Dear Decaturish – Superintendent of City Schools of Decatur apologizes to Carter Wilson
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Editor’s note: This letter, written by Superintendent David Dude, is in reference to statements the superintendent made during a previous interview regarding a Title IX complaint against the school. To read that story, click here.
I am writing to publicly apologize to Mr. Carter Wilson for an unfortunate error I made last month and to provide corrected information. The unintentionally inaccurate information was provided in an interview with the Editor of Decaturish in advance of the June 23, 2020, story titled “Department of Education can’t substantiate assault in Oakhurst bathroom, finds Title IX violations.”
In that interview, I was asked who our Title IX liaison was at the time of the alleged Oakhurst incident (or something similar). In responding, I confused this case with a previous case and my reference to Mr. Wilson was not accurate. Mr. Wilson had no involvement in the investigation of the alleged Oakhurst incident because he was no longer a City Schools of Decatur employee at that time.
I was also quoted as saying, “There was some confusion about who would investigate a case like this. Carter’s understanding was he was the Title IX coordinator for purposes of athletics, and the central office’s understanding is he was Title IX coordinator for the district.”
Mr. Wilson was disturbed by my quote because he was never confused about his job responsibilities and did not recall any conversation from central office personnel about Title IX. I do not doubt he is correct in both regards. Mr. Wilson has confirmed to me that his clear understanding was that he oversaw Title IX for the purposes of athletics, which is what I shared in the quote. Unfortunately, I was repeatedly informed at the time by staff in the central office that Mr. Wilson oversaw Title IX in all regards for the district. This was the basis for the second part of my quote. I can understand Mr. Wilson’s concern that a reader of the story could take that as a criticism of him, but in no way was that the intent. I was providing an example of why our district was struggling with Title IX compliance at the time, a fact that did not show up on my radar until about a year into my tenure here. Since that time, our district has made vast improvements in our handling of Title IX. Again, it was not at all my intent to convey criticism of Mr. Wilson, and I feel terrible that my choice of words could be interpreted that way.
Mr. Wilson was a longtime employee of the district and was instrumental in building up our athletics program to what it is today. I regret that my comments may have implied any wrongdoing on Mr. Wilson’s part. I appreciate that the original post has been updated to reflect that Mr. Wilson was not employed by CSD at the time of the Oakhurst allegation, and I hope that a reference to this letter to the editor can also be included there as well.
To Mr. Wilson, I want to extend my most sincere apologies for this unfortunate error and wish to publicly thank you for your many years of dedicated service to our district.
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