After a seemingly off-colored comment regarding the arrest of two N.P. Moss students on rape charges landed him in this month's PAS BON section of IND Monthly's POOYIE!, Lafayette schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper has responded.
Here's our response to the superintendent's original comment, as printed in the February edition of IND Monthly:
We've been fairly unabashed in our support of Lafayette schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper. He’s shaking up a dysfunctional, mediocre school district and has a proven record of success as super in other districts. But we couldn’t help chime a collective “c’est what?!!!” after reading what he said to IND Monthly staff writer Patrick Flanagan in a Jan. 11 report about two N.P. Moss students being arrested on rape charges: “It’s unfortunate, but it’s not like these are our star students. [N.P. Moss] is where all the kids who didn’t make it anywhere else are sent.” We were long under the impression that Dr. Cooper was from the “any child can learn — even poor kids” school, but we are pained to imagine that this was merely a poor choice of words.
Here's Dr. Cooper's response, received by The IND this morning:
Letter to the editor:
I wish to thank the Independent for pointing out what seemed like a callous and thoughtless statement on my part. The fact that it came across that way to the reporter is something I have to be more careful about and that I have to take responsibility for in any conversation. In fairness, however, the answer I gave was not to criticize or be demeaning to the students, but instead it was in the broader context of taking responsibility for us not having enough security, procedures, and precautions because these students are our most troubled students and we certainly have to understand that and take the necessary precautions. They are not our star students academically or behaviorally perhaps, but they are stars because they are our students. Anyone who knows my career efforts and philosophy will know that I never blame the children.
Dr. Pat Cooper,