Letter: Questions about Knox Middle School incident

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 2021

I read the article about Knox Middle School Assistant Principal Christopher McNeil and the classroom incident and have some questions:

1) Why was Mr. McNeil called to the classroom?

2) What was the student of the “altercation” doing to require this?

3) If Mr. McNeil had turned away from the student, why did the latter push up against the former?

4) Why were two people required to “restrain” the student?

5) What motivated the student’s screaming while being led away?

6) Are there any prior records of problems regarding Mr. McNeil or the student and how are these evaluated in judging this event?

7) Why did Mr. McNeil choose to resign after years at Knox, and does this decision reflect more against him or against the school?

8) To what extent are teachers vulnerable to aggression by students and what is done to prevent this?

9) To what extent does such behavior reflect on parents and home environment, as well as a student’s peers?

10) Are excuses such as poverty and broken homes (or dysfunctional ones) used to gloss over problems in which responsibility is not weighed in the balance? The responsibility for one’s actions?

Teachers are poorly paid and strike me as an exploited class in a thankless profession serving an undeserving public, but that is my perception. The points made by the questions raised, however, need to be considered so that worthwhile personnel will not leave the classroom and have better morale and support from the community.

— Richard Nash Creel