Monday, March 26, 2012

Adding up the score from Lowell

As the story at Lowell comes out, there are definitely some lessons learned and some people who come out looking good, bad, and mixed.

Here's the central absurdity: two employees were investigated for failure to report inappropriate behavior and the only evidence against them was their report of the inappropriate behavior - the one that satisfied their requirement to report. The people who accused them were the people to whom they made the report - a report that those folks dismissed out of hand. It makes my head hurt to think about it.




Looking bad:
Mr. King. Mr. King comes out looking very bad for a number of reasons, all of them weasel-related. First, if we are to believe him, he dismissed a complaint as being racially motivated without knowing any details about it. If we're not to believe him, then he dismissed it as being racially motivated despite knowing the details. Either way, he failed in his duty to follow up on the complaint. Second, he threw his co-principal under the bus when he denied that Ms Geoghagan told him of complaints (the ones he dismissed as racially motivated). This creates the third strike against him, since denying having heard of the complaints was clearly a lie. He collects a fourth strike for throwing C1 and C2 under the bus at the April 6 meeting when he encouraged an investigation of them for failure to report - despite having received a report. Strike five for failing to respond to the results of the February investigations by E3 - he didn't even bother to read the report. Strike six for not knowing the reporting rules. Strike seven for wanting to conduct the investigation. Strike eight for whining and changing his story and making less and less credible statements as time passes, and strike nine for general dickishness. That's three outs, change sides! I'm not even going to mention how he delayed the reporting or tried to jump ship, or his self-absorbed resignation letter. I don't know how he can continue with Seattle Public Schools.

Ms Geoghagan. She mostly appears out of her depth, more weak than evil. She didn't know how to respond to the complaint when she got it. She went to Mr. King with it and he dismissed it. Her own "investigation" was so pointless and worthless that it doesn't deserve to called an investigation at all. She appeared out of her depth at the April 6 meeting when the District decided to investigate C1 and C2 for failure to report - despite the fact that she had received C2's report. She couldn't stand up for that truth? She remained silent as Mr. King denied knowledge of the reports despite the fact that she had told him about them - she couldn't stand up for that truth either. She also appears out of her depth when she says that she would never report behavior she had not personally witnessed, when she revealed that she didn't know the reporting rules, and when she initially was going to conduct the investigation into C1 and C2's failure to report despite the fact that C2 had reported to her. I don't know how she can continue with Lowell, but may be able to find another job within the District.

I1/E5. This is the Human Resource manager who had the April 6 meeting with Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan. I1 read some, but not all, of the February report from E3 and therefore did not read the part about how the behavior was reported to Ms Geoghagan. That was a half-assed job. This person didn't question Mr. King or Ms Geoghagan's failure to read the February report, let alone follow up on it. Come on, really? How do you hear from Mr. King that he knows that there were other reports of inappropriate behavior, but he hadn't bothered to read them? Did E5 really think that E3 wouldn't make a report to Mr. King of the findings of the February investigation? Also, this person didn't question the clearly contradictory elements of Mr. King's story - he knew of an investigation but not of any reports and he had reports but dismissed them without hearing the details. Not bright.

CA1. This person had a small role, but made the most of every opportunity to behave badly. First by telling C2 that she could rescind her resignation and then denying C2 the opportunity to rescind it. CA1 was a party to the decision to not allow C2 to take back her resignation, in fact CA1 made that call. CA1 then claimed it was "district policy". Really? Where is this policy? Why doesn't it apply to Mr. King? CA1 also mentioned the ethics complaint by C1 to C2. This was bad because it made the ethics complaint a factor in the decision about the resignation and because it breached (further) the confidentiality of the complaint.


E1. I think it goes without saying that the instructional aide needs to implement some boundaries. I hope he has done so by now. Has anyone spoken to him about this yet? I don't see any record that anyone has.

E2. I don't think that E2, the classroom teacher, comes out of this looking very good. Not really, really bad, but certainly not good.

The District's General Counsel office for releasing the details of an ethics complaint made to the ethics hotline. You guys suck. That's Noel Treat and Ron English. Way to inject doubt and politics into the whole effort.


Looking good:
E3. This is the person from the District's Safety and Security Department who took reports from C1 and C2 about the questionable behavior. This person apparently made a real investigation and a complete report. E3 gave an oral report to Mr. King saying he should follow up. Mr. King took no action in response. E3 told C1 and C2 that they had met the reporting requirements. Good job, E3.

The nurse. The nurse took action by reporting the behavior to the District's Safety and Security Department. The nurse didn't go to Mr. King or Ms Geoghagan, but given the history I can see why not.


E4. This is the person who witnessed disturbing behavior and made a written report to Ms Geoghagan the next day. Crushed it. Seriously, E4 FTW. Here's our important lesson for today boys and girls: document.


C2. No one looks better than C2. This person made a prompt and appropriate report to Ms Geoghagan and, again in February, made another report to E3. The idea that, after this, Ms Geoghagan would investigate C2 for failure to report is purely Kafka-esque. It must also have been weird to be told by CA1 that your resignation could be rescinded on one day and that it could not be rescinded on another day. The ethics complaint is absolutely called for and appropriate.

Looking mixed:
C1. I hate to say this, but C1 didn't make the required report to Mr. King or Ms Geoghagan. The report to E3, however, balances that. E3 told C1 that C1 had fulfilled the reporting requirement, so the news of an investigation into C1's failure to report must have been disorienting. I will also give C1 a lot of credit for making the ethics complaint. So C1 comes out looking mostly good, but not perfect.

E6. Did clear C1 and C2 of any wrongdoing, but also had no problem with what E1 was doing. Also took a long, long time to clear C1 and C2 and did it by conducting an investigation instead of doing it by determining that none was necessary. E6 comes out looking mostly bad, but not entirely.

84 comments:

Brian M. Rosenthal said...

I'm doing an article about how Lowell parents are reacting to the report. If any are willing to talk with me, please email me as soon as possible at brosenthal@seattletimes.com.

Thanks,
Brian M. Rosenthal
Education report, The Seattle Times

Melissa Westbrook said...

The report, my first thread, Charlie's walk-thru of the players - there's not much to be said of what happened and what didn't happen (and when).

But a couple of letters to parents from the Lowell principals is not going to do it from my perspective. This is not a "move on, there's nothing here to see" place in time.

The district HAS to say something or do something.

The Board does as well - no running away because "it's a personnel matter."

It's a student safety matter.

It's a teacher safety matter.

It's a public trust matter.

I'm sure they are working on this as we write.

I sure hope so.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Charlie left out a couple of people who actually were involved but not named.

That would be union rep for Lowell and the SEA. What were they doing or saying? They have certainly been silent since this report.

Chris S. said...

Thanks Charlie for the "Central Absurdity" recap. I was thoroughly befuddled by the Times Article but now I understand. It seems like it was spun so hard it made no sense. I'm reading the comments at the times now and oddly, it does seem that most people "got it" - thanks to your posts, probably.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Melissa, he left out the biggest player--Susan Enfield--the only one with the authority to determine the outcome of this travesty.

Where's does she fit into your analysis, Charlie?

What about the fact that she fired Floe but keeps two lying school administrators who set up employees in order cover their hides--with nothing more than a written reprimand?

What about the timing of the report's release (after parents are stuck with their school choices)?

--enough already

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous posted (I'm reposting so you don't get deleted)

"At the time of this incident, Mr. King was trying to fire the union rep. I can understand why she was distracted."

3/26/12 4:53 PM

--enough already

Anonymous said...

I dearly hope Mr. Rosenthal is not relying upon this particular site for his 'parent sample.' There are many, many parents who neither know of this site, nor respond this here.

Also, there has been much written about how fantastic every teacher at Lowell actually is. All are not fantastic. Within any given population one sees the entire spectrum of exceptional, good, bad and the ugly.

Teaching in the APP program does not make one an exceptional teacher.

Teaching students who perform poorly on State assessments does not make them terrible teachers.

I so wish people would understand this.

I read a previous post where a former teacher of Lowell stated that new teachers (who now work in APP) couldn't possibly "hold a candle" to those seasoned veterans who previously worked in the program. Really? What a pleasant way of stating that 'we' are better than 'them.'

True...experience affords one the potential, potential for insight and professional growth. However, it does not ensure this growth occurs.

This sentiment - stated by a former teacher in APP - is precisely the reason so many are frustrated with APP. There is this strange assumption that simply teaching students who've been identified as exceptional means the teacher is exceptional. This, also, is not the case.

Simply because an individual has been a part of a program and children flourished under their tutelage does not mean they were good teachers. It means they were able to support those learners in a manner that did not take away from their noted academic talents. But, this does not mean that teacher is good or exceptional.

It is neither the case that teachers who work with students who are failing State/District assessments are necessarily bad at their job. What if a teacher brings a child entering the 3rd grade at a Kindergarten level up to 2nd grade competency? Three grade levels! In a year? Wow!

Get a clue, people!

- Just Saying

Anonymous said...

Also, there is so much talk/writing about this teacher or that teacher being forced out, but little discussion about whether or not they did their bloody job well.

I've been targeted and maligned by a Principal, tortured and bullied in ways unethical, but just this side of illegal. I don't condone the tactics of many administrators - these individuals should lose their damn jobs and their right to lead. Simple. Clear cut.

As a teacher, it is a massive frustration that we've no real way to police those in charge of OUR future. One's future as a teacher can be thwarted by an admin. with a grudge against us, or one that simply doesn't like that we dare speak up on issues that matter a great deal and are clearly focused on what is right for our children and do what we are obligated to do: speak up for children and challenge any person, program, or situation that does them no benefit.

It is in this situation that many teachers must operate.

And if we dare raise our voice and actually advocate, we risk retribution and professional assassination.

On THIS matter, the report is scary as hell.

Such admin. policies (and they really are, in my experience, policies, unwritten yet consistent across the District) dissuade those most interested in taking a stand, working for what is right - THE STUDENTS - and getting out in front of things. I've been there! It is miserable and is turning many thoughtful, smart-as-hell teachers away from the profession.

But, please don't pretend that teacher who you or your student adores must be exceptional simply because they don't harm students, because her or she is liked.

Some teachers suck.

They may well be toxic, disruptive, sneaky individuals who create a hostile work environment for everyone other than you and your child.

They may well be inflexible, unwilling to adapt to new models of instructional collaboration, of using/teaching technology in an age where it is part and parcel in the lives of our students.

There is much YOU, as the parents, do not know.

It may wall be the former SEA building rep. was nothing but toxic. It may well be that pressure (inappropriate, unethical, perhaps even illegal) was applied because that building would be better off with their presence and the distractions it caused everyone else. It is not only or always the administrators who are the bullies.

It may well be...

- Just Saying

Eileen said...

Melissa said it well when listing "It's a ____ matter." To add to that, it is also a financial matter. When the district cannot find enough SLP's willing to work for them (big surprise) they have to contract with spendy private agencies. That is happening now! Jennifer was swept away like yesterday's trash. She did not deserve that.

David said...

Excellent post, Charlie, thanks for writing it. Appreciate the work you and Melissa are doing to highlight the issues with this.

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason that we are protecting the identity of CA1?

Wasp

suep. said...

Just Saying -- you're way off base here.

The fact is, Lowell Elementary experienced unprecedented teacher attrition last year, in both the APP and ALO staff.

I was at the school long enough to know that most of the veteran APP teachers and even the more recent hires who all left were indeed valuable teachers.

In any kind of specific program, whether it's advanced learning (APP, Spectrum), language immersion, or special Ed, experience does indeed matter.

So yes, these experienced teachers had a wealth of knowledge and an understanding of gifted kids that was lost when they left the school. It will take years to build up this knowledge again. It can be done, but it won't happen overnight.

Our school lost some terrific teachers last year who most likely would not have left under different leadership.

I also happen to know that two or more of our master teachers -- the inspired, creative teachers whom many families hope to get, who bring so much more to their classrooms, who mentor other teachers, who prepare their students well not only for middle school and life -- were also targeted by Lowell leadership last year.

I have heard that it may be still going on this year.

You don't need to lecture any of us about not all teachers being great, APP or otherwise. We all know that.

The point is, an abnormally large number of really good teachers left or were driven out of Lowell last year.

This again points damningly to the climate of the school and the bullying nature of school leadership -- a glimpse of which was finally brought to public light thanks to this investigation.

Anonymous said...

My son is in fifth grade at Lowell. NONE of his previous teachers remain at Lowell. This includes all his APP teachers as well as art, music, and PE. They're all gone. Last year's environment was so toxic and so incredibly sad. To now see this clear evidence of back stabing and dishonesty sickens me. This is NOT the same school we signed up for five years ago.

--just want this nightmare to end

SkritchD said...

Nice job, Charlie. Since you won't say it, then I will. Gregory King delayed the reporting, tried to jump ship, wrote a self-absorbed resignation e-mail on top of his general dickishness. And well said suep regarding Just Saying's comments regarding Lowell's teachers. The bullying climate created directly by King led to the flight of a large number of very good teachers from Lowell.

peter p said...

As a parent who has been at Lowell for three years and experienced some awful teachers, I was glad when King got rid of some of the dead weight who cared more for their own jobs than my kids education. All of the staff at Lowell this year like and respect the things that king is doing. I like the education and dedication by king and Rina

Melissa Westbrook said...

CA1 has been really stressed by this situation (as you can well imagine). It is this person's right to remain anonymous but if you have been at Lowell, you likely know who this person is.

Nice hat said...

When the district cannot find enough SLP's willing to work for them (big surprise) they have to contract with spendy private agencies. That is happening now! Jennifer was swept away like yesterday's trash. She did not deserve that.

SLPs currently get NO support in the district. Caseloads are through the roof and administrators seem to actively hate them. They currently have several layers of supervisors whose only concerns seem to be to enforce company policy with no interest in actually supporting staff.

Shades of King and Geoghan... everybody in SpEd is terrified of being blamed for something and blame ALWAYS runs downhill to the lowest level employee.

This is the reason nobody in charge in SpEd supported Jennifer Gary throughout her ordeal. People who were in a position to just say, "do over" and accept the retraction of her resignation acted out of revenge and threw her to the wolves.

Trust matters, morale matters.

Forget money, training, education... if there had been people with simple common decency in charge at Lowell, HR, SpEd, the superintendent's office NONE of this would have happened.

Where are you hearts people?

Anonymous said...

SueP

When you mention the rumors about the master teachers being attacked. I hope you don't mean the only teachers that have been teaching in the APP program for three or four years

Of course there are only three teachers in the building with that vast experience.

-oh no!

SeattleSped said...

"When the district cannot find enough SLP's willing to work for them (big surprise) they have to contract with spendy private agencies."

There ya go, the magic of the marketplace. I just read a ridiculous article that claims the wave of SLP in the future is...online of course!

Anonymous said...

Wow! peter p said:

All of the staff at Lowell this year like and respect the things that king is doing.

You know this? You have talked to all of them? The staff survey report from last year would say you are not correct. It will be interesting to see what THIS year's survey says. It will be interesting to see whether this year's surveys get to the downtown folks without claims that they were maybe being intercepted by Lowell management.

"I like the education and dedication by king and Rina" -- well, THAT seems pretty odd -- because one of them is now at Lowell (King) and the other is exclusively at Lincoln (Rina). You have kids both places? Otherwise, seems to me you are pretty off-base!

--Think maybe your name is apt.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

I'm not talking about C1 but CA1. C1 was the employee at Lowell. CA1 is the downtown administrator Charlie mentions above. I wonder why CA1 gets to keep her anonymity.

Wasp

Anonymous said...

This is a case study in dysfunction.

By the way, Charlie, you still haven't included Susan Enfield in your scorecard! I am not surprised since you so strongly advocated for her to be hired as permanent superintendent--despite Floe, TFA emails, lying to the board, et al.

I'll do it for you:
BAD, real baaad....

...those miscreants should be at the unemployment office right now, not still leading schools.

--enough already...of this unethical superintendent

Anonymous said...

Okay, I will spell it out.

CA1 is former SPED director Marne Campbell. The same Harvard-educated Marne Campbell who was promoted to fill the Executive Director position vacated by Harvard-educated Bree Dusseault when Harvard-educated Susan Enfield moved her to the south end.

Wasp

SeattleSped said...

CA1 was Marni Campbell. Why am I NOT surprised. She has the same ethical standards as her BFF and fellow Harvardite Enfield.

Anonymous said...

Someone asked about the SEA rep and why there has been no word from her. She had several grievances on Mr. King. She was allowed to leave the school if she would sign a gag order to not talk to the Lowell staff or parents. She was one of the targeted teachers from last year. Currently she is working at another school, where her principal appreciates her. She was a highly successful teacher with her students. Her colleagues saw her as being highly skilled, professional, and committed to her students. She has a heart of gold, and is happily sharing her talents at another Seattle school.

Lowell staff person

peter p said...

If you had paid attention you would have read that I have been at Lowell at capital hill for three years and have had the pleasure to know both of them over that time. In regards to this misguided notion that Gregory somehow intercepted last years survey is far from the truth if not laughable. And yes this years staff do like and supper the things that Gregory is doing. I have in fact spoke with most of them. I'm sure you on the other hand don't have kids at my school or Lincoln and just want to spout of about things you don't know about.

peter p said...

Are you kidding me. She was abusive to our kids and not an effective teacher last year. She tried to bully the younger teachers. I for one am glad she was moved on. I feel bad for the poor kids that are stuck with her.

Anonymous said...

I also want to say that the representative from the SEA organization, I'm not talking about our school SEA rep, retired last year. Politically, they do not say anything. Believe me, they have seen a lot. Behind closed doors, they say plenty to teachers, but when it comes to representing them in any way at the actual "table," they are silent. Administrators from SPS have been given the complete "Go ahead..." from SEA. The only time that they stand up to SPS is when they are barganing for our contract. That is because that is the only time that thet have any leverage.

Lowell teacher

Anonymous said...

Charlie and all- Thank you for the support. There is one extremely crucial detail to correct though. This was NOT mentioned in the report, so you would not have any way of knowing.

C1 DID report concerns about the employee, but was interupted before she could provide specifics. I was with C1 when she reported.

After C1 witnessed the toe kissing, she and I went several times to Ms. Geoghagan's office and tried to report. Ms. Geoghagan was not available. Several days later we were able to talk with Ms. Geoghagan. C1 said she had concerns about an employee and motioned to the adjacent room where the employee was working. Ms. Geoghagan nodded as if in understanding. Before C1 could tell specifics, we were interupted by students entering the room. Ms. Geoghagan never followed up. C1and I tried to talk with Ms. Geoghagan again but she was out of the building for at least a week, possibly even a week and a half. That is when I started asking for advice on who else we should report to.

Some people have questioned why there was a three week lapse in reporting if we thought this was so serious. There was not a long lapse. There was a general report of concern by C1, not follwed up on by Ms. Geoghagan, after which Ms. Geoghagan was out of the building for an extended period. C1 and I waited for several days for a response to my request for advice on further reporting. When I had not heard anything, I talked to the school nurse, whose efforts brought the Safety and Security person to Lowell.

So did C1 report details? No, she tried but did not get the chance. Did she make it clear to Ms. Geoghagan she had concerns about a specific employee? Definitely. And I think that since C1 was talking to Ms. Geoghagan in my presence, it was probably clear to Ms. Geoghagan what the general nature of the concerns were.

C1 is truly a hero. I hope, when the time is right, that she makes herself known. The Lowell community owes her a huge thank you for what she has gone through.

Thank you again.

-Jennifer

peter p said...

When the Seattle times reaches out to the angry one sided parents for background info, the times is really reaching for the bottom. This makes me question how unbiased the entire story has been to date.

Anonymous said...

Peter P said that it was laughable to entertain the idea that Mr. King intercepted last year's staff survey.

Peter, that was hardly laughable. Mr King had a grievance filed against him over that. He also sent in school security to keep the actual people who were supposed to take the surveys downtown. Those people filed grievances. Those were part of the grievances that got dropped in order to give people the chance to leave the toxic setting.

No , Mr. King had many unprofessional outbursts last year in front of the staff.

An eye witness

Brian M. Rosenthal said...

Peter P:

I'm not just reaching out to the angry ones, I assure you. This blog is one avenue of finding parents. There are many others I use.

Thanks,
Brian

Anonymous said...

Hey Peter P. Why not contact Brian yourself? If you're here and not angry, clearly this place is not just full of the angry one

One of the angry ones

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Peter P. - Is the Seattle Times trying to destroy Lowell for $port?

A parent

Anonymous said...

Peter P and a parent:

how do you feel about the investigator's report? specifically the findings that they mislead district staff, and did not know the reporting requirements for suspected child abuse?

- curious

Anonymous said...

@A parent

Just a heads up--the Seattle Times did not destroy Lowell. It's pretty clear that district administration gets credit for that.

--enough already

peter p said...

I hope so. Because these blogs seem so dominated by pissed off parents who tend to not have kids in the school that they want to talk about. I for one like and respect Gregory King. He seems extremely dedicated to my kids education and kids in general. I feel that there is a back story that none of us know about. You should come to our school and speak with the current staff and parents who like him and not listen to disgruntled former staff and parents who don't gave kids at either school.

peter p said...

I'm only here because I heard that the conversation on this blog was being dominated by angry parents like your self. I wonder how much positive volunteering you do at your schools instead of complaing late at night, or maybe play with your kids. I refuse to let the haters dominate the conversation.

Anonymous said...

What do you think about the investigator's report, Peter?

- curious

peter p said...

Read the investigators report and find the timeline do not support Gregory or Rina did anything wrong. Rina was informed by the staff member on Jan 19th of something ( staff member acknowledges not mentioning foot kissing) Then later in the month saw something but did not tell either one about it, but waited three weeks. Then went to the nurse who told the district. How could they not tell what they did nor know. It was He who initiated the investigation of the two teachers, for waiting three weeks.
In regards to not knowing district policy, I'm suspect to the investigators assertion since they both go to constant training.

Anonymous said...

Dear peter p said:

I assume your "you should talk to" comment is addressed to Brian (whose fair-mindedness you have now called into question, but never mind). With respect to commenters who don't have kids at the school -- I agree that for Brian's current article, he shouldn't be reaching out to them -- but, of course, he is not. He specifically is looking for Lowell parents.

Disgruntled former staff? Well, that isn't who he is asking for -- but they have voices. Maybe they are "disgruntled" because they were mailing it in, King called them on it -- and their gig is now up.

But -- maybe not. Maybe it is true that Lowell has lost many good teachers, and that the APP program has lost years of gifted ed experience, due to bad management (or worse) by current administration. If teachers left because of the kinds of alleged activities that are part of the investigation (incompetent management, retaliation, etc.), then I am sure that you, as well as others who care about Seattle schools (parents or not) would be highly supportive of an investigation into it, right? And if your observations are based on past years (when King and Rina were working together), the staff survey still says you are way off base.

Oh -- two more little things. First, "haters" is like "ilk." In my opinion, it tends to identify the user as arguing from a emotion-based bully pulpit, rather than from thoughtful logic. In fact, I now stop reading when I get to "ilk." I have tested the hypothesis enough to be confident that it is a useful "rant" filter. Haven't added "haters" to the list, but I guess I will think about it.

Second, it is ok for all those parents to stop playing with their kids and post after 9 at night. In most well-organized households, the kids are now in bed, and the grown-ups can talk.

-Think maybe your name is apt

peter p said...

See my comments above.
Want to add that the racial tone of the report and on these blogs is scary. Asked Gregory about it and he said that the investigator kept trying to ask him if he believed race was a factor and he told her no. She made assertions that are unsubstantiated. If any of you actually knew him you would be outraged by the racial undertone of that report.

Anonymous said...

The investigator specifically found that Gregory and Rina misled staff, based on the timeline, Peter. How did you get the opposite of that out of the report?

-curious

Anonymous said...

Rosenthals' Time to Move On article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017846280_lowell27m.html

--enough already

Erik Tanen said...

Hopefully we all can move on and let those of us at Lowell work towards building a positive place for our kids.

Anonymous said...

peter p said: "See my comments above."

Sorry, peter p. Lots of comments above. Not sure what you mean by this.

peter p says: "Want to add that the racial tone of the report and on these blogs is scary."

Well, now, THERE is a change of subject -- we have moved from "straw men" to "red herrings" (an observation that draws attention away from the central issue in an argument or discussion; an informal logical fallacy.) I scanned back through every single one of the 45 comments on this post, and could not find ONE, not ONE, that raised race. It is true that Charlie's original post mentions it, but only because the report states that Mr. King stated that was his reason for blowing off the complaint, and not following up on it. Does that give the report an alarmning "racial tone?" You evidently think so. I have no way to corroboate a discrepancy between what Mr. King and the investigator say he gave as his reason for nonaction, but less reason to believe Mr. King (who had a reason to come up with some excuse for his failure to act) than the investigator (who had no dog in the hunt -- and no reason that I know of to favor one side over another) -- unless YOU are claiming it was racially motivated, in which case, you are the one raising race here.

peter p says: "Asked Gregory about it and he said that the investigator kept trying to ask him if he believed race was a factor and he told her no. She made assertions that are unsubstantiated. If any of you actually knew him you would be outraged by the racial undertone of that report."

You are right that I do not know him. You evidently do, or think you do. I DO, however, know C2, and am far more outraged at the way she and C1 were treated by District and Lowell administration (including King, Geoghagan, and Campbell) than by any "racial undertone" (of which I find very little -- in fact, the ONLY reference to race is the investigator's claim that King claimed that C2 was acting from improper racial motive -- she doesn't claim ever that HE is) in the report.

So -- of the prior 45 or so comments on this blog, if I have missed any that raise "racial tones" -- other than yours of course, which seemed to be the first to go there -- please point them out (by poster name and time) because I admit, I skimmed quickly. Frankly, I find the comments on this post to be incredibly, and refreshingly, FREE from getting bogged down in that particular argument.

So -- bravo to all you OTHER posters! And -- if you want to argue every OTHER post (of the thousands) on this blog -- then, no, you are right. I call red herring and refuse to go there.

- Think maybe your name is apt

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be good to move on. But we as parents might be able to move on, but what about the teachers and staff? The primary offenses were against staff members, including the one who quit her job due to the hostile environment. I hope that their confidence in working under King and Geoghagen can be sufficient for them to have a positive working environment. Both principals need to work to heal the wounds that have been caused by their actions.
L@L mom

Anonymous said...

Mr. Taner,

If only it were so easy.

Ask the collateral damaged (Jennifer Gray and others who have endured abuse and professional devastation) if they can just move along?

Ask staff district-wide, who have finally been told explicitly what many have known for years--your rights don't matter, your boss can lie about you and set you up..and they will get away with it.

I hope that, instead of moving on, you put some energy into advocating for better working conditions for the teachers and other professionals who are devoted to your children.

Quite frankly, this goes way beyond Lowell, and affects many people beyond just you and yours.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

The Gregory King/ Rina Geoghagan investigation also brings up the issue of how long investigations take. There is no way that this investigation should have taken eleven months, and kept the results in a state of not being released for over a month to protect Mr. King and Enfield for finding new jobs. These politics stink.

Disgusted

Nice hat said...

The MOST AMAZING thing said in this entire year-long SNAFU:

"It's been handled," said Smith-Blum, who represents the Central Area on the board. "Hopefully we can all go back to teaching and learning now."

Anonymous said...

According to Cristen Kent's report, neither Mr. King not Ms. Geoghagan ever investigated concerns C1 and I had made in January and February.
In early April, E4 witnessed a third foot kissing incident involving E1 and the same student. E4 wrote a memo documenting observations and gave it to Ms. Geoghagan. (Neither C1 nor I were aware of this third report until July 2011 when I made a public records request for my investigation file. This now explains the timing of the allegations against us, but we were completely baffled last spring.)
On 4/11, the teacher in the classroom in which E1 worked wrote a memo in his support to Mr. King and Ms. Geoghagan. She concluded the memo by stating that my (C2's) "concerns were born of a culture clash". Her email message to Mr. King and Ms. Geoghagan said "Let me know if I need to change anything." Mr. King forwarded the email to Misa Garmoe, Demetrice Lewis and Nancy Coogan. (This document was also obtained through a public document request and since these names were not redacted I am including them here.) I will leave it to others to decide if it was appropriate to suggest I am racist because I reported the type of physical contact that the district REQUIRES me to report and that would be a concern no matter what the race of the adult or child.
E1 was investigated on 4/12 by a Senior HR Analyst who asked E1 only about the third foot kissing incident that was reported by E4 in April. The Senior HR Analyst accepted E1's explanation that he was only playing a "stinky feet" game with the student. Therefore no action needed to be taken against E1.
Ms. Geoghagan interviewed E4 about the incident, and though E4's version of events was inconsistent with E1's version, Ms. Geoghagan decided to believe E4.
NOTE: Ms. Geoghagan's participation in the investigation took place after I wrote an email to the Superintendent, the Board, and several central administrators, including Marni Campbell, alleging retaliation, cover-up and a conflict of interest for Ms. Geoghagan to be involved in the investigation of C1 and myself. The email was forwarded to Mr. King and Nancy Coogan by the Board President. Mr. King forwarded this email to Misa Garmoe and Demetrice Lewis (Names were not redacted in my public documents request, therefore they are included here.) I will leave it to others to decide if it was appropriate for Ms. Geoghagan to interview E4. This issue was not addressed in Ms. Kent's report.
E1 was cleared of the third foot kissing incident and apparently was never investigated for the concerns C1 and I reported.
Nonetheless, C1 and I were investigated in late April. My investigation was grueling and humiliating and lasted almost 4 hours. C1's investigation was incredibly stressful, and again, contributed to severe health issues. At the end of the almost 4 hour investigation, I was finally told, after three stressful weeks, what the accusation was - supposedly I had never told Ms. Geoghagan about the foot kissing in January. So I was investigated for endangering a child because I had "not reported" to Ms Geoghagan or Mr. King conduct that THEY knew of and never investigated!?!? This was after I had been accused by Ms. Geoghagan of not reporting to CPS something I had reported to her that no one in the district apparently investigated!?!?

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

According to Cristen Kent's report, neither Mr. King not Ms. Geoghagan ever investigated concerns C1 and I had made in January and February.

In early April, E4 witnessed a third foot kissing incident involving E1 and the same student. E4 wrote a memo documenting observations and gave it to Ms. Geoghagan. (Neither C1 nor I were aware of this third report until July 2011 when I made a public records request for my investigation file. This now explains the timing of the allegations against us, but we were completely baffled last spring.)

On 4/11, the teacher in the classroom in which E1 worked wrote a memo in his support to Mr. King and Ms. Geoghagan. She concluded the memo by stating that my (C2's) "concerns were born of a culture clash". Her email message to Mr. King and Ms. Geoghagan said "Let me know if I need to change anything." Mr. King forwarded the email to Misa Garmoe, Demetrice Lewis and Nancy Coogan. (This document was also obtained through a public document request and since these names were not redacted I am including them here.) I will leave it to others to decide if it was appropriate to suggest I am racist because I reported the type of physical contact that the district REQUIRES me to report and that would be a concern no matter what the race of the adult or child.

E1 was investigated on 4/12 by a Senior HR Analyst who asked E1 only about the third foot kissing incident that was reported by E4 in April. The Senior HR Analyst accepted E1's explanation that he was only playing a "stinky feet" game with the student. Therefore no action needed to be taken against E1.

Ms. Geoghagan interviewed E4 about the incident, and though E4's version of events was inconsistent with E1's version, Ms. Geoghagan decided to believe E4.

NOTE: Ms. Geoghagan's participation in the investigation took place after I wrote an email to the Superintendent, the Board, and several central administrators, including Marni Campbell, alleging retaliation, cover-up and a conflict of interest for Ms. Geoghagan to be involved in the investigation of C1 and myself. The email was forwarded to Mr. King and Nancy Coogan by the Board President. Mr. King forwarded this email to Misa Garmoe and Demetrice Lewis (Names were not redacted in my public documents request, therefore they are included here.) I will leave it to others to decide if it was appropriate for Ms. Geoghagan to interview E4. This issue was not addressed in Ms. Kent's report.

E1 was cleared of the third foot kissing incident and apparently was never investigated for the concerns C1 and I reported.
Nonetheless, C1 and I were investigated in late April. My investigation was grueling and humiliating and lasted almost 4 hours. C1's investigation was incredibly stressful, and again, contributed to severe health issues. At the end of the almost 4 hour investigation, I was finally told, after three stressful weeks, what the accusation was - supposedly I had never told Ms. Geoghagan about the foot kissing in January. So I was investigated for endangering a child because I had "not reported" to Ms Geoghagan or Mr. King conduct that THEY knew of and never investigated!?!? This was after I had been accused by Ms. Geoghagan of not reporting to CPS something I had reported to her that no one in the district apparently investigated!?!?

-Jennifer (Sorry for the double post - the paragraph spacing did not work in the one above.(

Anonymous said...

I also hope that Lowell can "move on". Lowell has been a big part of my life - as a volunteer, a parent and an employee.

But how does it help Lowell or the SPS to "move" on if accountability, ethics, fairness, honesty, professionalism and compassion aren't part of its path? What are you moving on to? More of the same? The issues that have been discussed are pretty serious. I am not even talking about how the actions of these administrators have affected me, my career, my finances, my reputation and my family. Or C1's health. I am talking about whether staff feel safe enough from retaliation to report concerns to administrators. I am talking about whether administrators will actually investigate concerns about child safety. I am talking about whether the district is going to have to spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more) down the road to clean up another mess that never should have happened. I am talking about whether this district is such a laughing stock that we will not be able to hire a quality superintendent. I am talking about whether SPS employees can actually focus on educating students.

Moving on to something better would be great. But I don't think you can move on to something better until you really clean up what is at your feet. And sweeping this stuff under the rug is not the same as cleaning things up. It just makes things stinkier and dirtier and eventually you'll step in it again.

Just my humble opinion.

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Jennifer! You are spot on!

- Think maybe your name is apt

Ed said...

So there, Peter P.

Sometimes Brian just copies stories right off the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's website.

He's a wide ranging guy.

And thats OK with Frank.

Charlie Mas said...

Peter P says that Mr. King should not be held responsible for failing to investigate reports if he never got the report.

This is Mr. King's defense - he never got any report of foot-kissing.

Except that he DID get a report of foot-kissing. First, he should have gotten it from Ms Geoghagan after the first report by C2.

Second, he got a report of foot kissing from E3. When E3 was done interviewing C1 and C2, E3 went to Mr. King and gave him an oral report of the results of the interview. E3 also said that a written report would be available. The foot kissing was detailed in the written report.

Third, Mr. King should have read the written report - but he didn't.

Fourth, at the meeting on April 6 Mr. King encourage an investigation of C1 and C2 for failure to report based on the report from E3 - a report that Mr. King failed to read.

Mr. King tried to throw several people under the bus to save himself. He lied like crazy on multiple occasions. He showed a criminal lack of interest in the safety of his students.

And, although it is totally unrelated, yes, Mr. King drove off nearly every APP teacher at Lowell. I can believe that some of them might not have been effective teachers, but I have a very hard time believing that nearly all of them were "dead wood". There are 17 teachers at Lowell at Lincoln and 14 of them are new to the school. That kind of turnover in a program that is almost universally lauded as excellent? Something's fishy there.

I appreciate your loyalty, but it is misplaced.

Bird said...

Wow. Is that true? 14 new teachers out of 17?

Let's set aside the issues detailed in the report.

If almost all the staff at a school jumps ship, there is almost certainly something seriously wrong with the management of the school.

If what Charlie says is true, King should be shown the door for generating that kind of turmoil by itself.

NESeattleMom said...

I am sure everyone would be ready to move on if we didn't have that big unsettled feeling that things are not right. Brian Rosenthal, I believe the two PTAs are completely separate this year so the Lowell Capitol Hil PTA president and vice president can't really speak for the Lowell@Lincoln PTA. The two schools are separated completely except in history. The daily life at Capitol Hill is one thing and the daily life at L@L is another thing this year. The two principals seem to be completely separated also, so I'm really not sure what is the thing that combines the two schools now. We are talking about history and we are talking about what procedures are in place that administrators will follow to protect our children.

NESeattleMom said...

There is a reason that Seattle Public Schools is supposed to train employees to not hug students front to front, instead patting the shoulder or giving a sideways hug. Employees should be trained what kinds of affection are OK and what are not. That is basic to being a good administrator. And to prevent grooming from the worst case people.

Charlie Mas said...

I have been asked about Susan Enfield and how she comes out of this.

Dr. Enfield has a clear history of allowing her staff to keep the authority that she has delegated to them. This is, on the whole, an excellent policy and practice for any manager.

It was extraordinary for her to overrule her Executive Director of schools and decide to retain Mr. Floe last year.

The decision to retain Mr. King or Ms Geoghagan belongs to Nancy Coogan, the Executive Director of the Central Region. I expect Dr. Enfield to allow the Executive Director to make that call. I do not expect Dr. Enfield to second-guess or over-rule Nancy Coogan's decision.

I've spoken with Nancy Coogan a number of times on a variety of issues and I like her. She has an open, engaging, down-to-earth manner. I have heard reports of favoritism and I have not discounted them.

I think that this incident, in the context of other reports from Lowell and the mass exodus of teachers from Lowell at Lincoln, justifies Mr. King's dismissal. I think Nancy Coogan should make that call.

Just because I like someone personally doesn't mean that I have to agree with every decision they make and I hope that I will give credit for good choices to people whom I do not like. So, I like Nancy, but I think she's blowing this one. We would have no trouble at all replacing Mr. King.

As for Ms Geoghagan, I don't know that she has the same culpability. More than anything, she comes off as unready to lead. Perhaps she could benefit from serving as Assistant Principal in a school with a strong - fair - principal.

This is not Dr. Enfield's call. This is Nancy Coogan's call. It sure as hell isn't the school board's call.

The school board can, however, propose an amendment to the reporting policy 3421 that describes the principal's duty to follow up on reports and mandates dismissal for cause for the failure to properly follow up on a report.

I'm not trying to protect Dr. Enfield. I'm trying to protect the division of labor within the District and preserve the idea that when authority is delegated that it really is delegated.

Anonymous said...

Too be fair, some of the new teachers were hired because of growing class sizes, not just as replacements for teachers that left. The reasons for leaving also varied and can't all be attributed changes at Lowell. Some of the rifts started with the split and who wanted to go to what building, so the dysfunction was rooted in more than leadership.

The program was split without a clear definition of what the program was; it seems only defined by the cohort. What was taught, and how, varied widely with from classroom to classroom. Maybe this is no different from other schools. Sometimes this was fine, sometimes not. You could devote an entire thread to AL abdicating it's responsibility to provide clarity to the program. In the end, it just compounded the problems.

There really are to sides to every story and the issues go beyond one or two administrators.

-another perspective

SkritchD said...

peter p said...
He seems extremely dedicated to my kids education and kids in general. Sorry but he tried to leave for Tacoma. He is not that dedicated to the education of your kids. Maybe in general, but not to the school. And yes, I have had kids at Lowell and currently have kids at L@L. I extremely happy we no longer have involvement of King with APP. Unfortunately it came a year or two too late. And yes he did run off some excellent teachers as well as a couple not-so-great, then tried to leap into a different district. Not conducive the long-term well-being of Lowell.

As for APP, the district itself has really hampered that program with change after change now for how many years? There have been significant changes for at least the last 5 years in splits, moves, wholesale teacher changes, how classes are taught, math is a joke, etc.

Charlie Mas said...

Let's try to keep the focus where it belongs.

No one is saying that all of the former APP teachers were wonderful and all of the current APP teachers are horrible. Not only is no one saying that, but it would be entirely beside the point. So thanks, Just Saying at 5:46pm, for that effort to deflect the discussion, but we don't care to chase down that rabbit hole.

Also, Just Saying at 5:46 (boy, you type fast!), this isn't about the SEA rep in the school. That person doesn't figure anywhere in this narrative. It really doesn't matter if she is a great teacher (per Lowell staff person at 8:21pm) or a bully (per peter p).

And peter p at 7:13, it's not about:

1) whether the staff at Lowell this year like and respect the things that Mr. King is doing

2) whether or not you like the education and dedication by Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan

3) whether or not Mr. King really did intercept the staff surveys

4) how poorly Mr. King fared in those staff surveys

5) the astonishing turnover in elementary APP teachers

It's not about any of those outside issues that you raise to distract and obfuscate.

It's about how Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan responded to reports of inappropriate behavior (1) and how they covered their own failure to act properly by throwing suspicion on the people who DID act properly (2). Don't you see that?

peter p (at 9:43) disbelieves the report. If a person isn't going to believe the report, then there is no point is discussing the contents of the report with that person.

peter p says that the investigators report shows that Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan did nothing wrong. Wow. Astonishing. Did peter p read the same report I read?

peter p (at 9:43) thinks the report says that C2 says that she did not mention the foot-kissing to Ms Geoghagan when the report says that C2 DID claim, credibly, that she did mentioned it.

peter p reckons that neither Mr. King nor Ms Geoghagan got any report of inappropriate behavior before April 5, but there is ample evidence that they did. Ms Geoghagan got a report of it on January 19 from C2. She told Mr. King of it. Mr. King was dismissive and Ms Geoghagan did little in response. They got another report of inappropriate behavior in February from E3. Mr. King took no action in response. That report indisputably included the foot-kissing. Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan didn't even read the report.

continued...

Charlie Mas said...

... continued

peter p is correct that Mr. King initiated the investigation of C1 and C2 for waiting three weeks to report and for making the report to Health and Safety instead of Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan - except that C2 indisputably DID report the inappropriate behavior to Ms Geoghagan. Also, Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan, reading E3's report for the first time on April 6, failed to read the entire report. If they had, they would have seen that E3 found that C1 and C2 had fulfilled their duty to report.

This meeting on April 6 is key. This meeting is the moment when Mr. King, unwilling to admit his failure to take proper action based on C2's report, lied and claimed that he received no such report. Then, to bolster his lie, he encouraged an investigation into C2's failure to report.

While I appreciate peter p's affection and respect for Mr. King, there's no doubt that Mr. King acted dreadfully on that day.

C2 had reported. C1 had reported. The only evidence that they did not report was their report - a report that fulfilled their duty to report. If Mr. King or Ms Geoghagan or even the HR manager at the meeting had bothered to read the report, they would have known that.

peter p then, irrationally, disbelieves the investigator's conclusion that Mr. King and Ms Geoghagan did not know the district policy on reporting inappropriate behavior. peter p has no real basis for this belief, but asserts it nevertheless. The investigator asked them to describe the policy and they couldn't do it, but for peter p that just reveals the investigator's bias, not Mr. King's or Ms Geoghagan's misunderstanding of the policy. An odd conclusion.

peter p, you can like people and still acknowledge their faults.

Fiona Cohen said...

Bird said:
"Is that true? 14 new teachers out of 17?"

I suppose it depends on your definition of "new teacher," but I count 8.

And keep in mind that the APP population grew by three classrooms this year.

dw said...

Jennifer said: Moving on to something better would be great. But I don't think you can move on to something better until you really clean up what is at your feet. And sweeping this stuff under the rug is not the same as cleaning things up. It just makes things stinkier and dirtier and eventually you'll step in it again.


This is exactly right (and a perfect visual/sensory description). So what can we do about it now, as parents.

Unfortunately, the SNAPP PTA has already come out with a rather mundane statement, more or less insinuating that we should "move on". On behalf of our children, the SNAPP PTA must stay focused on our continued support for teachers and students in the program, and on the current challenges facing advanced learning, [etc.]

Who on the PTA got to make this call? There are many parents that are rightly upset about how this situation was handled, and Ms. Geoghagan's part in both the initial mishandling and worse, the retaliation.

The Lowell building last year was ruled by fear and intimidation. This is not myth or guessing, it was made quite clear by the staff climate survey and the number of staff (not just teachers) that left the building last year. Ms. Geoghagan may not have been the ringleader, but she was an active part of the problem last year, and that hasn't completely disappeared this year at L@L.

SueP (and others), if you're reading here, is there any movement among parents who disagree with the SNAPP PTA's statement? A way that we can collectively express our discontent? Should we be requesting an all-hands meeting?

There are two separate, but related problems.
1) Both principals were part of a systematic program of staff abuse and intimidation last year. L@L parents, if you think that's completely disappeared with the move, then you haven't been paying close enough attention. Your child may be in a "favored teacher" classroom, but things are far from ideal at L@L.
2) Greg, Rina and their bosses have, by their actions, put children across our entire district at risk. What teacher/staff in any building would go out on a limb now to report inappropriate behavior? Not only were the reports ignored, but it's virtually irrefutable (if you read the report without bias) that the response was active retaliation. WTF?! This is how situations like the Lawrence Hill disaster are enabled.

Anonymous said...
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dw said...

Should we be requesting an all-hands meeting?

Oops, I see the general meeting is TONIGHT.

Everyone who is bothered by what's happened should come to this meeting. I'm not sure if I speak for others, but I think interested parents should come to this meeting whether or not they have kids at L@L. The issues are far bigger than just this building, and if nothing comes of it, the ramifications will be felt in every corner of the city. Spread the word.

L@L Library 7pm tonight. Wallingford.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:17 -- please have the courtesy to read the blog rules -- posted prominently right above the box for typing comments in -- because your post will be deleted if you do not sign with some sort of name (real or made up). And, God forbid that anything should come up tonight to violate the holy PTA agenda! Though I think your idea about a separate meeting makes a lot of sense. There is a LOT to discuss here, and there will be a lot of different views on how to proceed.

--Think your name is apt

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to repost what anon at 1217PM said and add my own thoughts:

"I plan on attending the meeting to hear specifically about the items on the agenda. Please have the courtesy to allow planned agenda items to be discussed prior to discussing recent events. It's understandable that parents are upset, but perhaps a separate meeting needs to be scheduled ASAP to address parent concerns."

The future of northend APP is an important topic that I don't want to see pre-empted. This meeting was already postponed once so that the various task forces would have more time to do their work. Program placement decisions are going to be made soon, and APP cannot afford to be left out of the process.

The investigation has been going on for nearly a year; waiting a few more days to try to arrange another opportunity for the community to gather to discuss that topic does not seem unreasonable to me. No one is brushing it under the table. It's just that there is a lot to discuss and some of it is incredibly time-sensitive.

--worried about 2013

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the number of students who left the building...
The 2009-10 K class had over 40 kids in 2 rooms. These were the families that chose a brand new SpEd + ALO + APP school in the last year of Open Choice. There are 22 students left in the ALO 2nd grade. Only half are still there. That's exceptionally high attrition.

Former Lowell ALO parent

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

To worried about 2013
I agree with you and with the previous poster also. So I think the PTA needs to be prepared to see many more parents tonight than the usual for a regular PTA meeting. If they really don't want to talk about the investigation at all, or only in the end of the meeting, I propose they should prepare clear signs with their intent in order for the parents to see it before they enter the Library. This could prevent overcrowding in the Library and keep the focus on the proposed Agenda.
- LL

suep. said...

@ DW -- Good questions. The PTA statement is pretty ambiguous, I thought.

They needed to say something, but they can't possibly represent the views of all 460+ families without talking to everyone about it, or having a school-wide meeting.

I would encourage all L@L parents to contact the PTA, the ombudsman, Dr. Enfield, Noel Treat, maybe Nancy Coogan and even relevant school board members with their views on the matter.

The way I see it, Lowell at Lincoln has some very big decisions and changes in its near future. We need to figure out where the school will be located and when. We need to shore up our teaching staff and help them develop into a strong team fluent in gifted ed. We need to assure incoming families that we are a school with a solid future with a strong, unassailable principal in whom we all have confidence and trust.

I don't see how having a principal at the helm who has been investigated and formally reprimanded by the school district is the best way to accomplish all this.

We need a school leader in whom parents and teachers can have absolute confidence; someone who has demonstrated a commitment to the legal and ethical responsibilities of the job; someone who is experienced enough to make good judgment calls.

This adds up to a clear need for new leadership at the school. Only then can we move forward with confidence for a strong future for our school.

Surely the PTA recognizes this.

dw said...

I think the PTA needs to be prepared to see many more parents tonight than the usual for a regular PTA meeting. If they really don't want to talk about the investigation at all, or only in the end of the meeting, I propose they should prepare clear signs with their intent in order for the parents to see it before they enter the Library.

If the PTA does not want this topic to "take over" the meeting, they should proactively take the time to schedule another meeting (very soon) to discuss it. I hope at least one of the PTA board is reading this. If not, it should be requested ASAP at the beginning of the meeting.

Then when it comes up (and it will), there will be a ready response so that the existing agenda can be handled without getting completely derailed. The advantage of doing it this way is that this topic won't get a polite two-minute treatment and then swept under the carpet, which is a big concern.

If the PTA does not see fit to either address the issue with some depth at this meeting OR schedule another meeting right away dedicated to this topic, then I think it's worthwhile for the parents to make themselves heard tonight. Loudly. Even at the risk of derailing the meeting agenda.

Does this make sense?

Melissa, any plans to attend? (even if only to get a sense of the parent body's level of concern; this is bigger than L@L, but it's one of two schools at the heart of things right now)

Anonymous said...

DW -- spot on. PTA, want your agenda to go forward? Want this to NOT take over the meeting? Then, DEAL with it! Set another meeting -- promptly, where parents can discuss this.

You are a parent organization. When your parent groups differ strongly about how to best support the school, you can't just call it and run away. Maybe this will ultimately NOT be something where unhappy parents try to work their grievance through the PTA. Maybe they will ultimately need to form their own advocacy group, because there is not enough support for the existing PTA to take a position one way OR THE OTHER (which, by the way, you have ALREADY done -- but there is still time for a graceful backtrack). You don't have to be all things to all folks all the time. But you don't get to just cut and run, either. Step up here!

-Think your name is apt

L@Lparenttoo said...

Posters who have mentioned bullying and favoritism this year at L@L, please give examples. Thanks.

dw said...

Posters who have mentioned bullying and favoritism this year at L@L, please give examples. Thanks.

Are you joking?

The very nature of bullying and favoritism means that if you draw attention to specific examples you're essentially putting people (and indirectly kids) right in the line of fire without their permission. Consider what happened last year and please think carefully before asking for stuff like this.

Situations like this are very delicate. I'm not sure of the best way to proceed, but I don't want any more sacrifices. Ms. Gary put herself out there last year and look what it got her.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that a meeting with Rina and Nancy Coogan is in the works. It sounds like it will be fairly soon.

There is a lot happening now with the capacity issue, so it's important parents hear about that tonight. As someone else mentioned, tonight's PTA general meeting was postponed once already so that more capacity information could be gathered. Let's please keep these topics separate.

-L@L parent

l@Lparenttoo said...

dw, point taken. I was asking because my family struggled with a substitute teacher this year and that teacher was protected by the principal. But you raise a really good point about my question. So, never mind.

Anonymous said...

Keep the children in APP where they belong. It's the principals who should be yanked out.

APP supporter