Tag Archives: accountability


2 Jul

Volunteer Basketball coach at McKinley High School, Michelle Stiles, was suspicious why full-time boy’s basketball coach James Daye was seen leaving the home of one of her players late one evening. After bringing it up, Stiles was summarily dismissed.

(Daye? He was placed on administrative leave in March. Apparently, he had sex with a student while he was teacher in South Carolina in the 1990s. Daye denies this.)

Jayvonna Kincannon, the captain of the girls’ basketball team, was upset at this, and used a cell phone in school in order to add herself to the speaker’s list for a board of education meeting one night. This also was met with swift and unfair punishment.

When a student is suspended for over five days, that student has a right to a hearing under state law. Kincannon never received one. She was suspended for five days, and then, upon her return, informed by letter with Superintendent James Williams’ name on it that she was suspended for an additional six weeks. The special investigator, David Edmunds, found Barton’s fingerprints figuratively all over that 7-week suspension order. It was revenge.

In any event, the 7-week suspension, and the 5-week reduced suspension was an excessive and completely disproportionate punishment. While the school has a right to enforce the rules, it cannot arbitrarily, capriciously, or maliciously impose an illegal, longer sentence such as they did in Kincannon’s case. Although her suspension is now expunged from her record, without the media spotlight on this, it would have just happened. How many more kids are being unfairly punished in the system?

Some members of the Buffalo school board wanted to make the people who did this to Kincannon answer for their actions and misdeeds. They wanted Barton – who refused to participate or cooperate with Edmunds’ investigation – to be punished. They wanted other administrators to be punished. After all, why should a school administrator violate a student’s – a child’s – civil rights and rights as a student in the Buffalo school system with impunity?

Shouldn’t part of what kids get taught in school be personal responsibility? Accountability? That when you make a tough decision, and it turns out to be the wrong one, that there are consequences?

Evidently – and sadly – no.