Friday, March 23, 2012

Lowell Report Released - Details to Follow

It finally happened.  Will post ASAP.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

It happened as it was predicted: they released it on a Friday afternoon (rather evening). I just hope we can read it soon.
Thanks so much Melissa.
- Concerned

Anonymous said...

Seattle Times article here:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017827720_lowell24m.html

- APP Dad

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

Seattle Times has it as top headline.

-critical-

Anonymous said...

Let's see if I can make it a real link... Times article here

- APP Dad

mirmac1 said...

Move along, people. Nothing to see here...

Steve said...

Where on the SPS site do they usually post such things?

Anonymous said...

So you lie to your supervisors, cause the resignation of a great SLP, oh and by the way not investigate potential abuse of a very vulnerable child and you get to keep your job!! Really, Really????

Seattle Parent

SPSLeaks said...

Yarmuth reports

Letter dated March 16, 2012, addressed to Paul Apostle; RE: Lowell Elementary School: response to Gregory King’s and Rina Geoghagan’s Assertions re: my February 15, 2012 report.

Memo dated February 15, 2012; Whether (four employees) Fulfilled Their Mandatory Reporting Obligations

Memo dated March 16, 2012; Lowell Elementary School: Complaints by (two employees)

Anonymous said...

More than that, Seattle Parent: King also basically goes public with accusations that the report is a bunch of lies -- according to the Times: "In an email Friday night, King said the report "relied on made-up facts and faulty, biased assumptions. . . ." "Made up facts" is just a euphemism for lies. So -- when your employer spends a fortune investigating you, and the report concludes that you didn't know the proper protocol (bad enough -- but ok, so make 'em read the manual and go to class, I can live with this -- frankly, lots of people have been confused over the years as to exactly how reporting should go in big institutions with lots of kids -- directly to CPS/police, or through superiors). BUT -- then the Times reports: "Kent, the investigator, also found King and Geoghagan misled district administrators about their knowledge of the incident to get administrators to sign off on a separate investigation of Gary, and whether she properly notified officials when she observed the incident." Ahh! "Misled!" ANOTHER euphemism for lying (and in this case, the Times report suggests that he was trying to frame someone else -- even more despicable).

And the District keeps him employed? I am thinking that if my employer investigated me and allowed me to keep my job with a "letter of reprimand" in a case like this -- if I promptly expressed my gratitude and team spirit by calling the report lies and faulty assumptions, -- the next thing I would find is security escorting me from the building with my stuff in boxes!

Are we really thinking those Lowell families will be happy to see him bounce through the door on Monday morning (especially the SPED families,) happy to know that he couldn't be bothered to investigate -- or report -- suspected abuse because he jumped to an immediate conclusion that it was all racially motivated? That staff will bust their tails working hard and laying it all on the line for a manager/supervisor who treated their colleagues like that? That parents will rally around, anxious to do fund raisers and support an institution with such a paragon of managerial prowess at the helm?

Rina deserves her own thread -- but I envision a similar absence of holding hands and singing kumbaya at L@L next week.

Jan

Melissa Westbrook said...

These reports are fairly damning. I cannot believe the district would keep either administrator.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I just read the reprimand letters.

I don't know that the investigation against the two women was "retaliatory" on the part of King but he seemed to be trying to deflect attention from himself.

I am shocked that this is all that will happen. I would not want my children with either principal.

suep. said...

I am also shocked that a letter of reprimand is all they got.

Jan said...

Ok -- now that the reprimand letters are posted on the ST site -- minor correction. According to the reprimand letters, the report (NOT the Times report, but the investigator's report that the Times reported on) doesn't actually claim retaliation -- just that the action against the employees was very dubious (sounds to me like the investigator couldn't think of any other single reason why King would have called for the investigation -- and "withheld" pertinent facts (even if he didn't believe them, he should have passed on what he was told so HR could decide) -- but couldn't find something that absolutely nailed a retaliation claim) -- and so the District decided not to add a retaliation finding to the reprimand. I also note that they didn't "clear anybody" of the underlying behavior. They just state that the investigator's report didn't actually provide hard retaliation evidence, and so they didn't add a retaliation finding to the list of things for which King was being formally reprimanded. So the report doesn't fully state that he was retaliating or trying to frame the employees. It just notes how bad the entire thing smells -- and leaves us all to our own imaginations and to draw our own conclusions from an extremely dubious set of facts. THAT certainly ought to make Lowell and L@L staff and families feel MUCH better!

Jan

dw said...

This whole thing is sad on so many fronts.

1) That the inappropriate actions were happening in the first place.
2) That the reporting of such actions was dismissed.
3) That there was obvious retaliation against the reporter(s?) of the inappropriate actions.
4) That King and Geoghagan told various lies to try to cover up their actions/inactions. (this is readily apparent if you actually read through the investigator's report, Ms. Kent explains why their statements were not credible)

5) The worst part of all: this incident is only one of many abusive actions this administration took out on their staff last year, and as far as I know, those many other incidents are not getting any attention at this point.

Anonymous said...

Why do the Lowell Parents Put up with this outrageous stuff?.....Why not a sit in at 8 a.m Monday morning to disrupt until the 2 admins are "re-assigned"?....Ditto for THe J-Stanford Center...Is there not a PTA at this school?.....and are they okay with this obvious corruption?...What of SEA?....The IHS Prin. Floe was "UN" -fired last Spring only because of Public outcry....chase Interim Enfield out immediately or force her to apologize - attempt to explain all this underhanded dirty dealing that is so ovious....and odious...Is the ghost of R.NIxon the shadow Soop in Seattlle or what?!?.....Remember now....that Criminal was ousted by the people.....Can that no longer occur anymore?...Burnout?....apathy?...fear?.......Miz District Watch-er

Dorothy Neville said...

Why are the two supervisors off the hook, with their "I trusted the building administrators." Did either of them ask anything about the employee who allegedly kissed toes? Was he still working with children as of April Seventh? The answer is, he was still working with children at Lowell. That's the first thing I asked Jennifer on April Eighth when she told me about her letter announcing her investigation. How can she be accused of such a serious breach of reporting when the only reason they knew she saw something was because she had reported it! And how can it be considered so serious as to warrant an investigation at the same time the employee was still working in classrooms?

This shows incredible lack of curiosity and concern for children on the part of the executive director and the exec director of special ed (ie, the supervisor of the SLPs) in my opinion.

Dorothy Neville said...

Perhaps Jennifer will share her letter of April 7. It was written by Rina G. Explicitly saying SHE was conducting the investigation and that it was for improper reporting. If I recall correctly, not for failure to report. (I am out of state and don't have my copy here to reread.)

So Rina G.'s statement that she wasn't involved is an outright lie, easy to show with the original documents.

dan dempsey said...

So rarely has telling lies been a problem at high levels. Was this not a high enough SPS level for telling lies?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, let's allow the Lowell community some time for gosh's sakes. They did the right thing and waited for the investigation. They have just read this information as all of us had.

But I know many APP parents and I would find it hard to believe that they would want Principal King at their school (and he's not at Lincoln, he's at Lowell).

As for Ms. Geoghagan, I would be hard-pressed to decide. On the one hand, she was not supported by her supervisor but didn't even really try to do the right thing. As her reprimand letter says, she, because of her lack of candor, help send the investigation against C#1 and C#2 into action.

I can't get over her saying that unless she witnessed a behavior that she could not investigate it. Either she doesn't understand her duty or is willing to abdicate it.

Anonymous said...

This is the content of the email attachment I received on April 7, 2011 informing me of an investigation against me.

Dear Ms. Gary:

I have been informed of allegations of your failure to follow rules and regulations related to the safety and well being of a student at Lowell Elementary School. Specifically, it is alleged that you did not follow proper guidelines in reporting suspected inappropriate contact with a student. These allegations are serious and require immediate investigation.

You are invited to meet with me at 2:30 p.m. on April 12, 2011 to discuss this matter. Please contact me immediately, to confirm whether or not you wish to meet. You may bring legal counsel or union representation with you to the meeting. During the course of this investigation, you are asked to refrain from discussing this issue with Lowell Elementary School parents, students, or staff.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,



Rina Geoghagan
Assistant Principal

cc: Gregory King, Principal
Nancy Coogan, Executive Director of Schools


-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

This is the email Gregory King sent to me the evening of April 7 when I was asking for an explanation of what was going on.

Jennifer, I do apologize for not being able to contact you. It is my understanding that you have worked with Rina regarding alleged inappropriate employee behavior towards a child you have directly witnessed. You did not share this information with me so I will not be able to assist you at this point.

Rina and a human resource representative will conduct the investigation and any follow-up correspondence with you, your legal or union representative.

Gregory

Sent from my iPad

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Yep, sounds like an eff-ing frame-up.

Mr Ed

Anonymous said...

This is the content of an email sent to me the morning of April 8 from Ms. Geoghagan and cc'd to Gregory King and two people in Human Resources:

Jennifer,
On behalf of Seattle Public Schools we are accepting your resignation effective April 15, 2011.

Sincerely,

Rina Geoghagan
Assistant Principal
Lowell Elementary School


-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Another email:

From: King, Gregory L
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 1:12 PM
To: Gary, Jennifer
Subject: Meeting



Good afternoon, Jennifer:



I have read your letter you sent to Dr. Enfield, board members, and others. I will be conducting the interview on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. I wanted to confirm your attendance.



Gregory

The letter referred to was sent on 4/10 to the superintendent and board expressing concerns over retaliation, conflict of interest and the damaging effect the actions taken would have on further reporting of misconduct by SPS personnel.

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

"Why do the Lowell Parents Put up with this outrageous stuff?.....Why not a sit in at 8 a.m Monday morning to disrupt until the 2 admins are "re-assigned"?....Ditto for THe J-Stanford Center...Is there not a PTA at this school?.....and are they okay with this obvious corruption?...What of SEA?....The IHS Prin. Floe was "UN" -fired last Spring only because of Public outcry....chase Interim Enfield out immediately or force her to apologize - attempt to explain all this underhanded dirty dealing that is so ovious....and odious...Is the ghost of R.NIxon the shadow Soop in Seattlle or what?!?.....Remember now....that Criminal was ousted by the people.....Can that no longer occur anymore?...Burnout?....apathy?...fear?.......Miz District Watch-er" posted at 2:00a this morning

While I don't blame the Lowell parents for putting up with this - let's rise up and do what the Ingraham parents did so effectively. This just gets more absurd with every new article. Did you see this link over on the Times comments - http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/secretary-accused-of-using-school-money-to-shop/nD97X/ my apologies, don't know hot to make it a live link

I'm not a Lowell or L@L parent but I'd be willing, as I'm sure many others would be, to stand with those Lowell parents and do whatever it takes to have King removed from not only the school, but the district. And SE can leave now, as well. The timing of the release plus all the other manipulations are so egregious it's just unbelievable.

randi

Anonymous said...

My email response to Mr. King:

From: Gary, Jennifer
Sent: Mon 4/11/2011 6:15 PM
To: King, Gregory L
Cc: DeBell, Michael; Patu, Betty; Carr, Sherry L; Maier, Peter L; Sundquist, Steve J; Smith-Blum, Kay; Martin-Morris, Harium; C1; Campbell, Marni; Whitmore, Patricia; Whitmore, Patricia; Enfield, Susan A; Crain, Maggie; Treat, Noel R; Geoghagan, Rina
Subject: FW: Meeting


I have not been able to reach my union representative but I very much want to meet tomorrow so that the focus can return to serving students.

However, I respectfully request an impartial third party to conduct the meeting and lead this investigation. I reported inappropriate conduct of an employee you supervise to your assistant principal. There are numerous conflicts of interest in such a situation.

I am also making several other requests. I want the meeting be held at JSCEE. I want someone to provide the details of the allegation against me - as I wrote earlier, I reported multiple incidents involving multiple students . I would also like to know who, or what department, is investigating me.

I look forward to meeting with the appropriate parties at JSCEE at 2:30 on April 12th.

Jennifer Gary

Disclosure - I edited this to remove C1's name from the cc line. Otherwise it is a verbatim copy of my email.

After this exchange, the investigation was taken over by HR.
-Jennifer


________________________________

Nick Esparza said...

In response to the recent events at Lowell, I am writing to inform you that I have been in that same situation. I worked at a high school and saw abuse occurring and reported it according to the mandatory reporting statute. I was subsequently harassed at my job and terminated, so I have seen this play before, with all of same bad actors. The ending is the same. The district covers up and punishes those who follow the mandatory reporting law. The well being of the child is of no importance to them, image, however, is.

Anonymous said...

Lowell community: Let the rest of us know in what way we can support you. One of our children attended Lowell when Hal Kimball was at the helm. It was a fabulous school with an incredible teaching staff.

Two and a half years to go.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, how many incidents did you report and against how many individuals? You wrote that you had reported "multiple," yet the investigator's report focuses on allegations against just one person. Are there others we should worry about?

Concerned and Curious

Anonymous said...

The reports are available here:

http://www.scribd.com/SPSLeaks

-Jennifer

Charlie Mas said...

I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe that Mr. King did not send the District some sort of resignation letter.

His resignation wasn't effective immediately, but it was effective as of some date.

suep. said...

Here's another re-post of a coolpapa (Charlie) comment which I think outlines the events that led to the investigation pretty well:

March 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM

joe98002, you need to read the article again. People who work with children are required to report inappropriate contact. The report was made as it was required to be made. The failure was by the principal and the vice principal who did not fulfill their duty to investigate.

Worse than that, however, is that the principal and the vice principal then encourage the district to investigate the employees who made the report for failure to report.

To save their own reputations, they denied having received the complaints from the first two people who observed the inappropriate contact (a total of three employees observed and reported it - far from an un-substantiated claim).

Get that? The third person who saw and reported the inappropriate behavior reported it to someone outside the school, mentioning in their report that the same activity had been observed by the first two. The district staff person (from outside the school) asked the principal and vice principal if they had received a report from the first two employees. The principal and the vice principal denied that they had received any such reports which caused the district to investigate the first two for non-reporting.

The principal and the vice principal shifted blame to the first two people who complained to cover up the fact that they didn't take proper action in response to those complaints. They encouraged a district investigation for non-reporting even though they knew that the inappropriate action had been reported - to them.

suep. said...

As a longtime Lowell parent, I am deeply troubled by this report.

seattle citizen said...

Ironcially, the board was Introduced to a new policy on abuse, to replace the old on, at last Wednesday's meeting. It is to be voted on April 4th. This new policy shows how confusing the issue of mandatory reporting is, as it basically says two different things:
"professional" staff are to report to CPS or the police;
all staff are to report FIRST to supervisor, who will report to police or CPS. So if one is "professional," they have two conflicting instructions.

The way I understand mandatory reporting is that if a mandatory reporter suspects something is even slightly fishy, they are, under law, to report to CPS or the law, who will make the determination if the incident(s) require investigation.

The following comment has a link to the board action item. At the bottom of that are links to the old policy and old superintendent's procedure, and the new policy and new superintendent's procedure. I have also copied and pasted the confuing language from the new policy.

seattle citizen said...

School Board Briefing/Proposed Action Report [Introduced March 21st]

Adoption of School Board Policy No. 3421 relative to Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Prevention, and repeal of Policy No. D116.00 and Procedure D116.01. For Introduction: March 21, 2012
For Action: April 4, 2012

“...All professional school personnel who have reasonable cause to believe that a child has experienced abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall report such incident to law enforcement or the Children’s Protective Services Staff at the first opportunity and in no case longer than forty-eight (48) hours after the finding of possible abuse or neglect. If a household member is believed to be the perpetrator of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the report should be made to Child Protective Services. If a non-household member is believed to be the perpetrator of the suspected child abuse, neglect or exploitation, the report should be made to law enforcement. For purposes of this policy, ―professional school personnel‖ includes, but is not limited to, teachers, counselors, administrators (including departmental and area supervisors), school nurses, child care facility personnel, and other professional or certificated personnel.
All District employees who have knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that a student has been a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation by any person, shall immediately report such abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the appropriate school administrator. If the school administrator has reasonable cause to believe that the abuse, neglect, or exploitation has occurred, he or she shall report the incident to CPS or law enforcement."

StepJ said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for making the initial report and having the best interest of our children at heart.

Thank you for withstanding what must have been enormous pressure to abdicate your professional and personal integrity for the easy path. Thank you for your professional fiduciary guardianship of the best welfare of our students.

I can only imagine the personal toll that taking the path of integrity vs. the path of ease has caused yourself, family and close friends.

There comes a point when staying in the fight will not help self, but is for the benefit of children in our school system, and the future benefit of professional colleagues. Integrity can be a bitch (especially when it comes to media.)

As a parent I thank you for protecting our children, which we entrust to your care five days out of seven.

Thank you for staying in the fight not for yourself, but for others.

I truly hope that your efforts on behalf of our children and your professional colleagues will result in a better environment for all.

While insuffienct -- Thank You.

Karen said...

Jennifer,

This may sound stupid, but I don't understand why you resigned. If I felt I was right about an incident such as this, I would have stuck it out no matter how bad the fight was. In the end, it was all about protecting a child, right? Even though you tried to rescind your resignation, I'm perplexed as to why you'd resign in the first place. If you felt strongly about this alleged abuse, wouldn't the child have been better represented if you hadn't quit?

Braessae said...

Karen: I am not Jennifer, and can't speak for what was in her mind. But here is how I would have felt -- to have actually reported the conduct to someone, only to have that very person then inform you in writing that a formal investigation has been opened against you (and that it is an extremely serious matter and you are advised that you can bring an attorney and/or union rep to the meeting) for failure to report -- frankly, it is so evil, so malignant, that I am not sure I would also not be gone immediately. For a person to do what the assistant principal and her supervisor, the principal, are alleged to have done is astonishing, mindblowing. Would I have felt like any conduct of mine in the building was safe from being fraudulently misrepresented or lied about? Would I have felt that my files were free from tampering, or from having evidence manufactured and planted? Obviously, I am not inferring that anyone at Lowell did any of these thing; but once you have reason to believe you are dealing with malice and deceit, you really don't know where it could all end. And when the perpetrators are your superiors, you know that you not only have no protection, and no one to whom you can depend. Under the circumstances described in the reprimand letters and the ST article, I would have been very worried that those in positions of authority were, and would continue to, use their positions of authority to further damage my career and reputation.

Finally, as long as you remain, it creates a tacit impression that everything is "ok" (or at least ok enough for you to continue to work there). One of the things that may have clued some people into the seriousness of the issue was that the SLP left -- and left quickly, under such unusual circumstances. If they hadn't before, people's "spidey senses" should have started tingling "What's going on around here??? And that would have been a good thing.

I think that when good people are confronted with bad stuff, there are a number of legitimate ways to respond, and benefits and risks to virtually all responses. Had she stayed, I think that would also have been a reasonable option for different reasons, including the ones you state. But I definitely think that she had solid grounds for tendering a resignation under the circumstances in which she found herself. While doing so jeopardized her career in that she had to find another position, it also put her "out of harm's reach" from those who (from my reading of the documents) she could legitimately have concluded were out to retaliate against her.

Anonymous said...

Braessae,
You could not have expressed my thought process any better. I just want to add a few details.

Rina Geoghagan was my evaluator last year. When I received the April 7 email from her, I first thought it was my evaluation. The atmosphere at Lowell last year was stressed and anxious, to put it mildly. Good employees, who had always received positive evaluations, were extremely fearful of evaluation results. I had talked to Ms. Geoghagan about concerns with an employee at least five times over the course of two months. She had never asked me to report differently. So to read her email with its allegations and to see it was sent with either the implicit or explicit approval of Gregory King and Nancy Coogan made me very fearful of what Ms. Geoghagan, and others, could do to further harm me. In fact, when I called Ms. Geoghagan to ask her why I was being investigated, she told me I should have called CPS. (I checked with CPS and the person I spoke to told me this should be addressed through the school system -it was not a CPS incident.) For a person who works with children both professionally and through volunteer work, failure to call CPS is the type of accusation, even when unfounded, that strikes fear in the heart. Not only is failure to call CPS a criminal offense, it indicates a lack of care and concern for vulnerable children. This accusation was not something I took lightly. I was extremely worried about my upcoming evaluation and what recourse I would have if it was not a fair process. I was worried about remaining in the building with Ms. Geoghagan as an administrator for the remainder of the school year.

I also felt uncomfortable continuing my work in one of the special education classes at Lowell. Special education classes include children with communication impairments and challenges in social judgment. With both types of students, it is crucial to maintain strict boundaries of touch and behavior. A student with a communication impairment would have a difficult time informing parents or other adults about inappropriate touch or behavior. A student who has difficulty with social judgment needs clear-cut boundaries because they have a difficult time understanding change and subtleties. The amount and the intimacy of touching in the classroom, while not abusive, did not feel appropriate to me. I talked to the classroom teacher several times. She did not appear to share my concerns. Now it appeared that the bigger concern for administration was how I reported, not the content of the reports of what was happening in the classroom.

There actually are a couple more reasons why I quit. The allegations against me did not make sense. I had talked to the classroom teacher, a building administrator (numerous times)and Safety and Security about my concerns. The classroom teacher did not share my concerns. Ms. Geoghagan gave me no directions for further reporting. The Safety and Security person told me several times, in front of others, that I was reporting correctly and there could be no retaliation. The employee I had reported continued to work in the classroom. Now I was being accused of not protecting the "safety and well being of a student". I like logic. I like things to make sense. I did not think I could function well under this scenario.

Since I had no idea at that time what exactly the allegation was or who had accused me (hate that passive voice!), I had no idea what it would take to fight. I did not know if I could continue work with the SPS and fight these allegations at the same time. Fighting the allegations and protecting my long term career seemed like it should be my priority. In fact, it has taken a great amount of time and emotional energy to get to this point.

Thank you Braesaae for the post. It is such a relief, after almost a year, for the facts to come out and for the community to finally understand what was going on.

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

StepJ

Thank you for your post. It means a lot to me. I think most SPS employees would have responded, and have responded, similarly to these kinds of concerns.

The Lowell community owes a huge thank you to C1 who chooses right now to remain anonymous. C1 is an incredible support to students and their families, along with being a mentor, community volunteer, and friend. I have never seen anyone go above and beyond the requirements of a job the way C1 does. Lowell is very fortunate to have C1 as part of their community.

One of the more troubling parts of this story is how C1 was treated by the SPS. I am not at liberty to go into details right now, but please know that C1 made a huge sacrifice to do what was right.

Thank you again for your support.

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

On April 10 I sent an email, with an attachment, to the Superintendent and the Board. I cc'd the email to two central administrators and C1. (I was writing on her behalf also, with her permission.) The subject line of the email was "unfair allegations and perceived retaliation and harassment at Lowell". The attached letter outlined the reporting timeline, C1's and my concerns about the conflict of interest inherent in having Ms. Geoghagan investigate us, and concerns that this investigation would prevent SPS employees from reporting concerns in the future.

Dr. Enfield replied to my email and said she would work with staff to "look into" my concerns. Board President Sundquist replied that the board cannot comment on allegations but "we take this matter very seriously and want to ensure that it is dealt with properly by our staff." He forward the email to Gregory King and Nancy Coogan. Mr. King then forwarded the email to the two human resource employees who were involved in the investigation.

According to Cristen Kent's report, a human resources employee says the investigation would not have been initiated if there had been knowledge of my January reporting of foot kissing. (IV.B.3) That same employee received my email, outlining the reporting timeline, within three days of the initiation of the investigation and apparently did nothing to question whether the investigation was appropriate.

According to Cristen Kent's report, the special education director knew nothing about the investigation as of April 15. (III. D. on pg. 4) The human resources director was cc'd on my email to the superintendent and the board. She was cc'd twice again when Dr. Enfield and Mr. Sundquist replied to my email.

According to this chain of emails obtained through a public documents request for my investigation file, all administrators and HR staff who were involved in initiating the investigation, carrying out the investigation, and denying the retraction of my resignation, had received notification of C1's and my concerns about retaliation and a complete outline of our reporting as of April 10. It appears there was no attempt to stop or even question appropriateness of the investigation.

I will leave it to others to determine how much damage was done by that collective decision.

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

There is one more very serious consequence of this incident that has not been discussed yet. This incident is already ugly, but this is one of the most shameful aspects. I am writing the following with C1's permission.

C1 is one of the most dedicated professionals I know. She is dedicated to students, to their families and to children she helps as a camp volunteer during the summer. She is an incredible mentor and an intelligent and caring person.

C1 has a chronic medical condition, but continues to give her all to her students and their families. Her medical condition is known to building and special education administrators. Unfortunately, C1's condition is one that is aggravated by stress. C1 has experienced serious health consequences as a result of the allegations against her last spring and the wait to have these issues resolved. For those who work with and care about C1, this has been extremely painful to see.

Last spring, when C1 was especially ill, I sent many emails on behalf of both of us. In almost every email I said that C1 was experiencing adverse health consequences due to the stress. I mentioned her health twice just in the email I sent on April 10.

It was not just students' well-being that was endangered by the actions of Mr. King, Ms. Geoghagan and others. It was also the well-being of a beloved and respected co-worker. All who were involved in this should be deeply ashamed.

-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Heartfelt gratitude to Jennifer and C1 for their integrity, perseverance, tenacity and strength to see this through. This past year has taken a severe toll on them personally, the staff at Lowell and the school community. It is unconscionable that those with the power (and that is what it is in SPS - those with power vs those without) in the Special Ed department knew about this from almost the beginning and turned a blind eye - to the vulnerable children who cannot speak for themselves, who cannot move independently around their classroom. The Special Education Executive Director and other Spec Ed admin should have, at the least, “been curious,” as Dorothy Neville states, to make sure the vulnerable children in the department they were hired to lead were safe. Why did they not try to support Jennifer, who from all accounts was/is a stellar Speech Language Pathologist. Why did they not support C1 in her efforts to make sure students were safe, but instead ignored her efforts ( at best) while she suffered severe health consequence? Instead, they let the Speech Therapist go, ignored the devastating effects on the health of C1, and turned their other blind eye away. Instead, they were promoted or are still in place. Maybe the next investigation should be on the Special Education Department.

Curious

Anonymous said...

Jennifer - I hope you don't mind me asking but there is one piece of information that I can't make sense of. Why would the Administration investigate YOU? I hear that you think it was retaliation for reporting the incident, but what was their premise for the investigation? It all seems very vague.

Another L@L parent

Jan said...

Another L@L parent -- yes, it does seem pretty incomprehensible. If you haven't already, read Jennifer's late 3/27 comments under the "Adding Up the Score From Lowell" post. They make it a little clearer (and explain why, when the investigation was announced, Jennifer and C1 were as baffled as you).

dw said...

Jennifer,

Let me add to the notes of support you have received. I cannot imagine the suffering you have gone through personally for merely performing your duty as a public servant and caregiver.

I appreciate what you have done over the years for the children at Lowell, and also for what you have done (mostly out of necessity) to stand up against the bullying by GK/RG/SPS over the past year. I don't know that there's anything I can do directly to help you, but please do know that there are many of us that support you, both personally and for the future kids that will come through the system.

Anonymous said...

Notice in Rina's e-mail to Jennifer, she was told that she should not discuss this with any parents, students, or staff until the investigation is over. That tactic isolates the targeted person, when they can not say anything to their fellow staff members about what they are going through. It gives the privacy needed to be able to attack teachers, and saying that they are being unprofessional if they say anything about what they are going through. Realize, too, that the teacher's union does nothing to stand up for teachers.

What Jennifer and C1 went through was horrible.

Lowell teacher