The principal of Leeds Elementary is in trouble for writing a letter
using school stationary. The letter was in support of a pardon for a
convicted sex offender.
Most concede Leeds Elementary principal Andrew Briskey has a right to
express his opinion, but many are saying he does not need to bring the
Leeds school system into any support for a sex offender.
Dennis Lynn Phillips was charged with second degree rape and sodomy
in 1996 but he pleaded guilty to first degree sex abuse in 1998.
Wednesday, Phillips was up for a pardon before the Alabama Pardons and Paroles Board.
In support of the pardon, a letter was presented from Leeds
Elementary principal Andrew Briskey written on school letter head. The
letter was not authorized by Leeds superintendent John Moore.
"We certainly recognize principals and individuals have a right to
express their opinion. The regret is the letter went out on school
letterhead," Moore said.
The Alabama Pardons and Paroles Board granted the pardon. This upset
head of the Victims of Crime and Leniency Organization, known as VOCAL.
"When he put it on the school letterhead and the board say that was
one of the things they weighed in granting a pardon, that bothers me,"
Jeanette Grantham with VOCAL said.
Superintendent Moore would not say if Briskey's action puts his job
in jeopardy. But there is a concern the letter made it seem like the
school system was backing Phillips' pardon.
"We have a concern there. I would like people to know the school
absolutely does not support that letter or message," Moore said.
"It's something that needs not happen again. Because it reflects on the school," VOCAL's Grantham added.
Grantham has also written of her concerns to the state school system.
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