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Brunswick County principal is facing criminal charges

READ MORE: Brunswick County principal is facing criminal charges
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A Brunswick County principal is facing criminal charges tonight. Parents have come forward with what they believe could be an underlying theme in the county's schools. Tracey Danka and other concerned parents gathered outside Brunswick County School administrative offices today. For Danka it was a return to the scene where she said Monroe Elementary Principal Patricia Rourk threatened her life. Danka said she left the school board meeting Tuesday night, was threatened by Rourke and proceeded to file a complaint at the sheriff's office. She went back today to urge parents with similar experiences to come forward. “If it was your child and you didn't speak up, is this not the time to speak up? I don't care in what school, what teacher,” said Danka. Other parents feel it is far from an isolated event. Sandra D’Ambrosio said, “I've had teachers at both schools calling my children foul names, swearing in front of them, and yet my concern is that these children are being held to a higher standard than their own staff members. And this is absolutely ridiculous.” “I just believe there's teachers there that have no business teaching our children. I've been there, I mean I used to volunteer at school. I've heard the teachers talking to children in ways that I would never want somebody talking to my kids, said Robie Fisher, a concerned parent. School Superintendent, Katie McGee, could not comment on personnel issues, but issued this statement. "I understand the citizen has brought charges against the employee related to that exchange, and this is a matter that will be handled by the courts. To the extent these allegations affect our school system we are, as always, conducting our own investigation." Parents said they had many positive experiences with teachers, but felt the administration did little to help with the bad ones.

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JMME - Very Rude School

My son attended pre school here - it was the worst experience I've ever had with a school. Even the Pre-K teachers weren't treating the kids well, either in teaching them, or their well being in the class rooms. I will say that Mrs. McBride was a good teacher, one which I wish I was able to have for my child. Unfortunately, it wasn't the case. My child was so eager at the beginning of the year; 1/2 through, he absolutely hated it. There was fighting going on in the classroom, the teacher even accused one student of "playing with herself" during naptime. What 4 year plays with themself?!?! Not only that, the lunches were all messed up, with charges over $100 at one time, when I kept sending money in for my childs lunch, and the teacher kept sending it home. The administrative staff, for the school and for the cafeteria was rude and short when asking questions, and it didn't seem that anyone knew what was going on. Very, very unorganized. This school needs to be completly wiped out and an entirely new staff in place if this school is to be saved.

Good Lord. Thank you,thank

Good Lord. Thank you,thank you my kids are out of Brunswick County Schools. You people are a freak show.

Business as usual

As usual, the naacp can't wait to jump into a situation before the facts are known. It seems we witnessed this type of thing before in the DUKE LACROSSE TEAM attempted railroad. Isn't it funny though, that Preachers, Pastors, Clergy, and "community leaders" are always more interested in race than the truth. If it weren't for evidence, rule of law, and a court system where truth matters, these same "Ministers and Reverends" would have had innocent men in prison. And when the truth came out, did they go on the news and correct the position they took? Absolutely not. I think when the lawyers get thru with Nifong ( the crooked prosecutor ), they should turn interest to the people who announced the players guilt, with absolutely NO EVIDENCE. I guess being a racist preacher means telling the truth as he see's it, not necessarily as it is. These "men of the cloth" are yappers. Look at me, Look at me. It's time they are held accountable to the TRUTH, and not be allowed to defame, lie, or distort the TRUTH. Wait for the outcome. We may all be surprised.

JMME prayer vigil

I'm not a big fan of the school board and I hope that they will rise to the occasion and back Mrs. Rourk in her efforts to clear her name. That being said I would like to encourage all parents who support Mrs. Rourk to attend the prayer vigil being held tonight, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the school.

Monroe Principal Patricia Rourk

Excuse me. But Ms Danka is the victim here. Here come the NAACP and the Ministers trying to turn the situation around. And just why is the church ministers getting involved? Is this a picnic? Monroe Principal Patricia Rourk needs to address her racism and her racist lying mother!

Wow....

Did anyone bring popcorn? This is a great debate...I love it! :-)

Brunswick Beacon comments........a must read

Everyone must read the comments at www.brunswick beacon.com. Re: Southerners are nuts (and can't spell) That's arrested for waving her arms not arreated for waiving her arms.( This from someone who is criticizing southerners! )Wouldn't want to mistake her for one of those "southern nuts". And isn't there an old adage about tangled webs being woven when deception is being practiced.......I think I read something about that (mercy me...........I can actually read something other than the instructions on the back of the grits bag.......) Danka's web might be stickier than we think. Hope she doesn't get stuck in her own web. Please people.......try the spell check "thingy" before you put anything in these comment sections.

Brunswick Beacon QTPI.

Youall, or however you say it down there just don't get it. Hope you don't ever have charges filed on anyone that has a friend in high places. Retaliation is obviously permitted down there. I guess intimidation of a witness is alright too.

You cant be for real with

You cant be for real with your post... Why would you go directly to insults? YOUALL? Are you really wasting your two cents with a YOUALL? Makes me wonder about some who think they fair better then other due to their location. Isnt that what this matter is about anyway? Everything from race to politics to money and religion. Now we have to worry about teaching people to spell too! Hopefully ya'll will find something better to do with your( better then mine) time.

Replying to all cowards!!!

What I find amazing is that so many of you think you have the right to JUDGE me? You call me a racist, a nut, a liar and a bad mother. You all believe you have the right to freedom of speech, to slander my character and make judgments on me. It’s too bad that you also don’t have the courage to put your real name on these comments. Why is it that all cowards choose to remain anonymous? Let me give you a break down of what I have seen and done… When my children were in kindergarten I took time to come into the school and volunteer every chance my WORK schedule permitted me. At Easter time I arranged to get a bunny suit and spend hours (with Rourks' permission) walking around the school giving out candy (at my own expensive) in that suit. When my WORK schedule permitted I would come in to school early and make copies for the office that ended up in the evening folders. Anytime a teacher asked something from me, I was willing to help. My husband Edward and I also worked with Fran Thomas to tutor children to help the teachers. You say I have no right at a BOE meeting because I have no children in the public school system. There is only one board member that has children that attend Brunswick County schools, so are you telling me the other 4 do not belong there either? If that is the case Patricia Rourk, her mother (Marian Reid), Ann Stanley, Ruby Stanley, Mrs. Duncan and a number of other people that were present at the BOE meeting Tuesday evening have no right either. If you do not live in County you should keep your nose out of our business. You say our son was a problem. How cowardly to make remarks about a child you probably have never met. You must be so proud of yourselves. For your information he is a wonderful, bright, friendly, caring, giving child. I do not believe children are liars nor have an axe to grind. What kind of children are YOU raising? You ask why I am only advocating for the children at this end of the county. This is where I live, shop and where people approach me! I have not heard of staff at Union, Waccamaw or other school in this district having such problems. You may not want me standing up for your child but a lot of parents do! If Ann Stanley did not have that child sit in urine why was she dismissed? Is the BOE using this as a cover for OTHER things she has done to children or was she dismissed over this issue? As we know in Brunswick County we do not dismiss school employees because they are accused of something. If so Ms. Rourk would at the very least be suspended. If I was a threat to the children then why didn’t she take action to have me removed or barred from the school? Isn’t she supposed to be looking out for the welfare of the children? Why did the staff or Rourk not speak up? Why did I only become a problem when I spoke up? It was blogged that I showed up at school to pick up my children in a bikini. I won’t even justify that with a response because it is so ridiculous. Regardless of what I wore this has nothing to do with my dispute with some of the staff at JMME. As to the matter of my employment that is no one’s business but mine and my husband’s and again has nothing to do with this dispute. As to my arrest today consider these facts. I filed charges against Ms. Rourk immediately following the incident on Tuesday evening, Sept. 16. The person who filed the assault charges against me was Ms.Rourk’s mother. The interesting thing is that she claims I assaulted her on Tuesday, Sept. 16 but she didn’t file charges against me until Thursday, Sept. 18. Why did she wait 2 days to file her charges? Also, why was it that a police officer was dispatched to my home to transport me to the courthouse in Boliva to appear in person before a magistrate while Ms. Rourk only received a summons to appear on Oct. 15? Are there different processes for regular citizens and government employees? I find it interesting that so many can spend so much time blogging about inconsequential matters such as what I wear and where I work. Look at the real issues regarding our schools. If these petty matters are all you can blog about you need to get a life of your own. You can’t have ours. My family and I are already using it. Tracey Danka

Im still not really clear as

Im still not really clear as to why you were even there if you dont have kids in the public school system. I have chosen to enroll my children in private school and really dont think anything that goes on in the public school's affects me or my family. I havent read any comments calling your child a problem or any degrading name. I will however ask why are people sending there 6-7 year old kids to school not potty trained? I thought that was a requirement unless the child was special needs? I can see some kids not even saying they soiled themselves and maybe teachers not knowing. You have things you expect these teachers to do for your kids like teaching them to read and write and they have expections of you also like helping with homework coming to confrences and potty training your child before the first grade. I would assume what you do for work has to be something to hide if you wont speak proudly of it, one can assume what you do if you freely go to public places wearing very little clothing, especailly to a school where there are young children. They have dresscodes inplace and everyone on campus should abide including guest. Seems to me you spent sometime in the school and feel like things should go your way but in reality things are fair for everyone. I think the law was sent to your house to escort you to court because of the way you have conducted yourself. Who goes to a public meeting to pick a fight? I would also like to ask how your child feels about this? It truly effects them way beyond your court date. I also want to say that maybe your job, choice of language and atire have a lot to do with the way the public is accepting your complaint valid or not. What about your husband? Was he at the meeting that had nothing to do with you and your family? Looks to the average person that you have just picked a person and went on a high school like ambush.... I will also tell you sometimes the public schools arent that bad a lot of times the same things go on in private settings its just the people who attend that private school conduct themselves accordingly and come to solutions to help the school and better the student. All this seems to have put Brunswick County School's down again.Those poor kids.... I would be very upset if my child was attending any school in a community that dosent have any pride. Your children need to know that everything they do is supported 100% and this includes their schools. Acting like this just creates an environment for the student's to fail.You can point fingers all you want but the problem starts at home. I know my children mimick my behavior so what would make youres any diffrent? I just hope for the sake of every child involved this finds resolution very soon.....

Re: I'm still not really clear

This is the first sensible comment I've read. I had planned to reply to Ms. Danka's comment, but you have taken the words right out of your mouth. I believe she has been and/or is deprived of attention, so she deems it necessary to find ways to put herself in the public spotlight at the expense of the school system. If her kids are in private school, then why is she so concerned with the public school. Thank you for making sense.

Nice

We appreciate hearing your side, Tracy.

Ms. Rourk

I know teachers at that school and I can tell you that Ms. Rourk is only interested in her well being. She might put on a great front and seem to have the children's interest at heart but looks are deceiving. Of course there will be those that say she is a great boss but I can tell you she only cares about her own career. Left to a choice between taking the blame and passing it on the teachers, the teachers would be the ones under the bus, bump bump.

Mrs. Rourk

I used to work there and trust me Mrs. Rourk will turn on you like a viper. She was so nice and polite at first but I finally saw the real Mrs. Rourk by her actions. After all "actions speak louder than words". I wonder why she isn't suspended while they investigate her. The teachers would probably be out of a job if they were in her shoes. There are still a few good teachers there but I wonder how happy are they with their so called leader. I thank God I'm not teaching at that school.

I am also a former teacher

I am also a former teacher there and wanted to echo these comments. I can add nothing new to these claims except for another notch on the belt.

Ditto Used to Work There

When a chance opened many of us FLEW out of there. She becomes a snake striking out often behind closed doors or throwing up her hand at you and walking away refusing to professionally discuss concerns with you. Behind that "smiling and meek" person is the viper. Unless you have seen her in action, you don't have a CLUE as to what she is really like. Those who have not been fortunate enough to transfer/leave they are afraid to speak up out of the retailiation they would endure. She can hide behind the NAACP or the Board but she knows the truth and she lives with that everyday. What goes around comes around sooner or later. Right now may be later for her but one day she will be in a situation where she will be reminded of how she struck out at others and knows how they felt.

Rourk

You can't go around treating people like dirt and come out squeaky clean forever. I can't believe she (ROURK) is still there. God bless the good teachers that are still there but are afraid to speak out against the Dictator. The trial on the 15th will be interesting. Will Rourk remain at JMMES and continue to bring it down? Is she the principal because her grandmother is Jessie Mae? Right now she is making the school look bad and THAT IS JUST NOT RIGHT. School Board...... get real and get her out.

DANKA

GIVE ME A BREAK! DANKA WANTS A POSITION ON THE SCHOOL BOARD ANY WAY SHE CAN GET IT.MS. ROURKE HAS VERY HIGH STANDARDS FOR HERSELF AND THE SCHOOL.I HAVE WITNESSED MANY DAYS SHE IS OUTSIDE TALKING TO THE STUDENTS AND PARENT ON A FIRST NAME BASIS,REPORT CARDS AND PROGRESS REPORTS LOOKED AT BY HER AND SIGNED. THE REAL ISSUE IS MCGEE DOING A TERRIBLE JOB.SHE NEEDS TO BE GONE AND THE BOARD NEEDS A SHAKEUP AS WELL.PAY ATTENTION FOLKS TO WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.MCGEE WANTS TO KEEP HER HIGH PAYING JOB AND DANKA IS A RAY GILBERT IN DRAG.

Parents Panel

Again, after reading this and having been involved with this system for less than 24 months I believe a parent panel should be formed BY THE PARENTS of Brunswick County; the school board should empower this panel to investigate and report back to the school board and media with their findings; I agree students and parents should act appropriatly however, there is NO EXCUSE for teachers, principals or administrators to behave in the manner that I have seen in 24 months; in other locations across the United States, these individuals would have been on the un-employment line and censured by the very governments which regulate and license them!

hold on a sec ...

First of all, each school in the county has a parent advisory council and there is a county level advisory as well. Second of all, it was be a great tragedy to have a panel of parents investigating anything of this nature. The majority of parents (actually, the majority of citizens) are ill equipped to know how to carry out this task.

Parent Advisory

BEWARE! Don'take comfort in having a parent advisory group. The parents are "hand picked" by the principal. Danka wouldn't have been selected to be on the committee if her life had depended on it. Neither would any other parent who wouldn't agree with the principal and her self appointed leadership team and committees.

Some parents are worse than the kids

This woman is a Jerry Springer wanna be who will make up any lie about an authority figure just to get her own power trip going. There should be surveillance cameras everywhere to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Then you'd see where the real trouble is. She's going after this principal. She's the kind of parent who keeps schools from getting better because she condones, in fact, encourages her kid to be disruptive. She's getting her fifteen minutes of fame, doing her best to ruin another person's reputation and livelihood. That's her mission.

BC BOE Principal threatened parent?

My name is Donna Reisen. My son is a 3rd grade student at JMME. Let me start by saying my son has been blessed with great teachers, but I too question some of these people allowed to be around my child. Mr. Gilbert for example, admitted adultery, accused of bringing guns on school property, and using school funds for god knows what. Ms. Rourk, the principal of my son’s school, using racial slurs and threatening to kill a parent. I myself have witnessed children being grabbed by a teacher. Let’s talk about the student that urinated on himself and was left to sit in it all day. I know for a fact that it occurred because my own son pooped his pants and sat in it all day. When I picked him up at the end of the day I could smell it immediately. When questioned he said he was not allowed to go to the bathroom. The poor kid came home with a sore and bleeding butt. When school officials were questioned I was told the kids need to learn to hold it at which time I gave my son permission to go to the bathroom whenever he needed to and I would deal with anyone that tried to punish him. I feel Mrs. Danka conducted herself better than I because if any teacher was to put their hands on my child I promise you my hands would be on them!!!! When someone decides to become a teacher they have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner which is suitable to be around such impressionable, young minds. They need to conduct themselves that way in public and even under stressful situations. I DO NOT feel Mr. Gilbert or Ms. Rourk conducted themselves in that manner. Nor do I feel ANY adult has the right to put their hands on anyone’s child. It is the parent’s responsibility to discipline their children. For those of you who are dogging Mrs. Danka or feel her children got what they deserved, I say to you…. Wait until it happens to YOUR child and see how you react. For those of you that question Mrs. Danka’s values and how her children are treated, I say… Maybe you should look into your own values because you’re the ones that are turning a blind eye to the people our children are being exposed to. I don’t teach color in my home nor do I allow my son to judge people by where they came from or their economic stature. This issue has nothing to do with color, money, or where someone came from. The issue is our children and their education, and the focus should be on that. There are great teachers at JMME but a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. For those teachers who do their job by educating and protecting my son…. I commend you. For those of you who are not doing right by our children, I will join Mrs. Danka’s fight in making sure you are removed from the school system.

chataboutit

BC BOE Principal threatened parent? Submitted by Donna Reisen (not verified) on 20 September 2008 - 7:13pm. Response/comments/Questions My name is Donna Reisen. My son is a 3rd grade student at JMME. Let me start by saying my son has been blessed with great teachers, but I too question some of these people allowed to be around my child. Mr. Gilbert for example, admitted adultery, accused of bringing guns on school property, and using school funds for god knows what. Ms. Rourk, the principal of my son’s school, using racial slurs and threatening to kill a parent. (Preserve the rights that are in the constitution that allow ever accused to face their accuser in an impartial court.) I myself have witnessed children being grabbed by a teacher. (Did you report this incident to the proper officials / authorities, as required by the law. If you are as concerned about the children as you say, you should have made the complaint.) Are you saying that you condone mistreatment of students? Let’s talk about the student that urinated on himself and was left to sit in it all day. (Did you or the parent bring this incident to the attention of staff or the administration?) How can the staff address and correct problems that they have no knowledge?) I know for a fact that it occurred because my own son pooped his pants and sat in it all day. When I picked him up at the end of the day I could smell it immediately. When questioned he said he was not allowed to go to the bathroom. The poor kid came home with a sore and bleeding butt. When school officials were questioned I was told the kids need to learn to hold it at which time I gave my son permission to go to the bathroom whenever he needed to and I would deal with anyone that tried to punish him. (I am concerned that there are gaps or enthusiasm in your story, however I wish you would have brought it to the attention of the appropriate staff.) I feel Mrs. Danka conducted herself better than I because if any teacher was to put their hands on my child I promise you my hands would be on them!!!! (Peace is the answer and I wonder what will your child learn from that response! I am beginning to get a picture of your character and you may be more dangerous than you allege or think Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Rourk or even Mrs. Danka. Be careful how you write your thoughts because if something ever happens you may regret your words.) When someone decides to become a teacher they have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner which is suitable to be around such impressionable, young minds. They need to conduct themselves that way in public and even under stressful situations. (Parents should be childre/students 1st teacher- are you. What kind of parent are you as you have communicated possible threats to staff? I am not necessarily opposed to Mrs. Danka and here request to remove bad teachers, staff or even board members, I just disagree with the battles that she is fighting and the people that she has attacked appear to be doing more for our/your students than most in their position. My dad, retired/deceased Marine Corps Officer, told my sister and I that we can choose to win a few battles and loose the war or we can choose to win the war and suffer some setbacks in battle. You and Danka may loose some very valuable allies and even the war that you wage!) I DO NOT feel Mr. Gilbert or Ms. Rourk conducted themselves in that manner. Nor do I feel ANY adult has the right to put their hands on anyone’s child. It is the parent’s responsibility to discipline their children. (The beauty of America is that you have your right to think the way you do and the fact that Mr. Gilbert and Mrs. Rourk are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Check your facts, because it was a mistake that has caused many a problems in the world.) LoL.

Donna

My child goes to union Thank the Lord! If this is true some of what you are saying as far as sitting in urine all day why did you not go to social services and whoever else you could to inform them of the situation and start somekind of investigation? I would never have backed down if my child told me this and to top it off had marks to prove it! The doctors, social services, law enforcement..I would have gone everywhere for my kid. When I was done with that I would be at the Beacon writing about it and believe me, I would have been at that school! I also would have taken it to Raleigh if need be. Fight for your children people, you have power just use it the right way.

Why such fighting words?

You have made your feelings plain to your kids. You empower them to the notion that, true or not, they can make serious accusation of wrongdoing & hold it over a teacher's head to get what they want. It isn't as easy as you think supervising kids' whereabouts as often as a lot of kids ask to go to the bathroom. You should try volunteering. Extra help assures that individual needs like that can be covered. Maybe then you'd better understand how school routine works & is different than in your home. Rest assured though, the law says a teacher is "in parentis loco" which means they have authority over your child in school, so you do not tell your children to do something that supercedes that authority. Thumbing your nose at teachers & school in general like that is NOT good teaching on your part.

Mrs. Reisen

You quoted, "When school officials were questioned I was told the kids need to learn to hold it at which time I gave my son permission to go to the bathroom whenever he needed to and I would deal with anyone that tried to punish him." I agree there are teachers that should not be teaching but when parents tell their children things like this it does NOT help any teacher. You criticise the teacher for acting a certain way (and you should if that is the case) yet you are acting the same.

Response to MRs. Reisen

My correct name is Miss Reisen. I told my son to ask the first time to go to the bathroom. If he is refused and has to go then YES he has my permission to go to the bathroom. Tell me should he be left to soil his pants???? No way!!! He will use the bathroom when he needs to. When did it become a privilege to use the restroom rather than a right in Brunswick County?

Well...

Donna, the only thing I would have done differently in a case like yours, would have been to let the faculty know in advance that my child may have difficulties "holding it", and that he needed to be allowed to use the restroom when he asked to use it. I think it's a fine line giving kids the idea that they can buck the teachers authority, but aren't parents SUPPOSED to look after their kids best interest, regardless? Aren't we SUPPOSED to stand up for our kids when they need it? And to be sure, if you smelled it, the teacher did. Why weren't you called to pick him up early, or did they just want him to suffer the embarrassment? It's sad.