Just when we thought high schools had forgotten the importance that athletics play in the every day lives of their students, we read a story like this.
The former principal of Northwestern High School near Miami (home of the fighting Bulls), was indicted Wednesday on charges that he failed to report on-campus sex crimes in order to protect a star running back who eventually led his team to a state title. Dwight Bernard, turned himself in after the indictment was released, and was taken to Miami-Dade County Jail.
The incident happened last September, when Antwain Easterling, an 18-year-old senior football player, allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old freshman on the floor of a school bathroom. Classy Antwain, classy. The sex was described as consensual, but because of the students’ ages, is considered a crime under Florida law. The indictment claims Bernard was told of the incident by other school employees about a month later and was informed that it needed to be reported. It wasn’t. The grand jury report claims that he failed to report the incident (as well as another one) because he feared it would negatively impact the school’s top-ranked football team. Bernard was removed as the school’s principal in March.
All told, 21 school employees were aware of the incident and the police became aware of it only after the girl’s mother encountered an officer in December at a coffee shop. The school district never disciplined Easterling. He was then arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious battery, but entered a pretrial program that will wipe his record clean. Easterling has committed to play football at Southern Miss. Shockingly, the guy had an offer from “The U” and did not take it. I guess maybe they are trying to clean things up over the-hahaha, OK I can’t say that with a straight face.