This month, Superindent Leroy Qualls was fired from Sequoyah Schools. Numerous publications quoted Qualls as being, ” a longtime popular educator and basketball coach.”
Most of these publications failed to mention that Qualls was terminated for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. The Cherokee Phoenix did not even publish his name.
Since when did the Cherokee Nation start protecting child abusers?
Todd Enlow’s statement, ” The Cherokee Nation is disappointed by this turn of events..,” is just another example of the “Old Boy Network” protecting their own. What it reveals is a shocking double standard of child sexual abuse and grooming, as some people don’t seem to find an issue of violence and abuse if the guy used to play basketball and had drinks regularly with the district tribal council representative. (Joe Byrd has remained unusually quiet on the issue.)
Not only has the Cherokee Nation failed to protect the victim, but they have also tried to brush the matter under the rug. They are essentially victimizing the individual twice.
Currently, Native American tribes across the country are fighting to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). An act designed to protect our children. The Cherokee Nation was one of five tribes that filed briefs for the rehearing of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals trying to protect Native Children’s rights.
However, when it came time for court, the Cherokee Nation responded by sending people like Tommy Wildcat, someone that can be considered little more than our tribal mascot, to the Fifth Circuit. If individuals like Wildcat are part of the legal team on an issue as crucial as upholding ICWA, a law that impacts thousands of Native American children, then how can we expect our children at home to be protected?
The Hoskin administration can not be allowed to protect educators who abuse their power over the very kids they are supposed to protect.
What is ICWA
Gives tribal governments exclusive jurisdiction over children who reside on, or are domiciled on reservations. It provides concurrent, but presumptive jurisdiction over foster care placement proceedings for Native American children who do not live on reservations.
Reported Abuse at Sequoyah Schools 2020