Mayor Bronin and Superintendent of Schools Beth Narvaez today issued a joint statement "related to the reporting of any information suggesting that a child may be at risk of harm" Shouldn't this have been automatic on the part of Narvaez? Did it really take strong media attention to get her to admit the obvious?
MAYOR BRONIN, SUPERINTENDENT NARVAEZ CALL FOR REVIEW OF POLICIES RELATED TO REPORTING INFORMATION THAT CHILDREN MAY BE AT RISK OF HARM MAYOR BRONIN URGES INVOLVEMENT OF THE OFFICE OF THE CHILD ADVOCATE HARTFORD, CONN. (APRIL 11, 2016) –
Today, Mayor Luke Bronin and Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez announced that the Board of Education will launch a thorough review of the policies and procedures related to the reporting of any information suggesting that a child may be at risk of harm
. At Mayor Bronin’s request, the Board of Education will also engage the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate to assist in the review of policies and procedures, and to look into the reporting of a recent situation involving a Hartford Public Schools (HPS) administrator sending inappropriate texts to a minor. “Both as a father and as Mayor, I feel a profound responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that kids are protected from harm,” said Mayor Bronin. "There needs to be a thorough review of what happened in the reporting of this situation, as well as a broader review of the policies and procedures to ensure that officials respond quickly and forcefully whenever there are any warning signs. I believe it’s appropriate to engage the independent Office of the Child Advocate so that the review is as thorough, as impartial, and as effective as possible.”
Led by Sarah Egan, the Office of the Child Advocate is responsible for monitoring and evaluating public and private agencies charged with the protection of children in Connecticut. The Office of the Child Advocate also has the authority to review the policies and procedures of state agencies, or others that provide services to children through state funding, to ensure they are protecting children’s rights and promoting their best interest. “As Superintendent, I believe that there is no greater task at Hartford Public Schools than being vigilant about the safety of all children. We will review our abuse and neglect reporting procedures immediately,” said Superintendent Narvaez
. “I welcome the support and assistance of the Child Advocate in the review of our policies to ensure the district is doing everything within its power to protect every child.” Superintendent Narvaez also noted that anyone who believes a child is at risk should immediately call the Department of Children and Families Careline at 1-800-842-2288, which is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
This announcement comes after a police investigation surfaced against a former Hartford school district staff member, Eduardo Genao, who allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to a minor. The criminal investigation involving Mr. Genao is ongoing, and there are no official charges to date, according to the Hartford Police Department.
For further inquiries on the investigation, please contact the Hartford Police Department.
Also, Assistant Superintendent Gislaine Ngoudou issued her own statement via e-mail to her colleagues explaining her lack of action when confronted with allegations of inappropriate behavior by her counterpart, Eduardo Genao.
I am reaching out to you regarding a matter of importance.
I wanted you to hear directly from me for several reasons;
I believe we share an unwavering commitment to all of our children and I deeply value our collective work and our culture of strong relationships and collaboration. I would like to express my regret for the way I handled an allegation brought to my attention of a potential improper contact between a HPS employee and a minor
On 3/22 I received a text from Dr. Aron Lewis concerning an allegation of potential inappropriate contact between an unnamed HPS Director and an unnamed minor. I replied to Dr. Lewis’ text and attempted to set up a time to call him twice that day, but was unable to speak with him. In a follow up message,
Dr. Lewis informed me that he would handle the matter through an alternative way. I incorrectly assumed we would speak the next day, but neither of us followed up on the matter with each other. This was an omission of the mind and not an omission of the heart. I take full responsibility for the failure on my part to aggressively pursue more information. This was a lapse that does not reflect my own professional standards, my commitment to children, or the importance HPS places on the safety of children attending our schools. I am deeply sorry for any breach of trust this may have caused between HPS and the families we serve and pledge to do all I can to rebuild that trust. I also commit to the work of improving our processes and practices to ensure the safety of all of children. I thank you for remaining focused on this work with me.
Sincerely, Gislaine Ngounou, ED.L.D. Chief of Staff Hartford Public Schools
Although it is good to see Ngoudou taking responsibility for her failing to protect a child, it can not just be breushed of by an e-mail confession . Strong action by the Superintendent, up to and including termination, needs to be taken for anyone found to be guilty of not taking appropriate action in this matter .
Oh, and just as a sidenote, Pedro Zayas, the Hartford Schools spokesperson still has not responded to any of my requests or text messages for information. But as you can see, I am still getting the information through "alternative means". and I thank you all for helping to expose this problem even if the highly paid spokespeople want to keep this covered up.
Here is a screen capture of one text message he has ignored. as you can see, it was read Friday, and still no response. All part of the cover up mentality ,I guess. They should realize by now I won't just go away because they ignore me.