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Central’s reputation is now on the line

Bristol, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Two recent sexual harassment cases at Bristol Central High School have perhaps ruined the careers of the accused.
However, the school’s reputation might not have suffered, depending on who you talk to and what you hear.

Surprisingly enough, it is some of Central’s students who are doing their own questioning.

Despite strong support for the accused,especially former Principal Michael Ferry, there is a bit of uncertainty about just what reputation their school now has, and a hint of disgust for the talk that has gone on about the alleged incidents.

Paul Troccolo, a sophomore at Central, told of “people thinking that all the teachers are sex offenders and all the students are used.”

Christine Wegner, also a sophomore at Central, used an analogy to describe the school: “Central’s reputation is like an elevator whose cable broke at ground level ­ it’s going to take something big to get us going again.”

One student, Josh Krampitz, even went as far as to say, “Central’s reputation could be saved if each student were issued a small bulldozer.”

Maybe it doesn’t have to go that far.

A pair of students at Bristol Eastern aren’t ready to bury Central’s reputation just yet.

Troy Schienkel, a sophomore at Eastern, said that even though “there are a lot of jokes going around,” that he personally doesn’t think the school’s image is tarnished.

When asked whether she thought Central’s reputation had suffered, Liz Mellon, another sophomore at Eastern responded, “No, not really,” adding that there were a lot of stories going around about the alleged violations.
Some parents wanted to reserve judgement.

Debbie Darley of Bristol, who has two daughters at Central and one at Chippens Hill Middle School, where Ferry is now working, said,”He (Ferry) was was fine to them. He’s fine at the middle school. I’ve heard a couple of sides of the story. I’m glad that they’re looking into it.”

Other parents didn’t want to comment due to the different stories floating around about just what happened.

What seems to be happening is a lot of different sides and opinions to a story that probably won’t go away, or at least be settled, for a good long time.

Collin Seguin is a Reporter at Youth Journalism International.

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