CAMDEN — A security worker charged with assaulting a special-needs student in April has faced repeated allegations that he manhandled youngsters at D.U.E. Season Charter School, the school founded and led by his mother.Lawrence Carpenter’s alleged actions at the K-8 school came despite a history of complaints from parents, students and staff to his mother, Principal Doris Carpenter, a Courier-Post investigation shows.Now, a former Season teacher has sued the school and Doris Carpenter, saying she was retaliated against after complaining last October about alleged mistreatment of students by Lawrence Carpenter. In a letter to the principal, fourth-grade teacher Stacy Sampson described seeing Lawrence Carpenter, the school’s security leader, grab a boy by the collar and “slam him into a wall.”Her civil suit alleges Lawrence Carpenter, who continues to work at Season, was responsible for a hostile work environment at the school. It also depicts Season as a “dysfunctional school,” alleging it has too few books and desks, and that fourth-graders struggled to count to 20 or to spell a simple word like “talk.”...
Lawrence Carpenter came to the public’s attention earlier this year in a video, obtained by the Courier-Post, that showed him grab 13-year-old Yontre Stanton around the neck with one hand and hold him for 19 seconds.City police have charged Lawrence Carpenter with aggravated assault. He remains under investigation by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. The state Department of Education is investigating Season as a result of the incident...Lawrence Carpenter’s behavior issues begin with a 2007 supervisor’s warning letter about his abrasive tone in 2007, the year Season opened...Lawrence Carpenter is not the only issue facing Season.• LaGreta Brown, a controversial former principal in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, was recently hired as an interim administrator. She was fired in Philadelphia after an outbreak of violence against Asian-American students.• Poor academic performance heading into the year before its charter is up for state renewal. The school has not made what the DOE terms as adequate yearly progress in improving the performance of its students.• A staff turnover rate approaching 50 percent a year and a student loss rate above 40 percent• A police investigation into alleged activities by Nelson Olivo, a former media specialist. Some Season parents have claimed Olivo acted inappropriately toward young girls. Child pornography allegedly was found on his personal computer, at the school, after he fled the area.
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D.U.E. Season Charter School
“Former teacher files lawsuit against Camden charter school.” Courier-Post (NJ), 7/20/2012