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New Hanover School Policy Does Groomers’ Work for Them

by Melissa Mason

May 15, 2022

The Scandal NHCS Can’t Stop Lying About


Title IX Director Denies Policy That Keeps Secrets From Parents

I was the first New Hanover County Board of Education candidate to expose the Gender Support Plan, which gave schools the power to hide a student’s gender change from his or her parents.

Watch as Jarelle Lewis, Esq., Title IX Director for New Hanover County Schools (NHCS), tries desperately to do damage control on the emerging scandal.

Title IX Director Gives Six Different Answers in Four Minutes

What an embarrassing display:

“We don’t have this policy.”
“We have a document but we don’t use it.”
“We used the document but not anymore.”
“We used the document, but not in that way.”
“We don’t use the document anymore because we found out we didn’t need it.”
“We never hid the document, it was just never public-facing, and it’s misinformation.”

Turns out the document was found on the NHCS website. So much for “misinformation.”

Title IX Director Denies Reveals Policy That Keeps Secrets From Parents

Here’s the Oct, 19, 2020 Title IX policy committee meeting in which the Gender Support Plan is first discussed.

Not Surprised, Just Disappointed…Again

People familiar with the Michael Kelly scandal know all too well why NHCS has a reputation for cover-ups. Sadly, this most recent attempt at covering up violations of parents’ rights and students’ boundaries reveals that while one set of abusers has been removed, the habit of covering up remains.

Worse, policies like the Gender Support Plan seek to codify cover-ups.

What Gives NHCS the Right to Hide Information From Parents?

Not once did Mr Lewis see fit to explain where the school system gets the right to make policies that hide crucial mental health issues from parents. And NO ONE on the board bothered to ask. In fact, they coached him through this embarrassing piece of theater.

How many other documents that put your kids in danger or trample your parental rights are waiting to be discovered?

The Shocking Non-Denial in Lewis’ Denial

Lewis’ explanation for why the plan doesn’t violate parent’s rights is as clear as it is disturbing:

He says they never used the option to exclude parents from the process.

But he freely admits that the Title IX office gave itself the option to exclude parents from their children’s gender change and planned to exercise that option, on a “case-by-case basis.”

He also clearly states that the information on the document will be shared strictly on a “need to know,” basis. This was no hypothetical discussion. It was an approved and implemented plan.

And EVERYONE on the school board accepted this explanation from Lewis on May 12.

Parents Need to Know About Their Kids; Schools Need to Know Their Place

I will never stop saying this: schools are taking on tasks that they have neither the competence nor the right to perform.

Schools are not medical, psychiatric, or correctional facilities. They need to teach reading, writing, math, and history.

And they definitely don’t have the right to judge my fitness as a parent, much less hide information about my child from me.

Boundaries Prevent Abuse

Unfortunately, the administration and the current school board membership, far from “debunking,” the grooming story, have reaffirmed their support for the schools’ right to have the option to exclude parents.

This argument has been made in support of seclusion rooms, too. “We’ll only use them as a last resort, if at all.” Yet New Hanover County has accounted, at times, for over half the seclusions statewide.

Any parent knows this: where boundaries are not respected, kids are not safe. This board and this administration do not respect your family’s boundaries.

The Gender Support Plan is 100% Grooming

Grooming is well-recognized as the process of normalizing the breaking of boundaries. Never keeping secrets from one’s parents is the most key boundary an abuser must break.

Jarelle Lewis just tried to cover up a policy that would have done a big part of abusers’ work for them.

School Policy Does Groomers’ Work For Them

Michael Kelly was an individual who managed to hide in NHCS long enough to abuse at least 14 victims. He depended on allies and people looking the other way. Many people were implicated. But he had to develop a pattern of grooming on his own.

Abusers are drawn to vulnerable victims, which is why schools must be vigilant. But imagine now how much easier it would have been for Kelly, if the school had a policy that normalizes keeping secrets from parents?

Imagine how many more abusers would be drawn to our schools knowing the first step of the grooming process has been done for them by the schools?

I Will Restore Trust, Come What May

I am calling out lies and a cover-up. I am calling out a policy that endangers your children and violates your rights. I expect to be smeared, attacked, and lied about. Good.

Getting flak means you’re over the target.

No matter what, I will keep exposing the abuse I uncover, whether in office or not. I will not quit.

And together, we will take our schools back.

Vote Education Over Indoctrination
Vote Melissa Mason
May 17 Republican Primary

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