Students returning to Diablo View Middle School today were reassured by district officials that support is available to students and staff, as the community digests the news that a teacher has confessed to numerous sex crimes involving a former student.
District officials will meet with parents at 6 p.m. to answer questions and address their concerns about the arrest of science and math teacher Andrew Bruce Cottrell, who was taken into custody Friday.
Besides the parent meeting, here are other ways the district addressed the issue, Superintendent Steven Lawrence said in an e-mail:
“1. We (met) with the staff prior to school to share the below plan and answer questions.
2. We had our crisis team available for students and staff to speak with.
3. Administrators spoke to all of the classes first period and let the students know if they needed support it was available.
4. (Principal) Mrs. (Patti) Bannister went to all of Mr. Cottrell’s classes and spoke with the students.
5. Other Diablo View teachers agreed to cover Mr. Cottrell’s classes during their preparation period for the remainder of the week.
6. Mrs. Bannister is working with science and math department members to ensure appropriate lesson plans are in place.
7. Mrs. Bannister is working with Julie Braun-Martin (assistant superintendent for personnel services) to identify a teacher to be in the classroom following winter break.”
Bannister sent home the following message to parents:
“December 11, 2011
To the Students and Parents ofDiablo View:
No words can express the gamut ofemotions that students, parents and staff at Diablo View have experienced since Friday following the public revelation of the alleged inappropriate behavior of one of our staff members. I believe at this time it is most important that we support our students and also remember those who are suffering tremendously: the victim, the victim’s family, and the accused’s family members. We need to continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
The Diablo View staff is totally committed to supporting our students. In order to support the students in Mr. Cottrell’s six classes, Diablo View teachers will cover the classes for the remainder ofthis week. We will also work with the math and science teachers to ensure that daily lesson plans are created to ensure students continue their academic growth. When students return after winter break we will have a new teacher in place.
While the tragedy of this event cannot be minimized, there are some positive events taking place at school this week. Tuesday morning is the Principal’s List breakfast, Tuesday and Wednesday night are the band concerts, Thursday night is Ms. Brewington’s open house for her seventh graders, and Friday we are having the Clayton Valley Women’s Chorus for an assembly.
This evening at 6 p.m. there will be an informational meeting for parents with staff and district personnel to address any further concerns. The Diablo View community has always been extremely supportive and I know working together we will help our children through this difficult situation.”
On Sunday, Bannister sent out the following recorded message: https://asp.schoolmessenger.com/m/?s=NUBdWk9D4DE
As noted in our online story, PFC President Megan Kommer told me she was satisfied with the district and school’s response, but she was concerned about negative comments being made by parents about the situation.
Are you satisfied with the district’s response?