Tuesday, July 17, 2012


One mystery to me in our current "blame the teachers" culture is why no one points fingers at the administrators. They're, you know, in charge. I don't claim my anecdata proves anything, but in my schoolgoing life the principals and vice-principals were for the most part (there were exceptions) the worst people in the world.

Lightner, a student advocate, reported it to her supervisor at the Arc of Chester County, which provides services to disabled people. They then requested all records about the student under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and uncovered other derogatory messages from Madden about the teen specifically and special needs students in general.

He called the teen a "psychopath" and worried that he could be another "Hinckley, Booth and Oswald." He also complained that special-needs students, "the guilty people," have more rights than "the innocent."

Madden, who did not respond to a call to his office for this article, was suspended in March. Although superintendent Raymond A. Fischer recommended that he be terminated, the school board voted, 6-3, to reinstate him July 1 with one big condition. He will no longer work with special-education students, according to Fischer.