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D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee Says Betts' Legacy Was His Work In Schools

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Principal Brian Betts' is shown here talking to his students, a few days before he was murdered.
Kavitha Cardoza
Principal Brian Betts' is shown here talking to his students, a few days before he was murdered.

By Kavitha Cardoza

Three people have been charged in the killing of D.C. Principal Brian Betts. And Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee says the alleged circumstances of his death should in no way take away from his legacy in education.

Rhee says Betts' staff and students at Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson are taking comfort in the arrests and that there may soon be some closure.

"There's really, really starting to feel the loss of principal Betts every single day," says Rhee. "And one of the questions kids ask me the most is 'why'? And so will help answer some of those questions."

Three 18-year-old males have been charged with murder, among other offenses. Police in Montgomery County, Maryland say Betts met the suspects on a phone-sex chat line the night he was killed.

Rhee was asked whether she was troubled to learn details about his personal life.

"Absolutely not. Let me be clear. Brian Betts was an unbelievable educator," she says. "For two decades this man dedicated his life to children, carted children from school to after school activities, paid for their trips, their college tuition, that sort of thing. That is his legacy. And to imply that that should in any way marred by what was in his personal life is ridiculous."

Police officers say they believe robbery was the motive.

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