It’s not every day Grandview High School is uprooted by a sex scandal; but Grandview’s 20th anniversary brought with it a plethora of bad publicity, leaving the student body in the dark.
By Michelle Rabinovich
Broderick Lundie, a former security guard here at Grandview High School, is standing trial for allegedly, using “allegedly” because of legalities and not because there is any personal doubt of his guilt, having sexual contact with a student here at Grandview High School, and is now facing charges of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust and sexual assault involving a 10-year age difference, according to Arapahoe County District Court records. By now, despite pleading not guilty, his name has been dragged through the news, and mud has been slung at our school, our district, and our staff.
So the big question is, how did it get this bad? Surely there were red flags. There must’ve been something someone could’ve done differently. Why did it take so long for the parents to be informed?
Personally, I found out by complete accident.
Being the complete embodiment of the teenage stereotype, I learned about the arrest from my social media accounts. I was scrolling through my twitter when I saw Lundie’s mugshot as a headline. Parents from the Grandview community were outraged, and I don’t blame them; especially since the media made it seem as though it was all a big coverup, or some kind of Illuminati level conspiracy.
The only semblance of an outreach was Superintendent Dr. Harry Bull’s letter to the community almost four months after the arrest. In the letter, which was mailed directly to CCSD parents, Bull stated that his decision to remain silent was in order to protect the victim.
Difficult to believe.
Fellow students, rest assured that Grandview Principal Dr. Lisa Sprague has not been blind to the complaints.
“I’ve had some students come in and talk to me like; Why didn’t you say anything? Why was this pushed under the rug, or so they felt. Why weren’t we told? So I think it was helpful for Dr. Bull to send the letter about why, because that decision was made outside of school,” said Sprague before going on to clarify that her involvement, and consequently Grandview’s involvement, ended almost as quickly as it began.
“In April, I was informed of the allegations on a Sunday night. I immediately called my district supervisors-- Sunday night-- and by Monday morning I was with the district Human Resources department here before kids came in the building to put him on leave. So HR actually puts him on leave, not the principal of the building…after that, they take over. So it was Sunday night to Monday morning, then we were totally taken out of the picture.”
The majority of my personal frustration wasn’t as much with the incident itself, but rather with the lack of communication between all involved parties. This was completely exacerbated when the news story broke that Grandview was informed of sexual assault complaints against Lundie almost a year before his arrest.
It gets weirder. Apparently, nobody in the district, including Dr. Bull, knew about these complaints. The School Resource Officer (SRO) responsible for this report states that he shared his findings verbally, meaning there is no written report and nobody confessing to knowing about these allegations.
"It gets weirder. Apparently, nobody in the district, including Dr. Bull, knew about these complaints."
At the risk of sounding like a cliche marriage counselor, our district has some serious communication issues. This is true for all levels. There wasn’t significant communication between students and the Grandview administration, the administration and the district, the district and the press, and all of these groups with the parents.
The reality is that the obscene oversight in communication from all involved parties has dramatically disproved the idea that ignorance is bliss. Students here at Grandview were left reeling, wondering where “the cool security guard” went. Students have been overheard wondering if Lundie had transferred to a different school, even as recently as a week ago. Students that rely on the school for information like this are left clueless. The allegations and complaints made against Lundie should have been reported and handled appropriately.
To be frank, this revelation means that someone accused of statutory rape was spending over 35 hours a week in a building with thousands of minors. These are serious allegations which should be taken, well, seriously. The “hush hush” mentality enacted by the district, while may very well have originally been intended to protect the victim, has arguably introduced more potential victims, and insulted the maturity of the student body, as though we couldn’t handle the truth. As a senior myself, the lack of communication gave off the message that “Yes, you can vote. You can also gamble, buy cigarettes, or get a tattoo. But you know what you can’t do? You can’t be informed about important updates about the adults around you, because that’s far too much for you.”
Granted, not everyone supported the oath of silence.
“If we were able to say something we would. If I were at liberty to say something I would have,” Dr. Sprague confessed. “What I’m feeling in general is that people really wanted to know. People wanted communication and I hear that loud and clear.”
Sprague also revealed that the district has hired a corporate lawyer. They are paying said lawyer to look into their practices in reaction to Lundie’s arrest and report what they could have done differently. Of course, this is a credit to the district, as they are actively taking into account the complaints they have received and are trying to change their practices and mindsets for the better. In the future, CCSD, I’m available for hire; and I would gladly do the same job at a discount price.
Well, as John Powell said, the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. There were genuinely a lot of mistakes made in the handling of this case, the biggest one being the delay in Dr. Bull’s letter. It seemed as though he only spoke out once the controversy broke. It’s hard to say whether or not there would ever be a letter had the Lundie case not made national news.
"The fear of bad publicity should never again be a factor when deciding whether or not to do the right thing."
Here’s the thing; CCSD can and should build upon this experience. The fear of bad publicity should never again be a factor when deciding whether or not to do the right thing. Their decision to keep parents and the student body ignorant to the Lundie situation may have come from good intentions, but what ended up being accomplished was a lot of burned bridges and broken trust. The truth comes out eventually, and it is better to hear about it from the district itself than a late night news broadcast. All the student body can ask for now is for open communication, honesty, and transparency when it comes to problems that directly affect them.
Don’t leave the wolves in the dark.