Olathe East has once again made news headlines due to former history teacher, 33-year-old Justin Adrian, was charged with unlawful sexual relations with a student. He was relieved from his teaching position on September 10. An investigation began on the same day after the student’s mother contacted the school two days prior about a disclosure her son had made. Parents and students were informed by an email that Principal Kerry Lane sent out informing parents of Adrian’s leave:
“We have an outstanding substitute in place currently and will be looking to name a permanent teacher as quickly as possible. Our substitute will be working closely with our Social Studies chair, and I am confident that students will have an excellent remainder [sic] to the 2018-19 school year.”
Following Adrian’s departure from Olathe East, he also resigned from his position as the Ward 3 City Councilmember on September 12. His resignation from his City position made the situation even more complicated. These recent changes have taken a toll on the students and faculty of Olathe East, some more than others.
The Hawk’s Eye interviewed students and staff to find out how this situation has affected the Hawk family.
“It kind of hurt a lot of people, especially because some people really loved Mr. Adrian,” said junior Jessica Chitwood on how Mr. Adrian’s actions have hurt people, and how this event has affected the students and teachers personally.
For some students this event has also seemingly set back students academically.
“We have an AP test to prepare for so his action quite affected our track to getting college credit,” stated junior Jade Belden.
Several students clearly stated they were heavily affected by Mr. Adrian’s departure, teachers and faculty also have felt a disruption in their workplace.
“Most of the teachers that I socialize with would agree that it saddens them and is shocking to them and alarming that anything like this could happen within the walls of our school,” said English teacher Ms. Gretl Shelton about the negative effect this event has brought her co-workers.
While teachers working near the history department have experienced firsthand the effect of this event, Spanish teacher Señora Rhonda Mieves, who happens to work on the opposite end of the school, had a different perspective:
“I don’t see anything different, now granted I’m on the opposite end of the building and I don’t teach a core class, so I haven’t seen the whole impact”, she said.
Going forward, students and faculty were asked of the possibility or appropriateness of Adrian continuing a teaching career in the future after this criminal charge, and most answers were mutual.
“It would have to be after prison, after therapy, after rehabilitation, and in another country. Your record follows you everywhere”, stated Senior Izzie Peterson.
Although Olathe East has suffered a great deal due to Adrians actions, in the wise words of English teacher Mrs. Jennifer Rippee, “There still needs to be forgiveness”.
–Desiree Pitts, Senior Staff Writer