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News Section: Schools and Education

Mills to Recommend 5 Administrators be Fired in Connection with Manatee High Sex Abuse Scandal

Published Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:45 am

MANATEE – Manatee County School District Superintendent Rick Mills will recommend to the school board the termination of five district administrators in connection with the Rod Frazier sexual abuse case. The superintendent said in a statement, that based on the internal investigation conducted by the district, he found just cause for termination and had lost "all confidence in their abilities to serve as administrators in this District." The recommended terminations will be considered by the School Board during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, October 14. 


Mills' statement appears below:

For the past several weeks, the School District of Manatee County has conducted a thorough and complete administrative investigation regarding Roderick L. Frazier and Manatee High School. The investigation was launched to address concerns that certain district administrators may not have fulfilled their professional responsibilities and obligations to students in the District. Based on the findings of the investigation, I will recommend to the School Board that the following district administrators be terminated from employment:

• Robert Gagnon

Assistant Superintendent (former Principal at Manatee High School)

• Greg Faller

Assistant Principal, Palmetto High School (former Assistant Principal at Manatee High School)

• Matt Kane

Assistant Principal, Southeast High School (former Assistant Principal at Manatee High School)

• Deborah Horne

Assistant Principal, Robert H. Prine Elementary School (former Investigator in the Office of Professional Standards)

• Scott Martin

Staff Attorney (former Assistant Superintendent)

All employees of this District are expected to make students their primary professional concern. Moreover, as leaders, district administrators have a paramount responsibility to meet the expectations of providing a safe and secure environment for students and staff. Unfortunately, the findings of the Frazier investigation reflect that these administrators failed to fulfill these obligations; causing me to lose all confidence in their abilities to serve as administrators in this District. I further found that just cause exists to terminate their employment.

The District remains vigilant in ensuring the safety of all students and employees and has already taken steps to prevent these issues from arising again in the future. Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the District mandated that more than 5,000 employees attend a course in Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.

Moving forward, I want to emphasize that all employees of this District are required to make every reasonable effort to protect students from conditions harmful to learning and their safety. It is incumbent upon all employees to share any concerns they might have in this area with fellow employees, administrators, local law enforcement, and the Florida Department of Children and Families. Employees are also required to report suspected child abuse to the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Florida Abuse Hotline (1-800-962-2873, TDD 1-800-453-5145).

The recommended terminations of the five administrators will be considered by the School Board during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, October 14, 2013, at 5:45 p.m. 

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