To the Editor:
After weeks of reading the editorials written by various individuals regarding the accusations by Jay Hardison, I find that it is time that he be told once again to give it a rest. Having known him for many years, I have admired his passion for sports and support for the kids who play them. I appreciate the fact that he has made it a personal mission to right any wrongs that he feels have been committed to children in our community.
No one condones standing on the sidelines if a child feels abused either physically, verbally or mentally. In that respect, I am glad he has brought this issue to the attention of the school officials, the police and the general public. I have read the articles over the past few months with an open mind and at this point there appears to be no reason to pursue his accusations further.
Having sent hundreds of emails to news outlets, BOE board members, town representatives, school officials — anyone who has a moral responsibility to investigate any wrongdoing by a member of our public school system- he has raised his issues and they have been addressed. All of his claims have been investigated many times (the latest by the Darien Police Department) and if there was wrongdoing, the people involved were punished and the cases closed.
I agree with Susan Shultz that given the law enforcement in our community was called to investigate his claims once again and have deemed there to be no reason to pursue them any further, I can’t help but wonder if there are other motivations at play. At some point, the general public has to stand up for its government officials, its school officials, and its police force who have all independently reviewed these accusations.
In today’s litigious society, none of these members wish to have a lawsuit on their hands and I have faith that they have thoroughly reviewed all the facts, documents and details surrounding the cases. The town learned a painful lesson from the Special Ed investigation, and it is from this introspection that, in my opinion, we are a stronger and more transparent town. I have great pride in our school system and the teachers and administrators who work there. They should be commended for the work they do each and every day to challenge our children intellectually and provide a safe and supportive environment for them.
I feel my children have been supported by the teachers and administrators at DHS and I have not worried for one minute that something horrible will happen to them on or off campus by the adults who are in charge. Those who have not met the standards of our schools have been evaluated swiftly and let go, and others have stepped up to fill the void. Unlike the Special Ed case where parents were rightfully banding together to provide a united front on a great misjustice in our system, “the Darien Police department has never received a complaint from any student or parent of a student who claimed to be a victim,” as stated by Chief Osborne.
As someone who volunteers for our high school regularly, I am in the building and among the staff and students often. I am always impressed and grateful for those who help manage the issues teenagers face today. It is a daunting and difficult task. I am glad this investigation has run its course and closed its books: now it is time to focus our energy on the year ahead and provide the excellent education our children enjoy.