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

Categories: School Daze

The student, who spoke to New Times on the condition of anonymity, said she was penetrated while bent over stretching during a Friday-afternoon gym class last year. A male student, she said, approached from behind and "went inside with his hand."
That Monday, she said, she complained to school administrators, who asked if she was raped. "When I said no, they swept everything under the rug," she said.

The male student was never punished, she said, and retaliated against her with threatening text messages. "Now I feel I shouldn't have said anything at all," she said, adding that the complaint damaged her reputation. "This taught me not to open my mouth. If I hadn't said anything, that would have been the best thing."

The district was alerted to problems at the high school during a June School Board meeting, where more than a dozen employees spoke out condemning Marlow. Teachers had come to the meeting to support Racquel Lipscomb, whom Marlow had demoted from vice principal to teacher. They complained about Marlow's bellicose management style. At that meeting, Superintendent Robert Runcie said he'd investigate the embattled principal, but as of last week, spokesperson Clark could not confirm whether Runcie ever took action.

Now, Lipscomb and other teachers tell New Times about an additional concern: a program that puts mentally disabled students on recycling duty. The "Community Based Instruction" program is designed to help students develop job skills. According to the program's curriculum, one of the students' tasks is to "collect recycling from participating classrooms and offices."

But three separate educators said the task is much dirtier than picking up office paper. "The students who are picking up the garbage are the lowest-of-the-low mentally," Lipscomb said. "You have kids out there picking up trash who cannot speak, and they're rummaging through the trash... And there are people from the community who dump their garbage in our bins."

Added Kim Frazier, the school's former budget keeper: "They would make them clean up the cafeteria. They weren't given gloves. It was upsetting, because that's why we have custodians. I've been with the district for 13 years, and this is stuff that was not going on at other schools."

An attendance clerk who requested anonymity to protect her job said Marlow uses intimidation to squash talk of the school's problems. "Everyone's afraid to talk," the clerk said. "He'll get you moved or fired. He'll do something. They plot. It's a very uncomfortable place to work. I'm scared every day. You can't trust Marlow or anybody."
Hibbs said if a teacher usurps his authority, Marlow launches an investigation. In the past five years, according to a public records request, Marlow has asked for five investigations of teachers at the school.

"If you're not on his side," Kearney said, "if you don't agree with him, he comes after you."

Marlow, reached on his cell phone, said "Hold on -- there are some reception problems" and hung up. He didn't return phone calls afterward. Clark said she could not confirm whether any formal complaints had been filed against Marlow's administration or whether investigations had been opened.

Follow the writer @terrence_mccoy



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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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