Breaching Trust Involving Children

School principals have a dual responsibility. They are supposed to ensure children get the best education possible. They also are expected to look after youngsters’ welfare in other ways.

Obstructing investigators looking into the rape of a 16-year-old girl clearly fails that second test. How can anyone guilty of such a thing claim to want only the best for children?

Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Mark McVey, now on leave from his post, is charged with various offenses involving the August 2012 rape of a girl by two Steubenville High School students. Last week specifics of charges against him were revealed.

According to the Ohio Attorney General’s office, McVey deleted e-mail messages involving the rape, directed other people to falsify records on the subject, failed to provide information about an in-school investigation and lied about various aspects of the matter.

If McVey is found guilty of the charges – or even some of them – he should be punished severely. The accusations go far beyond what might be called a “lapse.” They allege active involvement in a coverup.

Society is entitled to demand a high level of trust involving children and educators. Breaching it at the level McVey is intolerable and requires severe punishment.