Delegate Mark Dean
by Ron Gregory
NEWTOWN — The principal accused of pushing striking and shoving a female student at Mingo Central Comprehensive High School is the father of a new legislative delegate, according to informed sources.
Williamson attorney Justin Marcum announced yesterday his intention to sue MCCHS Principal Daniel Dean and the Mingo County Board of Education. Marcum said an investigation conducted by his office indicated the Principle had “smacked and shoved a female student.” Sources close to MCCHS said the girl was 14 or 15 years old. They told the Chronicle she and another student had been involved in an “altercation” when both were sent to the office.
“The students were still talking back and forth as I heard it,” said one source. “Mr. (Daniel) Dean apparently became upset and just hit the one girl and shoved her down.”
Marcum refused to provide details of his investigation except to say that he believed “there are quite a few people who witnessed it and the Principal was in the wrong.” A separate source said the Williamson Detachment of the State Police is looking into the matter.
Marcum said he was hired by the family on behalf of the minor who alleges she was physically assaulted and battered by the Principal. Marcum said he is currently drafting his lawsuit and hopes to file it next week. He confirmed that his client told him the State Police are investigating the incident.
The Williamson lawyer urged the Mingo Board of Education urged the School Board “to do what’s right and investigate the matter.” He said he believes Daniel Dean should be suspended. Marcum described himself as a”huge supporter of Mingo County Schools.”
There was no apparent rush by the local or state Board office to become involved in the matter Friday. A call to Mingo Central resulted in more than ten rings before a recorded message informed a reporter that there were “issues with the phone system. Leave a message and someone will return the call.” Despite leaving a message clearly explaining that the reporter wanted to discuss the student-principal situation, the call was not returned.
An employee in the central Mingo board office explained that the Superintendent, Don Spence, was out of the office for the day. She suggested that perhaps Assistant Superintendent Paula Hinkle-Brian could comment. After a delay, the reporter was told by the employee, “she isn’t able to discuss it, either.”
When a message was left for Spencer, the employee noted that the Superintendent had “several meetings scheduled on Monday.” The reporter suggested that “perhaps the beating of a child should take top priority.”
A call to the state Board of Education was not returned, either.
Mark Dean scored an upset victory over former Delegate Phyllis White in the November general election. Dean, a Republican, defeated Delegate White, 2,988 to 2,735 in the Twenty-first District. Phyllis White had been appointed to complete the term of her husband, Delegate Harry Keith White, and was running to earn a second term.
Mark Dean was elected in a historic West Virginia election, where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump swept to victory along with numerous members of the Board of Public Works and the state legislature.