Recently, in a post titled “Doing the People’s Work” on his “Hensley School Board” Facebook page, Moore County school board member David Hensley attacked a settlement between MCS and a then-student over allegations of sexual misconduct. He also shared a page from court filings that contained, among other details, the student’s first name, which together with information previously published in the news is sufficient to discern her identity.
By broadcasting her name and details about her alleged sexual assault by a school resource officer, Mr. Hensley put this young woman at risk emotionally and potentially physically. Moreover, he has chilled the likelihood that other students and MCS employees will come forward with similar types of future claims.
As though it inoculates his words, Mr. Hensley has protested that his “Hensley School Board” page is not an “official” page of his elected office. Regardless, it identifies him as a board member and states it exists as a “Public Service” for him to express his “views on educational topics(.)” One can reasonably infer that he is speaking there as a MCS BOE member.
Finally, that the litigation file is publicly available if requested and paid for is not decisive. Even though the information is discoverable, it is flatly wrong for an MCS leader to out this young woman and share details about her alleged assault.
Perhaps in pledging to publish the entire unredacted file, Mr. Hensley intends to litigate this settlement in the court of public opinion either to somehow reopen it or prove it was wrongly reached. His was a reckless action that appears calculated to shame the past board’s decision at the expense of both a girl who was 16 at the time and the trust of MCS families and employees. That is what is truly shameful.
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