School district responds to Northside High School baseball incident

Published 8:57 pm Saturday, May 16, 2009

By Staff
Sarah HodgesBeaufort County Schools Public Information officer
To clarify the editorial of Friday, May 15:
The Washington Daily News asked, “Will the incident affect next year’s baseball season?” The following response was provided. “This only involves this team.”
We were also asked, “What is the school or district doing to prevent future similar incidents?” Again, we did respond to that question with the following statement: “It is our hope lessons are learned from this situation.”
The superintendent and Board of Education are currently developing written expectations for coaches while traveling on an activity bus.
Many incidents bring up questions that are never answered, at least not publicly. If media chooses not to explain why those answers may not be brought to the attention of the general public, we will gladly do so.
When an internal investigation had been completed on the part of the school system, a media release was provided to any agency that made inquiries and was also posted on the Beaufort County Schools Web site.
The appropriate gathering of facts will not be rushed for the convenience of the media or public.
This incident is now the subject of a local law enforcement investigation. Beaufort County Schools will always cooperate with law enforcement. Not interfering with an investigation is a part of cooperation.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. Specific information regarding educational records, including student discipline, is protected under this law.
Information regarding the release of personnel records may be found in the following North Carolina General Statute.
§ 115C 321. Confidential information in personnel files; access to information.
(a) All information contained in a personnel file, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, is confidential and shall not be open for inspection and examination except to any of the following persons:
(1) The employee, applicant for employment, former employee, or his properly authorized agent, who may examine his own personnel file at all reasonable times in its entirety except for letters of reference solicited prior to employment.
(2) The superintendent and other supervisory personnel.
(3) Members of the local board of education and the board’s attorney.
(4) A party by authority of a subpoena or proper court order may inspect and examine a particular confidential portion of an employee’s personnel file.
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