Spivey Sentenced

One year after he was first accused and three months after he pleaded guilty, former CHS choir director Jonathan Spivey has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, Rob Seal reports for the Progress. (He was actually sentenced to twenty years, but the remainder was suspended.) When released he’ll be on probation for five years and have to register as a sex offender.

141 Responses to “Spivey Sentenced”


  • This is so incredibly sad for all involved.

  • Maybe for the victims, but not for Spivey. Looks like the system let him off the hook to me. If a victim was your son Chville Teacher do you think you would have the same opinion? Teacher taking advantage of and sexually violating you son in a school facility. Unreal to me that this can happen with such little punishment. I believe the family that served alcohol to a group of teenagers in a home setting may have received more jail time. Something is seriously wrong with the juducial system in this town.

  • Something is seriously wrong with this scenerio. They suspend mostly the entire sentence? Are you KIDDING ME? If I were the victim or a family member I’d be up in someone’s face and be hounding the press to cover this story without softballing it.
    Absolutly disgusting. I just don’t get it.

  • I agree that the jail time is not adequate for the crime, and that was my first reaction to hearing the sentence. My overwhelming emotion is still one of sadness–Spivey, his victims and their families, teachers at CHS who thought they knew Spivey, Spivey’s former students who have been devastated by the revelations, and Spivey’s wife and children. If Spivey had sought counseling for his apparent conflict about his issues rather than acting on his impulses with his students, for God’s sake, think of the pain that could have been avoided.

  • Won’t the 26 year-old WAHS teacher get a mandatory 10 years from the feds for the crime of soliciticing sex via the Internet? We need to synch up our state/federal sentencing guidelines or do something to insure that the sentence better fits the crime.

  • Condoms, lotion, and stain swabs in the closet? It does not get much worse than that. And interviewing the student ALONG with the suspect in the 2001 incident? WTF?

  • Falstaff, you are so right, Spivey has sex with a number of boys at CHS and gets 21 months. WAHS has internet contact with a minor and gets 10 years. WTF in deed

  • The CCS School Board Chair is one of Spivey’s best friends and is the minister at the church at which Spivey was music director for years. Ironic? Conflict of interest?

  • I seem to recall the CCS schoolboard chair the “reverend” Edwards coming to Spivey’s defense soon after he was arrested. “Can’t be true! Pillar of the church community!”
    Yeah,right.

  • Jonathan Spivey has been softballed all through this whole entire process, finally handcuffed and incarcerated for ruining on the court record four young mens lives when we all know and suspect their were quite a few more. Why in Charlottesville are you all being so quiet about this. A teacher at Western Albemarle get ten years for not even touching a student and soliciting her through an email and Jonathan Spivey gets 21 months its reprehensible and shameful. The other issue is Alvin Edwards who was sitting there supporting him on Thursday is up for re-election on the Charlottesville School Board, does this concern anyone in Charlottesville that the Chairman of the school board is supporting a child molester who molested the children in the school, I strongly urge the voters of Charlottesville to send Mr. Edwards, on his merry way this November as he does not belong on the school board especially with the fact that he is Mr. Spiveys best friend and rumored lover. A strong police investigation needs to go into Mr. Edwards past and make sure that he was not involved in any of the crimes that Spivey was accused of, or other crimes that might have happend that were never brought to court. This is a sad day for the City of Charlottesville and an even sadder day for the victims of those crimes and the other victims that Jonathan left behind.

  • Ditto, Josh. The voters in Charlottesville DO need to send Alvin Edwards packing, and quickly.

    Just wondering if there is a class/race issue here with the sentencing. Mr. Spivey’s (identified) victims were evidently from low-income homes, also African-American. Would the sentence have been less if Spivey’s victims had been from upper-middle class homes? If they had been white?

  • Whoops, I meant to ask if the sentence would have been more.

  • so jane doe and josh, will you write letters to the daily progress? the school board campaign is getting going–now is the time!

  • I can’t–not in the position to stick my neck out on this one. Hope others do.

  • Edwards has friends in high places as we can see. Anyone who sticks his/her neck out is likely to get it cut off. But I wish the press wasn’t so cowardly.Everyone, not only the African American community seems to be intimidated by him. I noticed Spivey had no trial-just pleaded out and got this short jail sentence. Lots of behind the scenes stuff going on that the public will never know about. But I’m sure the victims didn’t want-or need-the trauma of a public trial. And who could blame them?

  • I strongly urge the voters of Charlottesville to send Mr. Edwards, on his merry way this November as he does not belong on the school board especially with the fact that he is Mr. Spiveys best friend and rumored lover.

    This statement is disgraceful. I don’t know Rev. Edwards, but I know that passing along hurtful gossip like this about anybody is wrong. I’m certain that Josh wouldn’t like anybody doing this to him. At the very least, Josh ought to come forward with his full identity, to permit Rev. Edwards to challenge him on his assertion.

    If somebody wants to present facts to encourage voters to vote for or against a candidate, have at it. But, willingness to serve on a local school board ought not to bear the penalty of being subjected to this sort of attack. Shame on you, Josh.

  • “Josh’s” full identity is known to me, and I thought he’d know better than to write such a thing. There are a great many legitimate reasons to be enormously unhappy with Spivey’s sentence and his relationship with Alvin Edwards — there’s no need to go inventing stories or spreading vicious rumors.

  • Shame on me Mr. Landers shame on me. No Shame on you. As a victim on the Spivey fiasco and knowing the information that I know and as a victim where my case was not able to be presented to the grand jury due to the fact that the statue of limitations had run out, and as being told by both Alvin Edwards and Jonathan Spivey that they both would sue me for defemation of character, no shame on both Jonathan Spivey and Alvin Edwards for using coercion and shameful and reprehensible tactics to keep their sexual orientation private, not shame on me sir not shame on me.

  • Two wrongs do not make a right, whatever your role in this. Standing behind a pseudonym and leveling such a serious charge against Edwards, with providing a shred of evidence, is not an admirable trait.

    Alvin Edwards and Jonathan Spivey that they both would sue me for defemation of character

    If they are serious in their threat of a lawsuit, your accusation would certainly be the sort of thing that would spur that on. Only a subpoena stands between them and your identity.

  • Waldo the fact of the matter is that as disenchanted as I am of the sentence my bigger issue is the fact that the Chairman of the School Board sat in a courtroom supporting a former teacher who sexually molested and abused students, and they were asking for no jail time. I am not going to apologize for what I said, but its time to stop making me feel bad for what happened. You know who I am I would be happy to sit down and speak with you sometime one on one to discuss this further, but for the more the “4” victms this is not justice and is really sad. Its sad not only for Charlottesville but the system as a whole.

  • Waldo I would love for there to be a supeona and a trial for defemation at this point I am not scared of Alvin Edwards, Jonathan Spivey or a lawsuit. If they sue me then finally the story is out there for everyone to know and hear and it will blow the socks of everyone in the City of Charlottesville. We as a community should not victimize victims anymore on this site, as you know my identity but my parents still live in the city of Charlottesville along with my older sister and her kids so thats why I use a false name to protect them out of fairness because in reality they are victims to, and dont need anymore headaches or sleepless nights concerning this issue.

  • I agree with Josh about the conflict of interest here. That the Chairman of the School Board actively supported and lobbied for a teacher who admitted molesting children–in school, no less–is incredibly disturbing.

  • That the Chairman of the School Board actively supported and lobbied for a teacher who admitted molesting children–in school, no less–is incredibly disturbing.

    You know, I have to agree with this statement 100%. I can understand, to a certain degree, being vocal and visible in his support in the beginning. I can even understand, to a certain extent, that as the head of Mr. Spivey’s church, Rev. Edwards wanting to support a member of his congregation.

    What I don’t understand is how he doesn’t understand what kind of image that projects. If he were not on the School Board, it would be an entirely different story. What does it say about the Chairman of the School Board that he publicly stands behind a man who has admittedly harmed children in his care and the care of the School Board?

    He certainly won’t be getting my vote in November.

  • Violet, why is it the responsibility of Josh or Jane Doe to bring this story to light? Where is the press? (Daily Progress, WVIR, Hook, Cville, WCAV, etc–quit the weasly habit of only reporting the controversy surrounding the story. Investigate the story! Bob Gibson, do you read me?)

    How? Start with asking city and school officials these questions:

    1. Were school officials or the school board notified about the 2001 incident? (former CHS principal Thompson interviewing Spivey and victim in the same room)? What was their response? Were the police and family of the victim notified? If not, why not? (What was the proper procedure then and what is it now?)

    2. Did city officials ever learn of these allegations before Sept 2006? (Anyone on the City Council from 2001 forward: Toscano, Lynch, Richards, Caravati, Brown, etc.?)

    3. Did Edwards learn of the abuse allegations before last year’s incident?

    4. Did Edwards ever come to Spivey’s defense in private with city or school officials?

    5. Was it proper for Edwards to attend the sentencing hearing in support of a man who has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children in the very schools which he, as school board chairman, is responsible for?

    6. Has the school division paid anything (counseling, settlement, etc.) to the victims? (Hint: FOIA.)

    No shame on Josh, Harry Landers & Waldo. Shame on Charlottesville that this went on so long, and public officials and the media turned a blind eye.

  • Denialville,

    All good and appropriate questions and all deserving of answers. I’m not sure that this is Bob Gibson’s beat, though. If the story is to be covered in detail, it will more likely be done by one of the local newsweeklies who are willing to commit the effort and not fear upsetting local political applecarts.

    That said, you’re not going to convince me that there’s anything right about Josh repeating what even he admits is a rumor about a sexual relationship between Jonathan Spivey and Alvin Edwards. I (now) understand that Josh has been injured and I feel compassion for him. That explains, but does does not excuse the public posting of hurtful gossip.

  • All true, Harry Landers. So, out of compassion for Josh and the (how many?) other victims, could I ask you to the questions in a letter to the Progress? (Since they will cover the controversy stirred up by a story, but not the story itself.)

    Many thanks!

    P.S. The weeklies are only a cut above blogs in terms of public impact.

  • Harry Landers, please! I ask on behalf of all of us: Josh, Violet, Cville Tchr, Cvilleyankee, Jan, Jane Doe, and the others who are writing and reading (bloggers: please weigh in if you agree with me).

    HL, if the questions truly are “appropriate and deserving of answers”, and we can’t ask them because of where we livee or work, or because we fear for harassment of our families, would you please ask them on behalf of this thread? (If a majority agrees.)

    PS The story of how this letter to editor came about would be a topic Gibson might cover–the mysterious workings of the blogosphere–even if actual subject is one he prefers to steer clear of.

  • I support Denialville’s request that Harry Landers bring this to the Daily Progress. This is story is far more substantial than rumor and innuendo. The chairman of the City School Board appeared in court with a teacher under his jurisdiction who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his students. This raises serious, serious questions in and of itself.

  • I know Mr. Spivey and Rev. Edwards and it’s very unfortunate that this happened. But, you all have mirrors, try looking in them..if you are without faults/sins, then condem? Rev. Edwards did what any Minister would do, he’s been nothing but a father figure for many kids in the community and has stepped in to do what was right by Mr. Spivey’s family but you all seem to forget that we are not perfect creatures, none of us and stop trying to discredit a man of God for stepping up and doing the right thing. What happen to Mr. Smith the man who molested boys, he did’nt get any time? Is that because he was WHITE? What we need to do is pray and stop pointing fingers at everyone. The legal system did it’s job. Let’s do our and stay out of it.

  • I support Denialville’s request that Harry Landers bring this to the Daily Progress.

    This business of asking somebody else to send a letter making accusations on a topic about which he knows nothing makes no sense. Simply find a friend. Explain the situation to him. Provide whatever evidence is necessary. Ask him to write a letter. Not quasi-random strangers on the internet.

  • Waldo, pls. read the questions again: no accusations expressed or implied. Point is, it doesn’t matter who asks them, as long as somebody does–someone beyond the reach of the officials mentioned. Say, someone who lives in the county, doesn’t work for the city, have kids the city schools, or political aspirations in C’ville, someone … like you, Waldo…

    Dear Faith, please consider that these incidents are far, far, far beyond “unfortunate.” (A fender bender is unfortunate.) These are very serious, damaging crimes. All the victims were students in the city schools. The crimes happened at school. Schools are supposed to protect students. Our schools didn’t. Rev. Edwards was school board chairman when latest crime was committed. He still is. Wouldn’t “the right thing” have been for him to stand up for students who have been molested by a teacher?

  • I understand what you are saying, as I have a child in the high school but do we teach our children; if someone touches you in an inappropiate way, report it? These young teenagers knew exactly what they were doing and it doesn’t make it right but they did know exactly what they were doing and it doesn’t excuse any adults behavior but come on have you seen what this generation thinks is accepatable (gay behavior isn’t acceptable in school or out, young or adult in God’s eyes). Maybe Rev. Edwards should resign, it sends the wrong message in the position he holds as chairman. I still think the entire things is unfortunate, Mr. Spivey did far more good than any of you Saints will ever know and he has to live with this the rest of his life and he too was molested as a child, who protected him? He’s sick and deserves to heal just as the victims.

  • Waldo, have you ever deleted a thread or post. I just ask because I worry when things like this are posted without proof that innocent people will get hurt. Honestly I don’t have any way of knowing the truth in this case.

  • Waldo, I think Mark88 is right to be concerned that this thread contains an accusation which may be harmful to someone who may be guilty of nothing more than a different point of view. I am not a religious person but I believe that it is possible for a Christian to support a sinner without supporting the sin. I think frustration over a miscarriage of justice may cause people to go to far in what they are saying in this thread.

  • I have not deleted posts or threads, if for no other reason that it does no good — you can’t put the genie back in the bottle with an accusation of this nature. I’d end up playing whack-a-mole on threads for the next few weeks.

    The best I can do is manage discussions where inappropriate charges come up — highlight that it’s simply an accusation without any known merit, challenge the claim, etc. I find a little disturbing that somebody can anonymously lob a serious charge and that a small group of others will rally around the notion that the local newspaper should print the question of whether there’s anything to it.

    What if somebody here anonymously accused me of, say, plotting to overthrow the government? How many people would rally around that person, demanding that somebody publicly ask the question of whether I’m plotting to overthrow the government? Would anybody write a letter the Progress, not accusing me but simply asking if I have any such plans? I’m sure there’d be evidence to point to: I’m a Democrat, the president is a Republican; I own several guns; I own dozens of books about the formation and reformation of government (Rousseau, Locke, Nye, etc.); and I’m a known advocate for significant changes to government. So, hey, the evidence is all there, right?

  • Faith,

    You said:

    “These young teenagers knew exactly what they were doing and it doesn’t make it right but they did know exactly what they were doing and it doesn’t excuse any adults behavior but come on have you seen what this generation thinks is accepatable (gay behavior isn’t acceptable in school or out, young or adult in God’s eyes)…Mr. Spivey did far more good than any of you Saints will ever know and he has to live with this the rest of his life and he too was molested as a child, who protected him? He’s sick and deserves to heal just as the victims.”

    I am so flabbergasted by your viewpoint, that I don’t even know where to begin.

    Blaming the victims is NOT acceptable on any level. They’re kids, plain and simple. Holding them accountable for an adult’s actions is not How would you feel if this had been your child? Would you still have such a relaxed attitude about this? I think not.

    Mr. Spivey is to blame for all of this. He is an adult, he knows what is appropriate and what is not. He deserves to spend far more time in prison than he will be. Even after he has been released, his victims will still be healing.

    As for your homophobic comments, I won’t even dignify them with a response.

  • Let’s separate the two major issues in this thread regarding Rev. Edwards. One issue is a rumor that should not have been posted. But the questions that Denialville brought up are worthy of investigation:

    1. Were school officials or the school board notified about the 2001 incident? (former CHS principal Thompson interviewing Spivey and victim in the same room)? What was their response? Were the police and family of the victim notified? If not, why not? (What was the proper procedure then and what is it now?)

    2. Did city officials ever learn of these allegations before Sept 2006? (Anyone on the City Council from 2001 forward: Toscano, Lynch, Richards, Caravati, Brown, etc.?)

    3. Did Edwards learn of the abuse allegations before last year’s incident?

    4. Did Edwards ever come to Spivey’s defense in private with city or school officials?

    5. Was it proper for Edwards to attend the sentencing hearing in support of a man who has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children in the very schools which he, as school board chairman, is responsible for?

    6. Has the school division paid anything (counseling, settlement, etc.) to the victims? (Hint: FOIA.)

    We are talking about the most powerful man on the school board, and he is up for re-election. Please, voters, ask for the answers to these questions. As a teacher in the system, I do not feel free to do so.

  • Excellent questions, Cville Tchr — thanks for getting things back on track here.

  • 5. Was it proper for Edwards to attend the sentencing hearing in support of a man who has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children in the very schools which he, as school board chairman, is responsible for?

    If he attended in the role of “religious counselor” or “Reverend” then yes it was appropriate. As a school board chairman or politician was it wise? Probably not. But then these types of conflicts tend to arise when one has to wear multiple hats.

    It seems to me that criminal sentences in this area seem to be wildly inconsistent. Example 1- a Former UVA student commits rape, confesses in writing to the victim and serves what? a few months? But then a black guy does the same crime he’s going away for a heck of a lot longer. Example 2- A Former UVA student commits murder- serves less than three years? But a black guy? Might get life? or the Death penalty?

    One standard for UVA students? another standard for everyone else? I think at least a part of this outrage (if that’s the correct word) over his sentence is that a black man didn’t get the book thrown at him. To use a bad analogy it’s like he’s Cvillenews’ own OJ Simpson.

    The man did something truly awful. His life as he knew it is over and will never be the same.

  • “As for your homophobic comments, I won’t even dignify them with a response”.

    Right on Jennifer.

  • TrvlnMn, Mr. Spivey is in jail; his life as his knew it is over, as you say. I assume that anyone with a heart feels great sorrow for his family. They are victims, too. That said, this thread really isn’t primarily concerned with Mr. Spivey or whether his sentence fit his crimes. (Note that all the questions above remain whether Mr. Spivey had received the maximum sentence or the one he has.)

    Isn’t the crux of this thread why the abuse continued for so many years inside our public schools when there were apparently numerous signs and concerns raised over years? Isn’t it about addressing the needs of the victims so that they can get on with productive lives and don’t perpetuate the cycle of abuse? And finally, isn’t it about accountability, about whether elected and appointed officials and city school employees responded properly to the information they received?

    Silence serves no one here. As Faith points out, it is important for parents to teach their children to report inappropriate conduct from or contact with any adult. The schools should be teaching this lesson, too. And when the worst happens, as happened here, school officials should discuss the matter openly so that everyone will learn–and heal from this traumatic incident. Openness would encourage other kids experiencing the same behavior to come forward, silence encourages silence. That’s the teachable moment for which Charlottesville, IMHO, has earned it an “F.”

  • Some of the hair-trigger critical responses to Denialville are pretty
    alarming. Why shoot the messenger?

    At no time did Denialville state that he/she thinks anyone should
    contact the press regarding the rumor. As laid out carefully in the 6
    questions above, Denialville was very clearly asking that the
    story be loked into further by the media.

    Like Jennifer, I’m sickened that this has been turned into a
    “gay thing” and a “Christian thing” by Spivey and/or some of his supporters. What
    happens to pedophiles who don’t have a church-full of supporters, a
    police officer, and a schoolboard member alongside them in court? Is Mr
    Spivey being presented as a more virtuous type of sexual predator? I’m
    guessing his victims don’t particularly care about his supposed
    saintly qualities.

    The question remains– how was this handled before it even got to trial?
    Did anyone- Rev Edwards, school administrators, prosecutor et al- in
    any way discourage any of the victims from either reporting or
    testifying? Has Spivey been treated with kid gloves compared to
    other perpetrators?

    If Josh was one of Spivey’s victims, compassion and understanding should be extended to him. He seems hurt and extremely frustrated by what he
    sees as an injustice. His trust was breached, and his faith in the
    judicial system shaken. I would also venture to say that the victims
    know far more than any of the rest of us about the details of the
    crimes committed, and the subsequent impact it’s had on their lives.

    The story behind the story is that this issue is so politically
    charged, and that people seem to fear for their jobs, or standing in the
    community, if they speak out or ask too many probing questions.

  • Well no matter what you think of my comments, Josh, kept going back for more and I heard that from a very reliable acquaintance of his. He still practices the lifestyle, he just decided he would bring Mr. Spivey down and so he did. His life, Mr. Spivey’s, his family, children and church community all suffer because he could have asked for help if he wanted it? Mr. Spivey actions to me were a cry for help. It’s just too bad he did ask before molested children. I don’t aprove of his behavior at all but I will say every person in that twisted ring was well aware of what was happening. You don’t give those teenagers enough credit..You think about it..Being in school (H.S.) they KNEW right from wrong and they are all to blame. They could have gone to the authorities or a counselor or the principle as the young man did that started this whole mess. The school doesn’t get and “F” the parents do. The school after getting the information did the right thing…REPORTED IT TO THE AUTHORITIES AND SCHOOL BOARD OFFICIALS AND ACTION WAS TAKEN!

  • Faith– I find your sympathy for a child molester and your hatred for his victims rather alarming. Even your ignorance and homophobia doesn’t really explain the position you’ve taken here — I’m completely baffled.

  • Jennifer, you said if it were my child, it would not have been and I know that in my heart because I pay close attention to all aspects of my childrens lives and I ask questions, go to PTO Meetings, Parent Conferences and I am involved in his and her schools and I feel I would have known any type of change in my child’s behavior. Where were these parents in this whole ordeal? Not paying attention or talking to their children. Put some of the blame where it should be and not try and use the system for a scapegoat. Some of you are sicken about my comments becasue you have no morals and anything goes with you that’s why this entire thing stinks! Mr. Spivey deserves to be punished and he deserves to be healed and forgiven as do all the victims.

  • “Still practices the lifestyle”? “Twisted ring”? He “just decided he would bring Spivey down”? “Started this whole mess”?

    Jumpin’ Jeebus, I’m positively gobsmacked. Boy, them homosexyools shore is crafty like that, ain’t they?

    Seriously, you’re not up for jury duty any time soon are you? You’ll be a dear and warn us, won’t you?

    (Sorry for the snarkiness, but holy cow… wow. My close friend was raped, stabbed, and left for dead in our place of work back in the 1980s here in Cville. As if that weren’t bad enough, he then had to face some of the same blame-the-victim crap I’ve seen employed here by folks like Faith. It destroyed him. RIP.)

  • Faith:

    A teacher — an adult in a position of authority around minors — abused and molested students. This went on for years. What he did was wrong on so many levels. As I said before, he is at fault, not his victims.

    To reiterate what Karl Ackerman said above: “The question remains– how was this handled before it even got to trial? Did anyone – Rev Edwards, school administrators, prosecutor et al- in any way discourage any of the victims from either reporting or
    testifying? Has Spivey been treated with kid gloves compared to
    other perpetrators?”

    These are important questions that need to be resolved so as to eliminate the possibility of students being abused in the future.

    I hope none of your children is gay, because your lack of compassion is horrifying. Would you repudiate your son or daughter if one of them came out to you? (Don’t bother denying that they could be. If they were, they would be too afraid of your scorn to be honest with you.)

  • No, I wouldn’t scorn them because they could come and tell me as they could if someone touched them inappropiately! You are blowing this way out of the water. The man is in jail so let it go! you all are too stuck up to see everything as it really is. Yes, he was wrong. The glove did fit…

  • Faith, just a helpful tip: men who regularly have sex with other men (or boys) are homosexual. They don’t conveniently adopt it as a lifestyle or become “cured” of it (unless you live in Iran, apparently).

  • I would live to say that I am sorry and I regret to use the phrase “rumored lover” That was clearly a poor decision on my part and again I regret it very much.
    I do want to say that to place any blame on my parents as Faith did is one of those things that saddens me. My parents have no blame in this at all, they are my heroes and if you want to attack anyone attack me instead of them. My parents have nothing to do with this blog nor should they be put under the microscope at all by anyone on here, again they raised me to be the most responsible person that I can be.

    I dont know if Faith knows who I am but if she knew who I was I am still a homosexual male, but that is only one part of me, I am also Catholic, smart, and humorous. A democrat and catholic there are many more aspects to me then my sexuality and I dont let that define who I am.

    We have gotten off target here and I take a large responsibilty for that the questions that have been asked are fair but I also want to add another question. Should a Revereand that preaches against homosexuality from the pulpit be a member of our school board, where does that put our LGBT students and what they feel their value is going to become.

    Again I regret using that phrase and hope that we can get back on track. I never wanted to bring Jonathan Spivey down I wanted him to be help responsible for his actions and thats it.

  • …this thread really isn’t primarily concerned with…

    […]

    Isn’t the crux of this thread…

    Karl,

    The thread is about what you (or anyone) make it about. As sentencing issues came up in earlier comments my observations were entirely appropriate to the discussion. You want to discuss the other issues you mentioned (which are good ones)- great go ahead. Don’t try to imply that I was off topic when I wasn’t.

  • Faith-
    This is not about homosexuality. This is about a teacher having sex with teenage students. It would be just as wrong if it were heterosexual sex. It is wrong for a teacher to have sex with a gay or straight student. It is illegal for teachers to have sex with students because teachers are adults and they have power over their students which should never be abused by coercing or forcing sex on students.
    I am a parent of a teenage boy and I would like to believe that my son would tell me if someone was harming him. However, his safety should not depend only on his relationship with his parents.

  • Well said, Gail.

  • AMAZING The people who defend this person. There is NO defence for his actions. He should be taken from our midst and shot for being the low life SOB that he truely is. When he gets out he will do it again. They ALWAYS do. HOW CAN ANYBODY DEFEND THIS MAN??

  • Has this situation with Mr. Spivey even been mentioned in a school board meeting, either during the community comment period or by the board members themselves? This should be discussed in public, to reassure the community of future vigilance, to take some responsibility on behalf of their schools.

  • I’ve heard nothing said at SB meetings, SB candidate forums–just among teachers, staff, and parents in the division. I haven’t been to all of SB meetings, but I try to read the minutes of the ones I miss (sure do wish the meetings were podcast), and see nothing about this case or the topic of sex abuse raised at all. (If I’m wrong I’d welcome a correction from a school board member or school official.)

    Waldo, are you able see how many hits this thread is getting? I’m curious how many people are following this conversation. Knowing might help those who are contemplating asking the difficult questions.

  • This discussion has had 995 individual people read it. That’s using a JavaScript- and cookie-based tracking system, so that’s a rather accurate number.

  • Wow. That’s almost 20% of the people who voted in the last City Council and School Board election. When you consider that less than 300 votes separated the winners from the losers in that first SB election, you have to wonder if this is a topic that the SB forums (and the candidates) need to address.

  • I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the SB to take up this issue considering Edwards is the head of it.
    Ain’t gonna happen in our lifetime. This is swept under the rug, Spivey’s in jail over done kaput.
    Unless citizens rise up-what a novel idea…..

  • One point that needs to be cleared is that Spivey is sick, and it’s not his sexuality but his attraction to young boys. The term consenual I think is misused here mainly by Faith. All of us as young people make what we think are good choices for ourselves, later as we grow and mature realize these were not good choices, even harmful choices. This is were teenagers learn to be adults, key though they are still children. The adult needs to be the adult.

    Spivey should have disclosed his issues of attraction boys to someone in his church or a counselor. Sought help. At what point do we really believe he did not know something was wrong. Case in point, no public activity all in secret.

    Everyone does need healing. However forgiveness and punishment are not the same.

    Praying for you Josh – Glad to see you are living your life – live to the fullest you deserve it.

  • I totally agree with the people on here that are stangind up for the victims….Spivey deserves everything he got and even more…He definitely did not get enough time for the crime. And my question is…If he claims he was molested as a child, then why did it take him getting caught for him to go seek help…he wasnt thinking about getting any help while he was doing this..so now he is trying to justify his actions by saying he was molested…It’s not about him being “bi-sexual”. It’s about the fact that these were kids under his supervision..and the school system should also take some responsibility for this, since it was happening on school grounds.

  • And to Faith that says. Just let it go..That’s the whole problem….They have been letting it go for far too long now…Spivey has been doing this mess for years, but a lot of victims just havent spoken out, because of hurt, embarrassment, shame, feeling at fault, etc. So that little 21 months he got is nothing. We cant continue to just let it go. And the school board needs to definitely be questioned. Because these acts took place on school grounds and they should be held accountable in some sort of way

  • Edwards was told in 2000 of a charge that Spivey was having sex with boys. So said a Charlottesville mayor.

  • There is no doubt that decisions were made in the school system where the students were not being protected and I dont think there is even a reason to debate that issue. The issue we need to look at is the role that Rev. Edwards played and making sure that he is protecting ALL of our students as a member of the school board. I know for a fact that during the time when school administrators and board members were discussing this issue Alvin recussed himself from any discussion which is proably proper, but was it proper for him to sit at a sentencing for this man who had inapporptiate relationships with students in the schools, and is it apporpriate for the Chairman of the School Board to preach against homosexuality from the pulpit and make our LGBT students second class citizens. There is not doubt that a change needs to be made on the school board the question is, is Charlottesville ready to make that stand.

  • I’m really surprised this hasn’t made the NATIONAL news. Salacious news story about a choir director having sex with students in the school choir closet with lotion and condoms found. Right up FOXs alley!

  • What’s really good? Justice was served, now its time to go Witch Hunting I guess. Come on people. I am not here to discredit or give credit to any of this foolishness. Maybe some have forgotten and need to be reminded exactly who Pastor Edwards is and how he contributed so much of his life and family to the little town of C’VILLE. Dad, aka Pastor Edwards is a father of many, a friend of many, a Pastor of many, a leader of many, and a man with a duty given by GOD to serve not only the members of his church, but any and everyone who seeks His face. For those with no faith, I’m talking about those who believe and know that Jesus died on Calvary for our sins). Pastor Edwards has even helped those non-believers who go to him (and the church) for words of encouragement or help with financial hardships. This is a man who has help change and save many lives in C’VILLE. WOW!! He lives to serve the people and those people would be all of you in the C’VILLE community. Yeah he is on the School Board, but has he not been doing his job or serving his position correctly? OK then enough said. Now think of it like this. There is someone who is more like a family member, an uncle to your kids, a brother to you and this person happens to be the Minister of music in your church. This family member has committed a horrible unforgivable crime in the eyes of man. What are you gonna do? I know, your gonna go to that trial and stand by your brother, sister or friend to show your support praying, hoping and wishing that this can’t be true. Now that your friend has been convicted, does that mean that you are a bad person for supporting them or that you might have something to do with it? NO, NOT AT ALL! This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, which gives us all Freedom of Speech. Before you speak take one second to think about what your gonna say and I guarantee you will change your words. My Christian HEART is with the Victims and all of those affected in the C’VILLE community. People focus your energies on something to build up the community and not tear it apart with the thoughts of who could have, would have or should have done what. WHAT DID YOU DO? For by the way you Judge, you will be Judged on JUDGEMENT DAY….GOD BLESS ALL

  • MDMoore:

    A public school teacher admitted having sex with his students on school property during school hours. Evidently this was a pattern with many students over a period of many years. The chairman of the school board stood up in court and asked for leniency for this employee, based on the fact that this employee also did lots of good things for students.

    Believe me, this is a major topic of conversation amongst the other employees of the CCS. The outrage and frustration we feel has NOTHING to do with anyone’s religious beliefs. Moral beliefs, yes.

  • Please stop the insults and attacks on the Pastor. It is obvious that most of you are trying to bring a man of God down who has not done anything and has probably helped some of you. He is not to blame for someone else mistakes in life. We all have free-will and choose to make correct or incorrect choices. Josh you need to seek professional help, insulting and trying to ruin the pastor’s reputation is wrong. It is obvious you are hurting and need spiritual guidance and professional help. What about the man in Greene County who has been set free of his crimes against a minor, oh by the way is a member of the KKK. I don’t see any of you commenting on that. You all need to get a life, go to work, go to church, do something and get over it. The man has been sentenced, leave him alone,justice has been served. If you have a problem with his sentence than contact the prosecutor or the judge, don’t blame it on the Pastor…and for the record he did not defend anyone in court. He was a spectator as were 50 or more other people. Hate the sin, not the man. Maybe if you all would go to church and study the word you would know how to deal with satan when he disrupts your mind. You all are full of hate. Leave the pastor alone, he has God’s armor on and your verbal attacks and insults will not prevent him from continuing to do God’s work. All he has to do is call his supporters and WE WILL BE THERE IN FULL FORCE.

  • What about the man in Greene County who has been set free of his crimes against a minor, oh by the way is a member of the KKK. I don’t see any of you commenting on that

    You’re certainly not looking very hard.

  • MDMoore, a witch hunt is an investigation supposedly carried out to uncover subversive activities but really used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

    This isn’t about differing views. It’s about behavior.

    By not standing up for Spivey’s victims, it is fair to say that Edwards has placed his personal and/or ministerial relationship with a man who sexually abused Charlottesville students above the same children he is sworn to serve. That’s wrong.

    Ann, it these were two people you didn’t know at all, and the victims were your children or grandchildren, you might feel differently. A little more empathy for the victims is in order. You see, Spivey didn’t make a “mistake” when he had sex with students at the high school. He committed crimes. We know he did because he pleaded guilty to those crimes.

    Re: your insinuation of hatred, can’t speak for anyone else on the blog, but I don’t hate Edwards (don’t know the man at all). Just think that if he isn’t going to stand up for his students when they have been harmed by a teacher, he shouldn’t be on the school board.

    Otherwise, how can we expect other teachers to step up and report suspicious behavior in the future?

  • I am a student at CHS and I know Spivey and I also know the other students involved. You all have got to stop with the bad mouthing of Spivey. It is practically impossible to do anything undercover in the choir storage room – we are in and out of Spivey’s office all of the time. I thought that was rather strange.

    As a student, yes we make bad decisions but when it comes to sex…we do what feels good and think about it later. With Spivey, I hope he gets the help he needs to cope with his weakness. I still love Mr. Spivey because he truly cares about his students. He just got mixed up with a demon that over powered him.

    I don’t understand how some adults fight to try “children” as adults when they do something wrong or commit a crime under the age of 18, but when it comes to sexual crimes…we are still considered “children.” Why do some of you adults have double minded views? Some of your comments are very “childlike.”

    If I could vote, I would vote for Rev. Edwards. He cares about students also. I don’t see the others involved with us as Rev. Edwards is. Others just talk about it and make rules and regulations, but Rev. Edwards walks about it. He shows his face and talks to us and is on the courts and the football field and in the schools.

    I hope you all stop bad mouthing folk and stop reading and believing everything your hear and read. – my parents taught me that.

    There is two sides to every story. We only “heard” of one. Spivey made a plea agreement. Like Ann said hate the sin not the person.

  • Dear Student,

    What makes you think that the adults on this thread who consider Spivey’s victims to be children are the same adults who want to try children as adults? I think it’s way more likely that most of the adults on this thread also oppose trying juveniles in adult courts.

  • It is obvious that you only pick and choose what you read. The word “some” was used. It wasn’t necessarily a comment based on just this thread, but a comment based on some adults in general. What makes your “thinking” what others views are any better than my comment about some adults.” How can you think/speak on most of the views of these adults on this thread? That is why I don’t tell my parents stuff, parents assume too much.

    No where did I say “some adults on this thread” I just how I saw some adults – if you were offended, I do apologize that you misinterpreted what I was expressing.

    I have to get back to class now.

    I hope as a community, we can stop judging one another and blaming folk for things.

  • CHS & Central Office administrators (if 1000 people are reading this thread, I have to be certain it includes many of you): “Student’s” post demonstrates why we need to talk openly about sexual abuse in our schools. “Student” apparently believes that a teacher who has sex with students simply has a “weakness,” or that he “got mixed up with a demon that overpowered him.” Did you wince reading those lines as I did? Our kids need many more facts about sexual abuse if they are to be safe. They need to know how predators operate: that they may appear kind and sympathetic as they “groom” a victim, that they may buy silence and prolong abuse by making a victim feel complicit in his or her abuse. Our kids need to know this predatory behavior isn’t sex, it’s violence–and if it happens, however it happens, it is NOT their fault. The schools need to be direct in encouraging parents to discuss this fact of life with their kids, too. If we can overcome our squeamishness about discussing sexual abuse with our children, we can hope that more abused children will speak up sooner.

    Most of all, our sons and daughters need to be confident that if they can summon the courage to talk with a Charlottesville administrator, teacher or staff member, you will listen with great compassion and respond appropriately to protect them.

  • I hope as a community, we can stop judging one another and blaming folk for things.

    Should judges judge people, or is just the rest of us who shouldn’t do so? Should we judge the judges’ decisions? If not, what should we do with those decisions? Ignore them? Should we blame people who do terrible things? What about Spivey? Can we blame him for what he did wrong, or is that not acceptable to you?

    “Student,” do you think Spivey should be punished at all? If so, how? If Jonathan Spivey were running for school board, would you vote for him?

  • Ann and others you fail to realize these “PASTORS” are humans first-meaning they are not above the law and they do underhanded sh** just like anyone else. Don’t put these folk on pedestals, doing this is a very bad practice and should be stopped. Every now and again that “armor” you talk about falls off, drops off, disappears, vanishes, is out for dry cleaning and is forgotten because other things take over and all that “armor” becomes is something to hide behind. Don’t let titles and positions fool you-people will do ANYTHING to feel good no matter the place or the time.

    What is more important is that the Charlottesville School Board PROTECT our children. It is also very important that if a situation such as this veers its ugly head again the Board and others don’t wait five years to act. Please don’t let another ‘UNTOUCHABLE’ get away with crimes against children again!!! DO YOUR FREAKING JOBS!!!!

  • I think there’s an aspect of this issue being overlooked by, well, by the white participants. Within the black community, Alvin Edwards is viewed (not by all, but by many) with respect and admiration as a leader. Some white Cvillians might not understand why black Cvillians look up to Mr. Edwards, or they might think that black Cvillians SHOULD NOT look up to Mr. Edwards, but the fact remains that they do.

    I think white folks in general (I’m white) misunderstand, at the peril of peaceful and productive community relations, both the importance of black leaders and within black communities AND the “siege mentality” that to a degree characterizes that community. I am not an expert on the subject, but it seems clear throughout history that black leaders have simultaneously been hugely important to their communities AND persecuted by the white power structure. I would guess that the current criticism of Edwards, as with past criticism of him and Rick Turner, is viewed locally among many blacks as just more of the same ol, same ol, thing: always trying to tear down the black man as soon as he gets a little bit of power and stature.

    Now, I’m not defending OR attacking Edwards; I’m just saying that while for white Cvillians it might seem perfectly warranted to use strong rhetoric in criticizing Edwards (for example, putting his religious title in scare quotes to convey scorn, or sarcastically calling him “the good reverend”), that’s gonna play a different way among many members of the black community. And I think that matters. It’s tempting to dismiss Faith’s strong support for Edwards as irrational or misguided or just plain mystifying, but that dismissive attitude is bad strategy, if you’re truly interested in positive changes for the whole community. You have to play it as it lays; you can’t pick up the ball and move it to where you think it SHOULD be or where you wish it were, and then play from there.

    I don’t mean to suggest that Edwards (or Turner) should be untouchable or free from criticism, but I do think there’s a certain obtuseness to the criticism that I’ve read.

  • Cecil(2) I understand where you’re coming from but I’ve seen people treat Ministers, Pastors, Bishops, Reverends, Palm readers like their mess don’t stink my whole life and it’s totally stupid. These same people who folk have been worshipping their whole lives preach one thing in the pulpit and live another life in the street and it’s sickening. They chase women, men, children, smoke reefer and can drink a wino under a table:) The problems come into play when their street life cross paths with their fake life and all of a sudden there is hell to pay. The individual becomes trapped and don’t know where to go-don’t know what to say. This is when all the other “followers” will come and speak for the Leader like he is some type of “God” until the video appears on YouTube.

  • I agree that it’s stupid; I’m not religious myself. The hypocrisy is sickening. The homophobia is sickening. Rick Turner drives me up a tree. But my question is, do you wanna be right or do you wanna get things done?

  • I believe everyone’s answer would be “to get things done!” It would be a real SHAME to find out more students are being abused by more instructors within the Charlottesville School or any of the local school systems and it’s continued to be swept under the carpet. It would be awful to find out how many more people have been questioned in the presence of their abuser or feeling like they caused the abuse. It would be terrible to find out phone calls have been made for others to keep quiet and threatened w/harm just so abusers and their friends will continue to “look” good in public.

    This would be a great time for one of those “Congressional Hearings” when everyone is questioned and answers the questions that were put out earlier in this post by “Denialville”…those questions NEED TO BE ANSWERED!!!!

  • Cecil(2) don’t try to speak for the African-American community. You don’t know it and you don’t live it. All these comments are only opinions and just folks blowing off steam. The man you call Edwards, should be addressed as Pastor Edwards. Also it is obvious you & BP are satan workers. You joke and laugh at christians,but that’s okay when the day of judgement comes, I wonder where you people will be. Leave Mr. Turner & Pastor Edwards alone. If you have a problem with them, make an appointment and discuss your issues so they will know who you are. BP if you are upset with City School Board than run for office and make a change. All the other folks who have comments on Pastor and Spivey run for office, become a judge etc. As stated before Spivey is being punished. He is getting his justice. Lets move on to the KKK in Greene County who was not charged, any comments on that or the ex-policeman in the Tidewater area that was sentenced for 45 years and all dismissed, any comments? I forgive them all, I hate the SINS but LOVE the man. You won’t have peace until you can feel this way.

  • Also it is obvious you & BP are satan workers.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have just gone off the reservation.

  • It is common blog comment etiquette to compare someone to Hitler FIRST, and then later claim that they are a minion of Satan. Just FYI.

  • Waldo: I’m glad to know that where we were was on the reservation…

  • Ok Waldo Jaquith, what does “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just gone off the reservation? Is that a metaphor of the subject being off the page?

  • Well, I have to say that is the FIRST time I’ve been called a “satan worker” and I thank you Ann for making this day memorable. Waldo, sorry about going off the reservation or off the subject but this whole thing is just everyone’s opinion and I see that some of us are being sent to hell for our comments. Again, thanks again Ann but I get the feeling on the day of judgement I will see you in hell-you bring the air-conditioning and I will bring the pitcher of Long Island Ice Tea!!!

  • BP, why are you upset? From your comments, you don’t sound religious to me and Cecil(2) stated he wasn’t, so what’s the problem. Please stop using the phrase “off the reservation” it can be taken out of contents as being a racial statement.

  • I missed one of the comments. Waldo asked me “do you think Spivey should be punished at all? If so, how? If Jonathan Spivey were running for school board, would you vote for him?

    Spivey is being punished already. He will probably be punished for the rest of his natural life. It’s not up to me to blame the school board, christian folk, teachers, parents, students, etc…on what they should or should not have done. Unless our plates are squeaky clean and our life is in a pretty packaged box, we should not be judging folk, or blame others for what they didn’t do. We can all say I wisha, coulda shoulda, but our mistakes and hardships only make us better and stronger.

    I may be a student but I’m not naive. Mr. Ackerman, you suggest that “our kids” don’t know what abuse is. We are in High School not elementary school. Some of you are so clueless. This isn’t the Brady Bunch, Partrige Family (or whatever). Kids “as you call us” are much different than they were when you all grew up. We are privy to much more and we have been exposed to a whole lot of things that some of you may not have ever experienced.

    Reservation? Were the Indians treated unfairly by the Americans on this issue? My US History class vaguely went over this subject.

  • Josh, any insight into why there seems to be so little support (even outright hostility here) for Spivey’s victims? Usually in cases like this, the hostility is aimed at the perp.

  • Ann, I am not upset at all..your comment actually made me LOL!!! But you never know it’s a HUGE possibility I am attending Church w/you every Sunday. Seriously, I am not upset at all and I have to respect your and everyone’s opinion it’s just we all don’t feel the same and that’s a part of life.

  • BP, glad to hear you are attending church on Sundays and maybe I will see you and perhaps share a pew but actually I attend Sunday plus 3 or more days a week. Denialville, there is no hostility aimed at Josh, the victims nor Mr. Spivey. As stated before I think Josh is angry and should seek professional help instead of using this forum, we can’t help him. I think Josh and his supporters know what this is all about and is using this forum to bash Mr. Spivey and try to destroy Pastor Edwards also. Mr. Spivey’s life is forever changed, let him be in peace and get the professional counseling and spiritual guidance he needs and before you make a negative comment, remember he has innocent children and a wife who deserves a break. I think it is time to let go, move on, close this chapter. This is my last comment.

  • BP, glad to hear you are attending church on Sundays and maybe I will see you and perhaps share a pew but actually I attend Sunday plus 3 or more days a week.

    Wow, this is the very definition of “holier than thou.”

  • Dear god people, little g, this man molested a number of kids over nearly a decade. Then when he got caught, the Freaking Head Of The School Board defended him. Go to church, fine, do go, fine but for GOD’S SAKE, protect the children. Do not blame them for being victims.

  • Well Ann and “Student” I agree with you both! I hope and pray that we all can heal from the talk and misrepresentation of the ordeal. Mr. Spivey has been convicted of a crime he pleaded guilty to. I am certain the his wife and children are paying a high price becasue he will never be free of this crime in your eyes. I have always admired Rev. Edwards and I always will, as for Mr. Turner the University lost..he knew every black child on campus and could almost call them all by name, he cared what they felt and he will never be replaced at UVA. Yes, they have someone in his position but that’s all. Ackerman, I know you and I know how you have underhandedly attacked the city schools and I’ve been in meetings and heard you and Mr. Turner so take your sheet off and pray. As for Josh, I am praying for your healing and I hope your lifestyle change. I want all kids to be protected and heard and I know that under the administration it will be Mr. Thompson turned a blind eye to what was reported when he was Principle” not the Principle that is there now and I think he can rest that he did the right thing for exposing the situation when the young man told him but maybe now Teachers, Administrators and Parents will open their eyes listen and teach what is and is not appropiate. The school hands are really tied on many levels how to handle discipline and other sexual behaviours because of “State legislations” they have to be given some kind of help to catch preditors on the internet in school and teachers not behaving appropiately. I am very sadden that my comments have hurt or misrepresented how I feel, it’s just my opinion not anyone else’s. Let’s pray more and judge less. I shall do the same. Let’s try and se that this doesn’t happen in our schools ever again by keeping a closer watch on our children and being more active in the schools.

  • Ann, glad to hear you go to Church OFTEN!!!I like how you threw that tidbit out there but going to Church every minute the door opens or even having the key to the Church to open the door yourself isn’t a ticket to Heaven. So there is still a chance we will be singing, smoking and joking in Hell!!!! Wish you well!

  • PLEASE! Take off the sheet? So a person is a member of the KKK if they disagree with school board policy? Talk about inflammatory words, Faith.

    The school board chair stood up for a school division employee who admitted having sex with a student (and likely numerous students over many years). Keep that in mind when you go to the voting booths in November.

  • What can be done now to stop this from happening again? This is the question. What are you going to do from here out to make a difference? Are you going to try to aim the blame and shame of the situation toward another person? Are you going to stand up and not behind someone else and voice your opinion in public? This is for all of you. This is not about hate, religion or creed.

    Also, now a days unfortunately as it may be a lot of our youth are into and participating in things we could’nt even Fathem. Im sorry if this may seem a little harsh, but there is no way the students didn’t know what they were doing was wrong. Even if they were groomed they still know right from wrong. A man touching another man sexually is wrong. From what I’ve heard many people just jumped on the Band Wagon. What about that?

    Oh yeah and for all of you saying that Pastor Edwards took up for him were you in court? Did you see what really happened? oh I know your just using your imagination to create more KAOS. For those hating on the position of the Pastor, why don’t you become his competition. He loves sports and being competitive. Do you have whay it takes to do the job if not, why don’t you go and just read a book and calm your nerves.

    And for the lady who is trying to speak on behalf of the black culture you have no clue. Though I do appreciate you trying. This has nothing to do with race. If it did I’m sure Spivey would’ve gotten the chair.
    I feel the black community has a very valid reason to be upset when one of there leaders are attacked, with none factual accounts made by the ignorance of another. What I see on here are a bunch of assumers and we all know what happens when one assumes.lol… HUH well I would like to challenge all of you to do somthing and stop talking. Actions speak louder than words. DID YOU NOT SEE WHAT THE STUDENT SAID. PASTOR EDWARDS IS NOT SITTING BACK IN THE OFFICE AND DOING NOTHING. HE IS ON THE COURT, ON THE FIELD IN ACTION. What you doing again?

  • Wow.
    I am beginning to realize that it must have really taken guts for the current CHS principal to take action on the victims complaints. And the victims who came forward when this teacher had a well known history of predatory behavior were very brave.

    This thread is a collision between very different cultures. It is difficult for me to be respectful towards those who confuse pedophiles with homosexuals and who condemn all homosexuals. I can’t see how anyone can not understand that it is an abuse of power, as well as a crime, for a teacher to have sex with a student regardless of the sexual orientation of either the adult or student. I do not understand how anyone can sympathize with a sex abuser rather than his victims. I do see how people can sympathize with a criminal’s family but it seems to me that they are also his victims.

  • This thread is a collision between very different cultures. It is difficult for me to be respectful towards those who confuse pedophiles with homosexuals and who condemn all homosexuals. I can’t see how anyone can not understand that it is an abuse of power, as well as a crime, for a teacher to have sex with a student regardless of the sexual orientation of either the adult or student. I do not understand how anyone can sympathize with a sex abuser rather than his victims.

    You’ve pretty well summed it up there, Gail. (I find especially bizarre the suggestion made by one person that “Josh” should be cured of his “lifestyle.” I wonder if that commenter could will himself to be gay, if he really set his mind to it?)

    For the confused, I’ll point out that an e-mail has gone out to friends of Edwards’, suggesting that they post comments here in his defense.

  • Faith, please be saddened as your words have hurt me deeply. You say you know me. Would you please call me, so that I may know you? A man cannot easily defend a charge of racism, as I cannot show you what is in my heart. All I can do is to ask you to speak with anyone who knows me well and ask him or her who I am. Let us pray more and judge less. Indeed.

  • Hello all. It seems that there has been a lengthy conversation going on! In addition to the length, it seems that it has grown heated. As the PROUD DAUGHTER of Pastor Edwards, I would like to say that I am DISGUSTED by the banter that has occured. Let me first say that Josh’s allegations are going to get him in trouble… and you can take that to the bank. If my father said that he would take you to court for defamation of character, you should have believed him. He is not only a man of the Word but a man of his word. And now it’s in print…Poor decision. Since day one, there has been no point where my father supported any of Spivey’s ACTIONS, but he continues to support his wife and children who are still members of our congregation and need all of our support. My father has never supported anything that would endanger a child or any other person. It has already been mentioned that he participates with the football and basketball teams and is very active with the church youth groups and the community at large. It has already been stated that my father did not participate in any of the preceedings regarding Spivey and the school board…BY CHOICE. He didn’t have to be asked to recuse himself. As a matter of fact he did not attend any of the court hearings until Spivey’s sentencing. He has been by Spivey’s side as a clergy man and friend… not the chairman of the school board. Acting in those positions, he stood by Spivey and Spivey’s family. The police officer that was by his side was his SON! Should he abandon his father? And CVille TChr were you in court? My father stood up and said NOTHING! He didn’t even stand up. What court were you in? My father distanced himself from anything official from day one and yet here you people are making accusations about what he has said and done. Spivey is a friend, the minister of music at his church, and member of his congregation. Do you really think he should have abandoned him? My father hates the sin,not the sinner. That goes for everyone. My father has a lot of integrity and doesn’t misuse his authority. No Christian would turn his back on any man for the sake of appearances. Why is it that you all feel that because he has stood by Spivey that he encourages or supports the sexual abuse of children? And about him preaching against homosexuality it’s in the bible Leviticus 20:13. Read it for yourself. He doesn’t pick the politically correct things to preach about, he preaches the whole truth. Not hate. If you are truly concerned about what is happening with all of our children in this world, don’t throw fiery darts, fast and pray for our children. And for those who don’t believe in God as well as those who do, do something to make a change. If you are unhappy with something the way it is, be a driving force to change it. Not someone who sits back and talks about all the things that are wrong. If you feel there should be stipulations for all members of the school board and their affiliations with the community take that up with the school board and get off of my dad’s back.

  • And about him preaching against homosexuality it’s in the bible Leviticus 20:13. Read it for yourself. He doesn’t pick the politically correct things to preach about, he preaches the whole truth.

    Oh, I have read it, the whole thing. Leviticus 25:44 says it’s OK to own slaves, provided they’re from a different country. So he’s supports slavery…doesn’t he? And Leviticus 19:19 says that it’s a sin to wear a garment made of two types of threads (like the cotton blend shirt I’m wearing right now. He’s telling people to repent for that sin, right?

    I mean, he preaches the whole truth, so he’d have to. Wouldn’t he?

  • I am shocked by the threats to Josh on this discussion board. I am also disgusted that these same people do it in the name of Christianity and accuse anybody who disagrees with them as being from satan. As a Christian and a Minister, I apologize to all non-believers. The God I serve is a God of love, not threats and spewing hatred.

    Josh, please don’t read this anymore and know that most people support the victims completely in this situation. May God bring you peace and healing.

  • Well Josh, it looks like you’ve been threatened in the name of honest Christians…she said “you can take that to the bank” We may have to send you some money for your defense fund because cases like this go on forever.

  • I have known Spivey since i was 6 years old. And i know that he has been doing this mess since then, and before. So i cannot understand how someone can defend this man. Everybody knows him and Edwards has had a “CLOSE” relationship for years…I just think it’s sick to think that anyone would think that this is o.k. And so what Edwards is a “Man of God”…that means nothing….Sometimes, they are the worst ones, because they try to use the church and their posistion as a cover for what’s really going on… And if he preaches against homosexuality, the how can he supprt anything that has to do with it. hmmmmm? you should be asking your dad that, istead of on her defending him.As Spivey did, by getting married. As a man of GOD that preaches “word”, he should not have been so accepting to Spivey’s actions. I dont understand how anyone could sit in the court room and hear all of the stuff and stand by him. I was in the court room….and i was there to support EVERY victim of spivey because i know there are more out there. MDMOORE: you sound so stupid with some of the things you were saying…We dont have to judge spivey, the evidence, admittance, etc, is already there. And to Brianna..dont threaten Josh or anyone else that has said something about your dad. I mean, come on. Why would he need to sue if there’s nothing to hide. Josh dont you worry about a thing. Because in the end, even if does try to do something, he is still going to have to answer to GOD for his actions. He know what’s really up. And as far as Brianna saying something about his son being on the police force and supporting him and all that. LOL. You said it all right there…On the police force. Of course he doesnt want his status to be affected…It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out whats going on. Spivey didnt get nearly enough time. And i truly believe that more victims will now come forward. i hope so. And i continue to pray for you, because i know this can be a devastating thing to be having to deal with.

  • About 30 years ago, I lived in a community where a priest was convicted of sexually abusing boys in his congregation. Then victims in another congregation came forward. It was incredibly painful for many people and some people lost the faith that had sustained them which was very sad. But at the end of the sex abuse convictions, the community had a much higher level of awareness about the problem of adults abusing their positions of trust to seriously harm minors. Let us hope that this community will be able to prevent some future victims.
    It is very important NOT to confuse pedophiles with homosexuals who are no more likely to victimize minors than anyone else. The problem is that a few people become dangerous when they believe they must reject and repress their own sexuality to live in their society, which is why homosexual pedophiles are more likely to belong to religions/communities which harshly condemn homosexuality.

  • “The Charlottesville School Division does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital or veteran’s status, physical or mental disability, or any classification protected by applicable law in employment or its
    educational programs and activities.” nondiscrimination policy 01-2

    Ques. #7: Should a person be disqualified from serving on the school board if, say, he or she were to profess openly that one race or gender was superior to another, or that a particular sexual orientation (eg homosexuality) was morally wrong?

  • Thanks, Brianna, for the Leviticus Alert. Hadn’t paid full attention this grisly biblical passage:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus 20;&version=31;

    So, sex between men isn’t just wrong, but gay men must be put to death? (And not just gay men: mediums and spiritists, adulterers, people who give their children to Moloch, anyone who curses his mother or father (uh, oh!), a man who marries both a woman and her mother, men or women who have sex with animals (and the animals, too!).

  • Gosh, the posts have gone from asking if there should be more discussion, openness and investigation on this issue, to quoting Leviticus (hey, some of my favorites are Leviticus 13:47-52, it’s a sin to let clothes get mildewy, and Leviticus 19:19, it’s a sin to wear polyester), believing that it is somehow the kid’s faults because they essentially must have been asking for it, wantonly making KKK aspersions against good people who have been volunteering quietly behind the scenes for the disadvantaged and the school system for years (same type of reckless and spineless accusations made just a few years ago in front of the School Board), and equating being a man of God to being infallible. I agree that allegations, without the name of the accuser to go along with them, should frankly be dismissed, as everyone should have the right to address their ‘accuser’. However, honest questions into whether folks realize the significance and devastating emotional impact of Mr. Spivey’s acts, how to better prevent such terrible future situations in our school system, whom else may have been involved, was there any further misuse of power in the legal process, and what is the reasonable balance of action for Mr. Edwards who is unavoidably wearing two hats on this issue, are reasonable avenues to pursue. I would also have to agree that our School Board and greater press have dropped the ball on this one, playing the ostrich.

  • Levitophobic,
    A rereading of the 20th chapter of Leviticus is enough to make me grateful to be living in the modern world because although I am a boringly faithful 30 years married matron, I would not want to live in a world where my beloved gay sibling would be “put to death” and I fear a number of my adulterous neighbors would also face death.

    Karl,
    I do not know you but as a parent who speaks up publicly regarding issues in my child’s school, I am very sorry that you have faced the accusation of racism in this discussion.

  • YIKES!!!!!!!!! We’ve gone from judicial issues to religious issues. Spivey did not get enough jail time. Everyone can bloviate about Edwards and the Bible and everything and everyone else not connected but the bottom line is this child molester gets off scott free pretty much and high and mighty big shot school board members say it’s just ok, because he’s a man of God, he’s a big community member. So it’s fine and dandy that Edwards attended the hearing to show up for his buddy. Uh, ok.

    And it is highly doubtful that Edwards will be suing anyone anytime soon because he doesn’t want his private life to be exposed.

  • I totally agree with you Jan… I wish they would just keep it real.

  • I have been so torn between my positive reactions to Mr. Spivey over many years and my feelings of horror after listening to one of his victims. I followed my heart to support the student.
    I feel so terrible that I was not paying enough attention 10 years ago when I first got to know Mr. Spivey and a student that I now know was one of his victims. I could not confirm rumors I heard about him and his students, because students feared retribution. Please, everyone who does not have a sexual abuse victim in their close circle, please know that the shame of being a victim is a life long struggle. Even in adulthood many of them remain silent because they remain fearful of the type of scorn shown by some of the entries in this thread. Teenagers may look and sound grown up, but they are not. If two teenagers have sex, we know there is danger. Being enthralled by strong feelings and confusion does not promote responsibilty for a teenager. Though the advice can fall on closed ears, the straight and LGBT teenagers that I have counseled have all heard me say that sex is for grownups because most teenagers can’t handle the physical, emotional, and social consequences. That a teacher would engage in sex with students is horrible. As someone who was “in love” with a teacher in high school and who was kindly and firmly rebuffed, I acknowledge the temptations faced every day by adults working with teenagers who talk and look older than they are, mentally and emotionally. Most don’t take advantage of their position of authority to seduce or engage students. What Mr. Spivey did is not an act drawn from sexual attraction, but of something else askew in him, being acted out in a sex act. Why he did, when so much of what he has done has been to the glory of God and the benefit of the community, is between him, God, his pastor, his therapist, and his jailers. If as an educator, he can find a way to explain his actions to the community to help us all take responsibility to provide safety for all our children, it seems he might owe us that.
    Pastor Edwards was in court for his friend, for a member of his congregation, for a sinner. It was not the first time he has appeared in court during a sentencing, and I am sure it will not be the last. The politics of city governance aside, remaining available to someone who has committed a crime is always a hard thing to do.
    The voters of the city will have their say when election time comes. Recusal was not necessarily an adequate response to the situation, but resignation would have been going too far. What statement would have been the perfect middle ground is not clear. This has been a dreadful time for all involved.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Flicka.

  • Yes, thank you Flicka: wise words. (And a personal thank you to Gail & Barracuda.)

    Where to from here? It is important to note that there are seven members of the Charlotteville School Board. Individual members of the Board have no authority or duties, except those assigned by the Board. I have looked at the Board minutes over the last year and can find no mention of discussion of the Spivey case (one would assume that the Board decision to remove him from the classroom was made in closed session). But no statement from the division or the Board, even just to let the public (and parents, especially) know that this case set off alarm bells, and those alarms have been heard and responded to properly. No mention of correct procedure for administrators and teachers. (Would parents today be notified about an abuse allegation involving their child? Would the police always be called?) This would not be Rev. Edwards’ sole responsiblity; the full Board and Superintendent Atkins have joint responsiblity here.

  • The School Board was made aware of the initial accusations when Mr. Simons was superintendent (pre-Thompson and pre-Atkins).
    By Virginia state law, all personnel matters are advertised closed door discussions. Hirings and dismissals are made public after the fact; other actions remain behind closed doors. Only the employee can initiate public disclosure. I would imagine, because of possible multi-million dollar lawsuits aimed at the school system, the board has been well-advised to make no comments. Discussions of personnel policies and procedures changes are required to be public, however.

  • The school board had a role in protecting our students and it appears that did not happen. Ms. Atkins came in on the tail end of this issue but it would be nice to hear from the administration and the School Board that they have proper procedures in place for if this ever happens again. I am extremly concerned that the board and administration have been so quiet about this other then the fact that Alvin Edwards publically supported Spivey in court. It appears to me that the school board supported Jonathan from an outsiders view. There is no one more publically known as Alvin Edwards.

    WE need to get back on track and stop blaming it on homosexuality and other issues thats its not. This is clearly going to leave a black eye on this school system for years to come but its up to the board and the administration to fix this in the near furture and publically come out and say we do not support this type of behavior in our schools and we will protect all of our students.

  • Josh, first of all let me say I am VERY sorry for all that you’ve been through and still go through day to day. I am sure whatever happened to you didn’t end when Mr. Spivey was sentenced but it is something you have to deal with each and everyday you wake up. I hope like hell on election day everyone remembers what they’ve read in this blog and I also hope it causes more people to ask young people more questions about their day at school, I hope it makes people “talk” to each other and open up the lines of communication!

    I also want to commend the young man for going to Mr. Leatherwood and telling him what happened and Mr. Leatherwood for being the one to FINALLY doing something about it and not letting the ball be dropped for yet another three to five years. THANKS!!!!

  • Well. I certainly agree with BP on Mr. Leatherwood. I’ve known him throughout his career and he is a MAN, a gentlemen and scholar and I would not have expected any less from him. He has integrity unlike some of the higher ups that would not step up and do the right thing! I hope you the very best Mr. Leatherwood your job can’t be easy. Just keep your eyes open at CHS and don’t let the ball drop on any issue. This blog has certainly made people communicate and my hope is that we all will take a look at all of this and do more for our schools and children who want an education and not a lifestyle of ridicule. I don’t condome homosexuallity at all on any level adult, teenager, child whatever it’s WRONG AND i STAND BY THAT 100%! JOSH, I am sorry you were molested but again I say you could have told the right answere 4 years ago when question by the Administrators but you lied so whos to believe you know? All that you are saying about Rev. Edwards is wrong and slander will not get you an Emmy on any level but it will get you JAILTIME! bELIEVE ME, I KNOW PEOPLE THAT HAVE SERVED TIME FOR IT AND IT DOES HAPPEN. DON’T LET THESE FOLKS FOOL YOU SAYING THEY WILL PAY YOUR COURT COST THEY WON’T BE ANYWHERE AROUND SO GET THERE NUMBERS OFF THIS BLOG YOU MAY NEED IT.

  • Clearly Faith, you have lost it.
    I say we close this discussion and take it to another level. Like holding the SB, the politicians who make the laws, the judicial system and the media responsible to make sure this doesn’t happen again in our community. This blog has done exactly what it is supposed to do-raise awareness.

    But the bigotry serves no purpose at this point.

  • Faith:

    I first want to point out that I have never asked or expected an emmy for the blogs that I have posted here. If the Alvin Edwards wants to pursue something against me I challenge him to do that, Alvin Edwards does not scare me as he might others in this city. I think also for you to think that you know more about the case then what you do is humorous and shameful.

    Like Jan says we need to move forward and close the discussion about the homosexuality issue. Its time to ask the questions and hold those responsible and move forward and get our elected officials behind stronger and tougher punishments for those who committ these crimes. I urge the School Board to come out and say they have a policy and procedure in place for if this happens again so that we dont intimidate those who might come forward.

  • Good for you, Josh. Intimidation is exactly what Faith is doing, and it’s hideous. We don’t blame victims or threaten about the repercussions of telling what has happened to them. When that happens, we should not have faith in our school system and the people whose job it is to protect our kids.

  • Thanks Kelly your support is so key to help continue the dialouge.

    For those that want to preach religion lets preach, Brianna and Faith lets open that dialouge.

    My sister is a sucessful young woman, she is healthy and loving, what would a fair price for my father to sell her as sanctioned in Exodus 21-7.

    While thinking about that touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, can the University of Virginia continue this season if they wear gloves Leviticus 11-7.

    Can we all come together and stone all those that work on Sundays as Sanctioned in Exodus 35-2.

    Should we call the cops and execute all the Virginia farmers who plant two crops side by side, and should we burn my mother in the public square for wearing garments from two different threads.

    But while you think of that think of the most important one of all:

    “Thou shall not take vengance nor bear any grudge against the children of the people but they shall love the neighbor as well.”

    Leviticus 19-18

  • It’s really sad that things have turned out to be this way. Thank you Flicka for stating what’s real. Josh, I wish you enough energy, time and blessings to heal. It’s really sad that out of all the postings there are not enough that wish healing to the victims. I hope one day you and the others learn to cope and learn to live with the things that have happened to you. And for the record,yes, Alvin Edwards is my father. Yes, he was there to support his friend Mr. Spivey. No, he does not condone his actions. Why you would choose to bring his name into it, I don’t care to know but I wish that you would let it go. He was not involved, so why waste all the time and energy investigating. He was never implicated, ever! So, let it go. At this time Josh you should really be focusing on yourself and/or helping the other victims to heal, not ranting and trying to take down the whole city of Charlottesville.

  • PS I encourage you to find peace, not agree with but find peace, with the sentencing. I understand that you are suffering but so is his family. Once Mr. Spivey is released he will continue to suffer as well! Sex offender will ALWAYS be attached to his name!

  • Ms. Edwards, it’s good to see that now you are wishing “JOSH” well but in your first post you threatened him…. I am glad you thought first and typed later!!!

    Also, I agree with you, like Robert Smith, Mr. Spivey will always be known as a “sex offender” no matter what. I also wish his wife and sons well from the bottom of my heart! Honestly even thou he has done what he has done I wish his family didn’t share the burden!!!

  • BP: To clarify, Brittany and Brianna Edwards are separate individuals and each posted separately.

  • “Statistics indicate that most reports of child abuse are true.”
    http://www.rvap.org/pages/myths_and_facts_about_child_sexual_abuse/

    Edwards learned of a child sexual abuse charge about Spivey (a minister of his church!) from a Charlottesville mayor SEVEN YEARS AGO. Fine and proper to stand with the sinner today, but what about protecting the sinned against way back when? (And what about the mayor: did his message stop with Edwards or did Simons hear about it, too? Don’t know that one. Another question.)

    And this comment from Faith: “I don’t condome homosexuallity at all on any level adult, teenager, child whatever it’s WRONG AND i STAND BY THAT 100%!” Ma’am, substitute Jews for homosexuals and you would have been right at home in Nazi Germany. Good grief. Gotta wonder if any there are others in official positions in Cville (appointed, elected, running for office) who share Faith’s bigotry or teach it to their kids. Fair question to ask.

  • Ms. Edwards the reason that I hold your father partially responsible is the fact that he knew this 7 years ago and as an appointed member of the School Board who is up for re-election he has some serious questions to answer, and saying “Iam his pastor” to me is not sufficient. If he does not want the criticism then he should not run for re-election and step aside.

    I dont doubt that Alvin Edwards is a decent and just man, with his heart in the right place, thats not the issue here. When you publically support someone that violated the trust of the community and dont say a word to support the victims or come up with a plan of action for if this were to ever happen again and let the public know about it that is wrong.

    I want to say this, I am not out to bring down Charlottesville, I have actually moved on with my life and feel that I am doing ok, with the support of friends and family members. There are many indiviuals running for the School Board that might be better suited to serve the best interest of the students other then Alvin, thats really my only arguement. I never brought up the issue of homosexuality or anything else other then the fact that the sentence was light and that the Chairman of the School Board needs to be held responsible for publically supporting Jonathan Spivey and not those victims.

  • Cville Tchr THANKS for making correcting me.

  • So what about Mr. Spivey’s wife and children. People have some compassion for them. I dont think he got enough time either and I agree the things he did was absolutely awful. If I were the parent of one of his victims, truly I would have probably been the one in court facing or serving time. Let it go… God knows best. He takes care of all babies and fools.

  • I feel for Jonathan’s family especially his children. Even though 21 months was clearly not enough Jonathans punishment will go far beyond when he leaves the Department of Corrections. He will not be allowed on school grounds, meaning never allowed to attend his kids school events or graduations, and thats a sad part of this whole thing along with the victims and what we all are going through.

    Jonathans family is in my thoughts on a daily basis and I wish them well.

  • I think two more questions need to be answered that were recently brought to my attention.

    The First is, Jonathan Spivey resigned from the school system, therefore does he get his pension and if so why?

    The second is, I have heard that Mt. Zion Union Baptist Church retained Jonathans attorney for him and paid his fees. If this is true is it responsible for a School Board Chairman who is also the Pastor of Church to pay for a convicted Sex Offenders representation, I believe that goes far beyond the scope of “supporting him as his Pastor”

  • Mr. Spivey’s retirement benefits are with the State’s Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and not with the local school board. He owns that account and the local has no control over it. I would assume they have stopped paying the local’s share into it.
    Financial matters are handled by a church’s Board of Trustees, not the Pastor and its (the board’s) authroized representative signs the check upon authorization by that board.

  • I just find it very interesting that the State will pay for a Sex Offender to live off of when its all said and done.

    Does Rev. Edwards serve on the Board of Trustees in any capacity?

  • Under the VRS system, the State hasn’t contributed a dime. It has MADE money by administering the retiree’s investment account and charging a fee. It doesn’t OWN the money and can not keep it.

  • Even if there is a Board of Trustees in the church, nd an authorized rep..i thought that the pastor ALWAYS has the last word, and makes the FINAL decision.

  • Interesting that Edwards is the only candidate not attending the school board Q and A at the Democratic Breakfast. I also heard he possibly won’t be attending the Greenbrier forum……….I saw where he left the only other Q and A they had early. He always seems to have a “prior commitment”…………..does he not want to be questioned openly?

  • Edwards running mate Brownrigg will be there. He should have the answers. Ask him.

  • If Alvin Edwards is too busy too attend school board forums then maybe he should not be running for the school board then. There are a lot of tough questions he is trying to avoid I strongly believe.

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