about CMS the best comment I can come up with is controlled chaos but really it's not even that...it is why most good teachers don't stay there

  3. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Trish Adams, I was in the office and heard the language used toward Mr. Johnson over the phone by your husband. His language was so foul, disrespectful and loud that I heard Mr. Johnston say, "Sir, please stop speaking that way or I will have to hang up." Your son was not known to cause issues/problems, but you as a parent didn't come to school to discuss or make progress or conference . . . you came to complain and to attack. I remember your Facebook posts after the incident and bragging how your husband went toe-to-toe with Johnston. If going toe-to-toe is a grown up who can do nothing but curse and scream over the phone, then yeah, be proud.