According to The Courier-Journal, JCPS is saying release of its investigation will take another month. (www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs/dll/article?AID=2009905280347) It's already been nine months. The police completed their investigation in November and a grand jury charged Coach Jason Stinson with reckless homicide. District Spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said on March 3 that the district needed another 4-6 weeks before releasing details of the JCPS investigation. On April 14, Superintendent Sheldon Berman said it would be another four weeks. Now, just a few days before June, Berman is saying it could take another month to release details of the district's investigation.
This is foot dragging, pure and simple. What more information is available now that JCPS hasn't been able to uncover for nine months? Max's parents, Michelle Crocket and Jeff Gilpin, said they believe the district is trying to delay releasing anything until after Stinson's trial, which begins on August 31.
"It became very clear to us (after reading the Louisville Metro Police Department's investigative file) that we needed to conduct more interviews and collect more data," Berman told The Courier-Journal. "All that is being done now and we should have a report and bring this to a close in mid-June."
But hold on. You couldn't have done that last November? I wrote here back in February that the district waited too long to decide to interview football players and coaches, a process that was reported to have been concluded in late September, an entire month after Max collapsed. Who does JCPS still need to talk to? How accurate are those memories after nine months? If one month was too long to investigate, how about nine?
JCPS botched this from the start. I'm often an advocate of the school district, on this blog and in social circles. But clearly to me, JCPS failed to recognize that a football player hospitalized in a coma following practice on a hot, muggy, August afternoon constituted a crisis. And when that 15-year-old died three days later and JCPS still failed to launch an investigation until after his funeral, the superintendent turned a manageable crisis into a situation beginning to bubble out of control. Then came the civil suit, the criminal charges, and nine months of investigation, and JCPS still has more people to talk to. Sorry, Mr. Berman. You are doing a disservice to the coach, his assistants, and the principal, all of whom have been named in the parents' civil suit. You have lost credibility and control of this crisis.