At Deerfield Beach High School, Staffers Say Principal Is a Bully and Mentally Disabled Students Are Treated Like Janitors

Categories: School Daze

deerfield beach.jpg
Problems plague Deerfield Beach High, teachers allege
Late last year, a Deerfield Beach High School teacher named Juliet Hibbs was hurled into the international spotlight when a set of parents accused her of encouraging their daughter to become a lesbian. Soon, her name materialized in the Huffington Post, the U.K.'s Daily Mail, and the National Examiner.

Hibbs fought back. She said the girl's stepfather had bullied the girl on Twitter and Hibbs was only doing her duty by reporting the abuse. She said the real problem was her "bullying principal," who, instead of dealing with the issue quietly, kicked it up to the school district, bringing more attention to a delicate situation.

The school district cleared Hibbs of wrongdoing, and she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint last March. (Her case is pending.) Soon, the furtive hacker group Anonymous injected itself into the fracas, publishing the contact information for producers of the Ellen DeGeneres Show in a strange attempt to get Hibbs on TV to tell her tale.

But there's much more to the high school's story.

Deerfield Beach High has become quite possibly the most controversy-soaked institution in Broward County Public Schools. An assistant principal, Keith Roberson, was convicted of drunk driving at the end of 2011 but kept his job. Another administrator allegedly "tussled" with a student, and now staff are concerned about a program in which mentally disabled students pick up recyclables.

Five school employees say the problems began when Principal Jon Marlow took over around 2006. "As soon as Mr. Marlow came on campus, a lot of problems started up," said Wanda Kearney, a school security guard. "All of the time, he harasses me. He lashes out at me."

She said she witnessed an assistant principal, Ken May, scuffle with a student last January near a vending machine between classes. She claims that she was later called to a meeting with Marlow and that he asked her to write an incident report saying she "hadn't seen anything." Kearney claimed the tall and powerfully built Marlow said that if she refused, she'd be suspended for three days.

Kearney did file a report describing the incident and accusing the principal of harassment, but the student was later suspended for "defiance."

Tracy Clark, a spokesperson for the school district, said she could not confirm whether the matter was investigated or whether May was disciplined.

There are other alleged troubling incidents. A female student says that a male student sexually assaulted her at the end of the 2011-12 school year and that administrators ignored her complaint. Because of privacy concerns, records related to the incident cannot be released, according to an email sent by the school district's public affairs department.

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8 comments
christine
christine

Is this not the perfect situation for Chaz  to investigate?

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII topcommenter

But DBHS is a magnet school with a gifted students program. Oh the irony. Parents who force their children to go to that dump should be charged with child abuse.

dan0804
dan0804

@KennyPowersII Deerfield beach high school isn't a bad place. i have been doing there for 3 years now. just because we have some bad students doesn't mean the whole school is bad. and why does it matter to you if you don't even go there! many people in my family went there and its not bad. please get your facts straight before you start publicly attacking the school. if you have not gone there please dont say anything about it. thank you.

DBHSGRAD
DBHSGRAD

@KennyPowersIIJust because we have bad students, doesn't make the whole school bad. School is what you make of it, if you put in the effort DBHS is a great school, if you just skate by, do bad things, skip, etc. then DBHS is not going to be a good school. The real problem is that schools are expected to fix behavior in children and everything is the teacher's fault and not the child. There is this thing call "parenting" and it usually isn't done to well nowadays, and it is evident. There are kids who graduate who I wouldn't trust delivering pizza or taking my order at McDonalds. Then there are kids who absolutely torture their teachers and do nothing all day. They are the problem, America needs to wake up and fix the problem before we are all dependent whining babies asking everyone to ""help" us.  To make it clear I graduated from Deerfield last year. I had a 5.5 GPA and was 3rd in my class, I had over 1200 community service hours, and got a $400,000 scholarship from the US Navy to go to college.  Like I said, school is what the student puts into it.

court0819
court0819

@KennyPowersII I go to "that dump". That you're talking about. I am just fine, thank you. Being in the CBA program and having all advanced classes while knowing alot of kids that do not have honors or AP or are not in a magnet program at the school, I can tell you that the school is not a bad place for students. People that post and say things like you are, are the reason why schools have bad reputations. Deerfield is veiwed as a bad school because it isnt in the best city, just like how Ely is "a horrible school" because its in a bad neighboor hood in Pompano. My school isnt bad and id rather have you not talk that way about it. Please know what you're talking about before you say anything please. Thank you :)

michael.sirbola
michael.sirbola

@dan0804 @KennyPowersIIHi - much of what you said is true. Question - How many black or brown kids are in your classes? I went there for 4 years and had just one, same one, in a few classes as a senior. You are young. Lucky you. But... there are issues... as your answer will likely show. So... how many? I'm an optimist - make me smile with pride in my old alma matter for how much it has improved. Please?

michael.sirbola
michael.sirbola

@DBHSGRADHi - much of what you said is true. Question - How many black or brown kids are in your classes? I went there for 4 years and had just one, same one, in a few classes as a senior. You are young. Lucky you. But... there are issues... as your answer will likely show. So... how many? I'm an optimist - make me smile with pride in my old alma matter for how much it has improved. Please?


michael.sirbola
michael.sirbola

@court0819  Hi - much of what you said is true. Question - How many black or brown kids are in your classes? I went there for 4 years and had just one, same one, in a few classes as a senior. You are young. Lucky you. But... there are issues... as your answer will likely show. So... how many? I'm an optimist - make me smile with pride in my old alma matter for how much it has improved. Please?

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