‘Markley’s got to go!’: Still no answers after special NHCS Board meeting

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County School Board held a special meeting on Sunday after middle school teacher Peter Frank was arrested Monday and charged with 12 counts of child sex crimes.

Similar to the news conference the board held Thursday, a lot of questions were left unanswered.

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Angry parents and concerned community members made their voices heard before the meeting.

“Hey hey..ho ho..Markley’s got to go!” The crowd chanted. “What do you want? Justice! When do you want it? Now!”

When the meeting started, the board immediately voted to go into closed session.

Parents and community members stayed in the room, discussing among themselves.

“If this has been going on for the last 20 or 30 years..God knows how many people’s children have been molested,” Community Activist Reverend Dante Murphy said.

Frank is the third teacher in the district in less than two years accused of sexual misconduct. Former teacher Michael Kelly pleaded guilty to sex crimes last year.

“Why were they either let still be in our district working with children or why were they let proceed on to other districts where they were arrested later for the same thing?” Roland Grise teacher Lesley Sloan asked. “We wanna know why. We want answers too.”

Sloan continued to say other teachers at Roland Grise are doing everything they can to keep students safe and encourage them to speak up if anything ever happens to them.

Activist Reverend Dante Murphy wants to see change.

He is calling for the state Department of Instruction to take over the school district.

“This is an epidemic and if this does not warrant a take over then they need to forget about taking over school systems for any other reason,” Murphy said. “This system has a problem with teachers molesting students. Something has to be done.”

Not only that, Murphy is calling for the termination of Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley.

“Dr. Tim Markley should have been fired long before today,” Murphy said. “And if he’s not fired today I still wonder what it is that’s keeping him within this system based on what has happened over the many years.”

After the nearly two and a half hour meeting, Board Chair Lisa Estep made a statement saying the board is conducting its own investigation in the matter involving Peter Frank. She says they will continue the discussion in closed session at their meeting Tuesday evening.

The board did not take further questions or comments.

As of Sunday, Peter Frank is still employed with New Hanover County Schools and is suspended without pay.