Saturday, September 06, 2014

Director Peaslee's Community Meeting Today Canceled

I receive a brief request to put up that Director Peaslee's Community meeting today at Northgate Branch Library has been canceled. No explanation. Also, the Northgate branch was kind enough to also let me know.

74 comments:

Lynn said...

I'm thinking she heard about the planned protest.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

It seems she would rather make statements than have a discussion. Very disappointing.

Janet said...

We don't know why she cancelled. I wouldn't blame her for feeling threatened.

disappointed said...

Very disappointing indeed. Especially given the following credo upon which she ran for election: "We also need to flip the top-down governance of the district that ignores parents, teachers and students until bad decisions are followed by public outcry. We need to remember that public schools belong to their communities and restore local control. School communities must be genuinely involved in the entire process of making major decisions that impact their schools and children."

http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/seattle-school-board-candidate-sharon-peaslee/

Why is she now not available for community input? When was her last community meeting?

David said...

What a weasel move. If she's so convinced her (appalling to me) public statements are correct then she should not have a problem defending them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she feels that there are a lot of people ganging up against her with nobody speaking up in agreement with her. That's my guess. This is what happens when those in authority with responsibilities don't follow procedures and when the problem finally comes out of obscurity. The School District should be actually making progress in this area, addressing that the Title IX officer either doesn't exist or doesn't know his/her duties, and has some catch up to do. IMO.
NEmom

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Threatened" is big word. Public officials have to be able to take on upset constituents. No one has been anything but respectful at the Board meetings.

"Maybe she feels that there are a lot of people ganging up against her with nobody speaking up in agreement with her."

Could it be no one does agree with her? If there is something we have all missed, she should say so (and not the mysterious "we know things you don't know). That STILL does not change the district's behavior.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I'll delete that one from my things to do today. Thanks for the heads-up, Melissa.

- North-end Mom

disappointed said...

Unless I'm missing something on the district calendar, her last community meeting was in January.

Seems like she's not very open to engaging with the community even apart from recent issues.

Anonymous said...

YEAY I can garden now on this beautiful day. Dir. Blanford's meeting was most thoughtful.

Leslie

Blec said...


"Threatened" is big word."

It is a big word. Protests often have a police presence and the John Stanford Center has security.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, there were no police at either Board meeting where there were protesters on the Garfield field trip incident.

No one wants to make trouble; they want to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard to an elected official.

WonderingWilla said...

It is perfectly within reason for Peaslee to be called into account at her meeting. She has said some outrageous things regarding the Garfield incident and other cases and that she won't even answer for them is very disturbing. Is there someone in that district who can challenge her for office?

Anonymous said...

We wrote the following to Ms. Peaslee, the Media, the District, and mailing list:

We have just received notice from Save Seattle Schools (see blog site) that School Board President Peaslee cancelled the community meeting today without explanation. Why should she let her constituents down who want to speak with her about a variety of issues?

Rape/Title IX demonstrators have been peaceful while saying no to the District's negligence, distortions, misinformation, and verbal violations of Title IX.

Ms. Peaslee, why you have cancelled your meeting today when so many concerned citizens were prepared to attend?

Please note corrections to the Districts narrative on the rape "What's Wrong with the District's Narrative on NatureBridge [sic]?" http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com The corrections were provided by the blog moderator who studied publicly available documentation, including the District's own records. . . . .

In my view, the District may wish to thwart media attention by denying protestors this venue for a peaceful rally. I would encourage people to write a letter of concern and copy the media. One parent did that and had the radio calling her in 3 minutes.
A list of media contacts appears on the FB page of stop sexual assault in high school. Of course there is the possibility of picketing the school administration building as employees enter, leave, and go to lunch.

SSAIHS

Anonymous said...

What about Blanford's meeting -- can anyone bring a report in on that?

reader

Anonymous said...

If you are picketing Peaslee, why not also Carr? Isn't she the board member with the most direct line into what should and shouldn't be done via her stewardship of the Audit and Finance Committee? I guess I could be mistaken but wasn't she at the helm when the committee kept granting extension deadlines to Apostle to get training and compliance going for Title IX? Have there been any words of regret from her or the rest of that committee?

I also think that someone needs to call the San Jose papers and let them know what Banda left in his wake. He knew full well that this incident was likely to be public and ugly. He skated out of town. Ditto Apostle. Did he retire or go to a different district? Wherever he ended up is another place where reporters might want to know the situation in Seattle and know that it could happen to their kids. Because the so-called leaders have ducked dived and deflected but remedy the situation here or their next place of employment? No. I just don't get the sense that they have the urgency they might have had if their own kid had ended up in the hospital and a psychiatric situation due to complete lack of oversight.

Troubled mom

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Troubled, you are correct on Carr. As to words of regret, I have not heard or seen anything from her that would indicate she takes any responsibility for the district not having a Title IX officer fully trained when it was required.
As far as I know Apostle retired before the last of Carr's extensions expired. I personally believe she should apologize to the family but that would require her holding herself accountable....

Carol Simmons said...

I believe that Director Peaslee would not have cancelled her Community meeting without a very good reason.

I have a question regarding something that I may have missed. Has anyone read the FBI Investigation Report?

Anonymous said...

Troubled Mom,

Re Banda's failed leadership:
Our organization contacted Sacramento Unified School District, School Board, Elected Officials, Media, to inform them of the investigation of the District under Banda. Not a single person expressed concern or thanks. Loretta Kalb at the Sac Bee is still on our media list. Look at the Seattle Times. . . .

SSAIHS mom

Anonymous said...

Carol Simons,

The FBI investigation report is so heavily redacted that it contains very little content--mostly emails from the parents to the FBI with questions. Moreover, the FBI report was not released until after the District did its own investigation. It took over a year for us to get the report. That's why it was imperative for the District to promptly and equitably investigate--instead of waiting 6 months to begin an investigation. Relying on others' reports is completely counterproductive. Moreover, the district refused our offer to participate in the investigation in person (letter of May 2013). Other parents were allowed to but we were not. That's because the District wanted to control the content and outcome of the investigation. Their investigation even failed to reveal that the teachers slept in a distant location. Request the Oct. 18, 2013 document from the district and you can read for yourself all about these deficits. You can also read the assailant's admission of rape that we provided the District, but that the district still denies. . . .and he admitted this mild version of events with his family member in the room during the interview. All of this is public information. Does this help you understand the role of this unhelpful FBI report ad why the District should have promptly investigated under Title IX?

Parent

Anonymous said...

At Dir. Blanford's mtg we discussed transportation, school culture, and Wilson Pacific. The Garfield sexual assault was brought up, Blanford gave the party line, and wasn't happy when his response was rebutted. He did say that there was no Title IX compliance officer in place at that time and that senior staff is resistant to starting a task force. When pressed, he declined to identify which senior staff he was referring to.
NP

dw said...

re: Blanford The Garfield sexual assault was brought up, Blanford gave the party line, and wasn't happy when his response was rebutted. He did say that there was no Title IX compliance officer in place at that time and that senior staff is resistant to starting a task force. When pressed, he declined to identify which senior staff he was referring to.

Unacceptable! Blanford doesn't seem to understand who he was elected to represent!

He was elected to represent the public, not staff. Hell, I would go so far as to say his primary job as a director is to protect the public from renegade staff. Why would he decline to identify staff that are acting against the best interest of the public/students?!

Blanford needs to go. Other board members have their ups and downs, but I'm not sure I've seen him stand up and act in the interest of those that elected him even one single time.

Another Thought said...

Peaslee has been called out in the press and this same group has already held a protest.

At what point do we consider the actions of these individuals to be stalking and harassment?

Anonymous said...

@Carol Simmons

I appreciate you graviously extending Director Peaslee the benefit of the doubt. But, what is that founded upon?

I myself always strive to assume good faith, BUT, this Directir has ducted the public too much, too long, unlike her colleagues, say, for example, Director Carr who DOES 'show up', even when she's busy, even when she has other back-to-back meetings, even when she's snowed under due to her professional commitments with her employer. You may not like her positions, but she shows up consistently to hear and interact with the public.

Peaslee? She does not show up. Even Kay Smirh Blum had 'quarterly' meetings, as in, 4 times a year. Peaslee? No. Not even. And it's not like this woman has a full-time job in a high position of authority and responsibility as do Directors Martin-Morris and Carr.

IF it was a personal emergency, her message could have been "meeting canceled due to personal emergency.....death in the family.....illness". Followed by: "to be rescheduled either on Sept. X or Sept. Y, future date to be confirmed and announced Sept Z".

If she had done that, I would maintain my assumption of good faith.

Her message: cancelled.

She traversed any reasonable person's assumption of good faith.

Even if the cancellation was do to security concerns on her part, for example (NOT SAYING THERE ARE ANY SUCH CONCERNS, just going down the list of hypotheticals), message could have specified due to security concerns.

Nope. She just cancelled. Unprofessional. Incommunicative. Counter to the ethos of public service. (She knows she's there to serve us, right?). She needs a mentor. But its highly doubtful that she would accept mentoring, her actions have communicated her confidence and supreme self-assuredness mean that she needs no one to teach or explain anything to her.

She and Director Blanford are really quite the pair: Both the same people, just with different points of view.

As for her constituents voicing their peaceful protest; it is called democracy.

#DogAteMyHomework

disgusted said...

@Another Thought

Are you serious? Now Peaslee is the victim of harassment?

Apparently here in Seattle nonconsensual anal sex isn't considered harassment, but two peaceful demonstrations are. What a joke.

MP said...

Did Blanford give any reason for senior staff being against a task force?

Many OCR investigation resolutions involve the creation of just such a task force - they would be wise to convene one now, even if only to cover their a$$es with the feds.

suep. said...

Everyone, please - While I respect the right of the public to protest, I seriously question the appropriateness of protesting at an individual school board member’s community meeting.

While the protesters at the two recent school board meetings have been peaceful and thoughtful, how can anyone here guarantee that an open call on a public blog to protest a public individual in an unprotected public place (a library) would not attract less peaceful types? You can’t.

There have been enough examples of random violent acts, both locally and nationally, for this to foster a legitimately threatening situation.

Melissa, while there may not have been police at the last two SB meetings, there was security present. This would not have been the case at the library yesterday.

Also, please consider what effect this call for a protest may have had on those who wished to speak with Director Peaslee about other issues and consequently did not get that opportunity yesterday, and what the potentially intimidating presence of protesters might have had on these other community members.

Perhaps most importantly, I believe the Board president is the wrong focus, here. Policy, procedure and law, and the district’s duty to follow and enforce all of the above is where the focus should be.

I urge everyone not to undermine their legitimate concerns with threatening personal actions.

At a certain point, such actions can become hypocritical.

Thank you.

Sue Peters

Anonymous said...

Sue Peters,

Don't be an apologist for the rape culture. Talk about the issue honestly and with dignity to the young lady who didn't want 10 minutes of sodomy forced on her by someone who didn't really pay attention to her. Address the negligent supervision. Address the Title IX failures. Address why even after this train wreck happened Paul Apostal wasn't required to learn how to do the job he had held for two years. Ask to hear from the district's investigator who wasn't allowed to finish a report directly, without the filter of Ron English. Ask why Garfield didn't toughen up field trip supervision after the 2007 rape. Or after Tom Hundson. Ask the right questions and people won't feel compelled to keep standing before you with signs begging you, any of you, to do what is right.

-SWWS

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Spot on SWWS, Peaslee is not holding anyone accountable. Her 'don't create a new victim' line is insulting.

See Ya said...

The John Stanford Center had two security guards before the dias during the last protest.

SWWS and ConcernedSPSparent- Holding staff accountable is a board action, not the action of a single individual.

The actions of those behind this effort, and those that make non-sense claims are quickly loosing their credibility.

Does anyone know for certain that Peaslee has NOT received a threatening e-mail or call?

Blogs are very different than newspapers- for sure.

Anonymous said...

My comments are aimed at the whole board. But Director Peaslee's repeated recitation of incorrect "facts" and need to focus on "no one was charged" rather than no one acted reasonable at any point in this story warrants special attention. Had she not made the comments she did, and then repeated them, she wouldn't be worthy of a protest. But she wields the power of the gavel and with that come responsibility for what she says. Nothing wrong with the public confronting her to express how we (those she serves as an elected official) feel about the choices she has made and the words she has spoken or signed her name to. If she had security concerns, she could have moved her meeting to the JSCEE or requested the district provide off duty police at the library. Easy way for her to feel safe while not ducking the public.
-SWWS

BallardMom said...

Ms. Peters,

I would like to see your evidence that anyone has said or done anything threatening to Ms. Peaslee or anyone else in regards to this issue. I simply don't buy it. As you yourself said, the two previous protests were "peaceful and thoughtful". What reason do you have for believing that this protest was going to be any different than the other two? Why would you publicly thank the protesters for coming to the board meetings and then later accuse them of being likely to incite violence?

Your comment here just doesn't add up to me.

Charlie Mas said...

Don't start nothing won't be nothing.

Wecomeinpeace said...

Directors Peaslee and Peters,

Please read:

http://badgerwrites.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/dear-seattle-school-board-president-peaslee/

Anonymous said...

Please, folks, these protests are nothing compared to the hostility at community meetings over the NSAP. You don't run for any office to have people be 100% nice to you.

Chris S.

Anonymous said...

Although I think I did kind of intimate online that I was gonna say "vaginal trauma" to her. Is that allowed in polite Seattle?

Chris S.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she did cancel because of security being an issue. Then say so when cancelling. No one wants this to get any further out-of-hand than it already is.

Ms. Peters, you say this:

"Perhaps most importantly, I believe the Board president is the wrong focus, here. Policy, procedure and law, and the district’s duty to follow and enforce all of the above is where the focus should be."

Who do we go to when

"Policy, procedure and law, and the district’s duty to follow and enforce all of the above is where the focus should be"

is not followed or focused on by the district?

And maybe you can tell your colleague why her remarks are so disappointing, mind-boggling, unbelievable, and hugely disrepectful to the real victim in this case: the young girl.

Ms. Peters, you do not agree with Ms. Peaslee's remarks, do you?

ghs alum

mirmac1 said...

I also think the latest efforts to target Peas Lee are misplaced. I find her statements infuriating, but driving her out will not, by any stretch of the imagination, improve the safety of our students. It may satisfy the outrage of some, but not mine. English on the other hand. ...

Why did you wait nearly two years before becoming indignant? said...

First, the two kids violated the rules. She went into his cabin. He didn't protest. Were these kids held accountable for violating these rules? If they hadn't violated the rules, none of this would be happening.

Second, why doesn't the girl bring a civil action against the boy? Although criminal investigators did not come up with enough evidence for a prosecutor to bring criminal charges, they are free to file a civil lawsuit against the boy.

Superintendent Banda reviewed what "evidence" he had and made his determination. The school board reviewed that and made their determination.

Again, if the girls family feels that these four decision makers made bad decisions, they are free to try the matter themselves.

What is happening now is a bunch of late comers (this happened two years ago!) have adopted this as their cause de jure. They are cherry picking their facts. Making arguments based on half truths and innuendo.

It is really amazing to me how so many of you bellow for "responsibility" yet look to the district, the school, the principals, the teachers...everyone, to perform their jobs in a perfectly capable way.

Well, guess what, Charlie has been pointing out for more than a decade that they make mistakes and that they are not held accountable. That's not going to change. The district will muddle through.

But you can take responsibility for yourself. You can model that to your children. And they can take responsibility for their actions.

Move on.

1420 said...

Reposting:

Anonymous Why did you wait nearly two years before becoming indignant? said...
First, the two kids violated the rules. She went into his cabin. He didn't protest. Were these kids held accountable for violating these rules? If they hadn't violated the rules, none of this would be happening.

Second, why doesn't the girl bring a civil action against the boy? Although criminal investigators did not come up with enough evidence for a prosecutor to bring criminal charges, they are free to file a civil lawsuit against the boy.

Superintendent Banda reviewed what "evidence" he had and made his determination. The school board reviewed that and made their determination.

Again, if the girls family feels that these four decision makers made bad decisions, they are free to try the matter themselves.

What is happening now is a bunch of late comers (this happened two years ago!) have adopted this as their cause de jure. They are cherry picking their facts. Making arguments based on half truths and innuendo.

It is really amazing to me how so many of you bellow for "responsibility" yet look to the district, the school, the principals, the teachers...everyone, to perform their jobs in a perfectly capable way.

Well, guess what, Charlie has been pointing out for more than a decade that they make mistakes and that they are not held accountable. That's not going to change. The district will muddle through.

But you can take responsibility for yourself. You can model that to your children. And they can take responsibility for their actions.

Move on.

Wow said...

The appropriate place for this to be discussed is in civil court- not on this blog with less than half the evidence.

There are many many issues with Title ix issues and no one is addressing this.



Anonymous said...

Replying to @MP: Blanford did not give a reason as to why senior staff was resistant. It was my impression that their resistance had to do with whether it was an internal or external task force, but the meeting was ending and he didn't want to keep talking about it. - NP

Wow said...

Lastly, why are individuals targeting Peaslee? The entire board did not rule against Banda's decision.

One thing is for sure. This entire incident is tragic and there are no winners.

Anonymous said...

Peaslee made some extremely tone-deaf statements about the case at two separate board meetings. She is also the Board president, and should have chosen her words much more carefully in that capacity.

Neither the Board nor district staff have acknowledged the issues about safety and procedures that the protesters have been bringing up, instead focusing on the accused boy and his rights (and simultaneously ignoring the alleged victim and her rights). They have not noticed or have tried to deflect away from the actual concerns that the upset school parents are trying to get answers to.

Finally, she cancelled a community meeting with little notice and no information about it being rescheduled. Her last community meeting was over 8 months ago.

These are the reasons she is being singled out. Parents are feeling cut off and disenfranchised by both the Board and by the district on the issue of the safety of their children in school trips.

Worried Parent

Anonymous said...

Move on.

It wasn't only two kids who weren't following the rules. If you read the reports you'll see that kids were going in and out of the cabins all night for two nights. Two girls fell asleep in the boys cabin and a boy was find under a girl's bed, scaring her. Teachers let them do that contrary to the rules. When they lost control the first night they didn't make a plan to protect the students the second night when the rape occurred. There was a party atmosphere with a predatory student who had already been emergency excluded for having sex on school property in middle school. Why have chaperones if 15 year olds with immature brains can take care of themselves. Girls and vulnerable students need to be protected. The adults failed to chaperone. They are the ones that should know responsibility but didn't even read the rules 3 years in a row.

Ben

Anonymous said...

move on
lawyers typically sue someone who can pay their contingency fee. how could that be a student? the problem is with the school district's negligence. all the teachers had to do was follow the rules instead of failing to chaperone. this are kids with unformed brains. that's why we have chaperones, but in this case, they failed to enforce the rules and removed themselves to have a vacation, allowing the kids to party 2 nights in a row. a tragedy ensued.

Ben

Charlie Mas said...

Move On, you'll be pleased to learn that the family, as the District's narrative reported, has taken the first steps towards litigation. You don't seem to be following this case very closely.

The boy was emergency excluded from the school right after the field trip. That was his punishment. The girl never returned to Seattle Public Schools so there never was an opportunity for the district to discipline her.

By the way, I don't think forced sodomy is the appropriate punishment for sneaking into a boy's cabin on a field trip. I didn't see that in the student handbook.

Director Peaslee is being singled out because she alone has said some very bad things. She has distinguished herself.

The superintendent, by the way, didn't make a determination. He said that he could not reach a conclusion. The Board agreed that he could not reach a conclusion. It just happens that an inconclusive result is identical to a conclusion that no sexual harassment occurred.

I hope this answers your questions.

I have one for you: what half truths and innuendo are you referencing?

Charlie Mas said...

I got an email today asking me to confirm Director Peaslee's home address.

I did not. I don't know Director Peaslee's home address, and, though I could think of some ways to discover it (it is a matter of public record), I have no interest in Director Peaslee's home address.

I will tell you all right now that, while this is a largely uncensored forum, I will delete that address if it appears here. No one has a legitimate need for that information.

I presume that the address was sought with the objective of staging a protest at Director Peaslee's home. While I have advocated this sort of thing in the past in other situations, I don't believe that Director Peaslee should be made the focus of the protest effort. She has said some remarkably thick-headed things about this case, but her actions (and inactions) have been no worse than those of any other Board director, and not as bad as some District staff.

I appreciate the need to express the public outrage at the District's failures here - before, after, and in review - but a protest at Director Peaslee's home would be counter-productive. She is clearly already feeling the heat, as evidenced by her decision to flee her community meeting. Rather than squeeze her back into an even more defensive posture, the goal should be to draw her out.

As I have said so many times about so many other school district officials, I don't want them to step down; I want them to step up. Making Director Peaslee feel insecure in her person through this sort of intimidation - and "I know where you live" is an intimidating statement - is not the way to encourage her to step up.

Let's focus on the central question: How can we encourage the Board to step up? What is holding them back? What obstacles prevent them from expressing any dissatisfaction with staff performance and how can those obstacles be overcome? Could it be that they are not in any way dissatisfied with the staff's performance? Is that possible?

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

Charlie,

You are acting irresponsible and I hope you stop.

Concerned said...

"I presume that the address was sought with the objective of staging a protest at Director Peaslee's home. While I have advocated this sort of thing in the past in other situations,"

Youu also have a history of giving bad advice. Please stop.

Greenwoody said...

Yikes, not a smart move by Sue Peters - who I deeply respect and admire - to come here and defend Peaslee like this.

Sue, you are an elected official. Protests at public meetings - any public meeting - come with the territory. You guys need to be able to take it like professionals.

More importantly, Peaslee's embrace of rape culture and her stubborn refusal to listen to the people on this issue is putting everything you care about in jeopardy. Peaslee has to retract her statements and ensure people get fired over the rape and the Title IX failures. If she can't/won't, she needs to resign or pledge to not run for re-election.

Because if she keeps this up and tries for another term, she will be giving the Gates Foundation priceless ammo to use against her when they run a candidate to defeat her in 2015. That's true of the whole board, I might add, at least the 4 who are up for election next year.

You guys are facing a huge political crisis. Sue, by your comments here, I worry that you do not understand how deep that crisis is. Peaslee is wrong, horribly wrong on this issue, and in doing so she is risking losing control of this board and our schools to the "ed reformers." Stop circling the wagons and start putting things right.

No meetings said...

I tried to meet with Peaslee about the Wilson Pacific situation numerous times since she's my rep. She never once had a community meeting so I had to attend Sue Peters' meeting. Instead of hearing what many of us had to say, she blew off serious capacity and design concerns claiming we had it out for Pinehurst. Unfortunately, the opposite is true and suggestions to actually keep Pinehurst at WilPac were ignored. I hope I am wrong when I say they will be up for closure again within the next 7 years due to the mistakes being made at WilPac.

Director Peaslee should hear her constituents instead of assuming she knows all the "terrible" things we have to say. A few of us just wanted to show her some numbers and offer up some suggestions to help keep Pinehurst AND allow the school room to grow.

I still to this day can't understand why she made the assumption that we had it out for Pinehurst. Too bad she didn't listen to us. If Pinehurst actually makes it to WilPac, they will forever be 150 students. That's a shame and could have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

The biggest mistake Director Peaslee made was to take the unwillingness by the Feds to charge the boy to excuse how SPS reacted. Ask any prosecutor and s/he will tell you these types of acquaintance rapes are hardest to prosecute and get a conviction. It does not mean a rape did not occur. It just mean they don't want to put the victim through a tortuous process and/or waste their resources if there just wasn't enough to sway a jury to convict.

But beyond that, there was much SPS could and should have done. That SPS have reacted by CYA like behavior and turn legal on is completely predictable. It is how big organization structure is set up to respond: to protect itself first. They hired people specifically to do this! It's not surprising that the adults involved should take defensive actions. It's preservation. You can find this everywhere from corporations, city hall, police depts, universities, hospitals, to churches. It takes years and many victims for things to change.

Perhaps, someone in SPS will be brave enough (even Popes have a tough time getting it right) and with little to lose who will turn this into a watershed point so it doesn't become another filed away "unfortunate incident" that only gets referenced WHEN another similar "incident" occurs in SPS. And it will happen again because nothing with teeth has been done to discourage it.

I have no doubt Director Peaslee is feeling targeted. I think she feels she is being the good soldier and trying to do right by the district. I can only imagine it's a smidgen of what the victim felt the days, weeks, & months after what happened to her- being under the microscope, being talked about overtly and covertly. All her mistakes, actions, and motives analyzed and dissected, feeling the whole world against her- her teachers, friends, peers, a boy who she thought liked her for her, and the school that should have been a safe harbor. Everything spiraling out of control.

(And for "move on" you ask about responsibility of the 2 students involved. Fair enough. But take responsibility yourself to understand what the word "no" means in such a situation, especially if you thought you were among friends. And why are you asking so much from these 2 students and their families and NOT the same of the adults who have the salary, the status, the power, and the codified responsibility of their positions? If it was your child, would you let them off so easily? How would you model yourself on behalf of your child and other children?)

I don't doubt the Board is feeling stuck. How much weight is the justice and doing right by one student vs. the obligation to 50,000? As a parent, it's easy to break that 50,000 down. To do right by one is to do right by each of the 50,000. And I say this to both the girl and the boy involved because neither have been well served.

parent

Anonymous said...

I second what Greenwoody said. At this time, there is no way I would vote for Peaselee after her clear indication that she does not understand rape culture. She is contributing to it.

HP

Caitlin said...

Hey –

I was going to stay out of this, and then I saw that someone had linked to my blog.

So far, only two members of the Board have replied to that letter I sent out, and Blanford displayed only unreserved agreement, so I hesitate to jump on him. I have the distinct impression, from what the Board said at the meeting on Tuesday and from their later actions that it is possible there's some sort of pending litigation––Peaslee did mention at the meeting that they're being sued––preventing Board members from making statements that would place blame on the Board's actions.

I'm not sure the degree to which this should excuse their comments, and I hope that my previous writing makes it clear that Peaslee's statements in particular are doing much more harm than good. However, it's possible that we're not going to get much more.

Personally, I would much rather attend a Board meeting to protest their failures in protecting students, than a Peaslee meeting to protest her personal and specific viewpoints. She is being made well aware that her stance is unacceptable, and our power as a group worth listening to will be greatly diminished if we put too much energy into ad hominem attacks on a single person, when some of her colleagues are ready and willing to work with us.

Anonymous said...

With full acknowledgment that protesters have a right to protest and their concerns are important, I have a question. Why would you protest something that you *want* to happen? Don't you protest what you want to prevent/disrupt? Like unions/liberals/anarchist against the WTO. If you want this community meeting to happen and you want to have a discussion with Director Peaslee, it is more logical to show up and air your concerns with two-way conversation not one-way chants.

Dialogue Good

Anonymous said...

I'm disturbed about the postings re the male student's sexual history in middle school. How did these posters get this information? Are discipline records not private in SPS? Even if this information is correct, posting information about a minor on a public blog is really problematic. I'm also uneasy about posters calling a young teen a predator. While I do believe that the girl student was badly and unfairly treated because of institutional misogyny, and it is all sorts of wrong that so many in our society put the blame on the female victim when she is assaulted, to the point where prosecutors can't try a case even when they believe an assault/rape has taken place, because they know the jury would not convict. But we still need to remember we are talking about 15, 16 year olds here, not adults. We need to get the district & the adults to take responsibility. The kids made bad choices, the adults were negligent and did not supervise the kids well enough. Teens are extremely impulsive and make stupid choices all the time. I went to several summer camps and at every single camp I went to, campers sneaked out of cabins after the counselors went to sleep and went down to the beach or into the woods. Even at church camp in middle school this happened. Fortunately nothing bad happened to us, we were very lucky.

The girl made a bad choice, the boy did wrong. The feds did not prosecute, the school district did not follow policies. It's a total fustercluck all around. But let's not demonize 15 year olds on a public blog! ANONYMOUSLY! They are products of our ultra misogynistic society, they act the way they do because that is what they see & hear from adults (remember Mr Legitimate Rape?). We need to change our society so that everyone understand and accept that NO MEANS NO, and boys/men are not ENTITLED to sex, no matter if the girl/women went to their cabin/home/whatever, no matter what clothes the females are wearing, no matter who's drunk or high. When someone says no, the other person MUST stop. Until that happens, all the chaperones and oversight in the world will not stop sexual assaults. Even adults have to sleep sometimes.

Harassing Director Peasley over what she said will not change anything. We might believe that the boy did the crime, but Peasley is not wrong in saying under our laws he is innocent because he has not been proven guilty in court. We can't act as judge, jury & executioner on a public blog while hiding behind anonymity. That is not justice.

CCA

Lynn said...

CCA,

The district released the middle school discipline document to the parents in response to a public information request. I don't understand all this concern about hurting his feelings. I have not seen his name anywhere on this blog. He admitted she said no and he had sex with her anyway. Doesn't that make him a rapist? I think so.

I'm hoping you haven't read any of the available documents. If after reading them your conclusion was "the girl made a bad choice and the boy did wrong," I would be shocked. This was not a stupid choice made by an impulsive teen.

Excusing rape as a bad choice made by an impulsive teen isn't the way to change our society.

People are not pissed off because Director Peaslee keeps repeating that he was not charged with a crime. People are pissed off because this is her response to a very clear message from the public that the district failed in it's obligations to this girl. She needs to stop talking about the rapist and start talking about the negligence that failed to protect our students.

Samantha said...

Director Peaslee has the right to speak her truth. She NEVER said that a rape did not occur.

Director Peaslee has consistently been a strong voice for her constituents. She has supported, repeatedly, some of the most vulnerable students. I also believe that Director Peaslee will FIGHT to do everything within her power to hold individuals responsible.

I fully expect those that criticized Peaslee, severely, will be surprised by her strength, fight and desire to bring right the wrong.

Individual(s) that attempted to locate her home crossed the line.

Samantha said...

I will also say to those that severely criticized Director Peaslee. You may have ruined your chances to keep one of the strongest advocates on the board.



Charlie Mas said...

Samantha, Director Peaslee has had a lot of time already to fix the problems in the District that were exposed by this case. She was informed of all of these problems no later than the appeal in February of this year - probably earlier. It's now September. That's seven months. She hasn't done much. More to the point, she didn't even start talking about fixing these problems before the Al Jazeera article.

Your confidence in her appears misplaced. Your belief that she "will FIGHT to do everything within her power to hold individuals responsible." is misplaced. She hasn't done that to date in this case nor has she done that in any case. Why do you believe that she will do something that she has never done? Can you name a single instance when Director Peaslee fought to hold a district staff person responsible? Can you offer us even one example? Just one?

Also, "She NEVER said that a rape did not occur."? How could it have happened without a rapist? To deny the existence of a rapist is to deny the rape. Or did the girl get sodomized by the disembodied spirit of misogyny?

Anonymous said...

@ Samantha

I'm sure Director Peaslee appreciates your kind words.

You wrote: "Director Peaslee has consistently been a strong voice for her constituents. She has supported, repeatedly, some of the most vulnerable students."

It is difficult to understand how she has consistently been a strong voice for her constituents, if she does not meet with them. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall Director Peaslee having only 2 public community meetings during last school year...one in very early September, and one in January.

She has publicly stated, at a Board meeting late last school year, that she was too busy to have community meetings, because her duties as Board President require many meetings, and she can't fit more into her schedule. She did say that she would attend meetings scheduled at the schools in her district, if invited.

Last time I heard, School Board directors are elected SPS-wide, and they are expected to represent all SPS communities, not just those schools in their districts.

Both Michael DeBell and Kay Smith-Blum, for instance, continued to hold public community meetings when they served as Board President, though Smith-Blum did chose to have her meetings quarterly, instead of monthly (in addition to separate meetings at schools within in her district).

What many of us have come to realize is that even if Director Peaslee decided to have regular community meetings, it would probably be a waste of our time, because she is very headstrong in her various ideals, and has not demonstrated the ability to hear and understand alternative views.

For instance, she completely disregarded the future Wilson-Pacific families, including those living in what might be considered "vulnerable" neighborhoods, like Northgate and the Aurora corridor, by introducing her last-minute amendment placing what is now Licton Springs K-8 in a re-configured Wilson-Pacific MS building, impacting the capacity and efficiency of the comprehensive middle school.

It is admirable that she went to bat for Pinehurst, but there was no opportunity for public engagement or even a feasibility study regarding the cramming a K-8 into a comprehensive middle school prior to the amendment's introduction and approval by the School Board.

She also pushed to split elementary APP and place a portion of it at Olympic Hills, without first going to the Olympic Hills community, a very "vulnerable" community, by the way, with her plan to see if it was feasible based upon the instructional model used at Olympic Hills, nor did she present this proposal at any public community meeting that I am aware of.

A large proportion of the "most vulnerable students" in District I live in Lake City neighborhoods, and currently attend Olympic Hills and John Rogers. Due to the Growth Boundaries vote, many of the "most vulnerable" low-income and minority students from these two attendance areas will be re-routed to Cedar Park, a slapped-together interim site, with 8 portable classrooms from day one.

Much of BEXIV is directed towards getting rid of or reducing portable villages (i.e. at Schmitz Park, Eckstein, Thornton Creek). Why is it apparently OK to launch Cedar Park, which will have a very high FRL percentage, as a portable village from day one?

Will Director Peaslee at some point begin to advocate strongly for a proper school for these students from primarily low-income and immigrant families? Will they receive space set-aside for a proper library, computer lab, art/music space, before and after school care, etc...? You know, the type of amenities that Hazel Wolf K-8 will receive at their new building? I hope so!

- reality check

mirmac1 said...

reality check, two things: not sure why you feel compelled to use "quotation marks" for vulnerable or most vulnerable; and I went to a number of Steve Sundquist's community meetings and quickly saw they were a waste of time because he did not give one whit for opinions that differed from his own. I think they're overrated.

While Peaslee has frustrated me in the past with respect to district special education changes, I would pick her over Sundquist, DeBell, and yes KSB anyday.

Peaslee should offer a sincere apology for her off-base comments and explain how she intents to ensure this kind of debacle never happens again. And then do it.

Anonymous said...
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NW parent said...

Reality Check, you often have good points and then discredit yourself with your insistence on attacking Hazel Wolf (formerly JA K-8) whenever possible. Just gotta get those zingers in. It's transparent and annoying and overrides your otherwise valid concerns.

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

@NW parent

OK, then take out "Hazel Wolf," and substitute any school getting a new building from BEXIV (i.e., Thornton Creek, Arbor Heights, Olympic Hills, etc...). As far as I can tell, those schools are not being intentionally set up with over-stressed core facilities, due to too many portables, from day one. I would also suspect that adequate space for SpEd, ELL, PCP, a library, dedicated before/after school care, etc...was planned into the design of the new BEX schools.

Cedar Park was slid in at the last minute, without any realistic planning.

There are simply not enough classrooms available at Cedar Park, even with the 8 portables, to fit a school of 400 with a high FRL population, and provide the support and PCP space those kids deserve.

As for putting vulnerable in quotes, sorry about that. I was merely making reference to Samantha's previous post about Director Peaslee's advocacy for the vulnerable. While Director Peaslee has advocated for some vulnerable populations, notably those in the Licton Springs K-8 program, there are vulnerable kids throughout her district and SPS, who, IMO, could use some advocacy.

- reality check

mirmac1 said...

Ok reality check. Thanks for the context.

Anonymous said...

Lynn,

We have discussed here on the blog about the importance of students' private data being private many times. I am shocked that discipline data on students, who are minors, could be requested through public disclosure laws. Even criminal records are sealed for minors. Are you comfort able with your child's school & discipline records made available to anyone who ask for them?

I said the girl made a wrong choice & that I and my friends also made these stupid choices when we were teens & we were very lucky to not have suffered bad consequences. Going to the boy's cabin was the wrong choice & it is most likely the reason the FBI didn't file charges. They know under our current institutional and societal misogyny it is most likely that someone on the jury would say she brought it on herself and refuse to convict. We see this injustice and double standards against girls/women ALL THE TIME! Think of the high profile case when a girl was gang raped and when the rapists were convicted all the reporters were mourning their "lost futures" when they got sent to Juvie!

Where did I say we should be concerned about the boy's feelings? Where did I say rape was only a stupid choice made by an impulsive teen? Pls Do not put YOUR WORDS into my mouth.
What I said was: he did wrong, we might believe he committed the crime, I believe it, but whatever I or anyone believes, OUR LAW is still: innocent until proven guilty. And I said that I'm concerned that info from students' private records can be posted on public blogs and -according to you- requested for public disclosures.

You are not concerned that ANYONE, schools, employers, your next door neighbors etc, can ask for your child's discipline records, I take it?

You need to read what people are actually saying & not substitute your words for theirs.
No I did not read the whole file. I read the Al Jazeera article and this blog.

CCA

Anonymous said...

... our law is still: Innocent until proven guilty in court.

Sorry, missed a couple important words in previous post.

CCA

Charlie Mas said...

CCA,

You have a mistaken understanding of how our criminal justice system works.

You wrote: "Going to the boy's cabin was the wrong choice & it is most likely the reason the FBI didn't file charges."

It is not the FBI but the federal prosecutor who decided not to charge the boy.

I think you are correct, however, when you write: "They know under our current institutional and societal misogyny it is most likely that someone on the jury would say she brought it on herself and refuse to convict."

It is society's misunderstanding of consent, the prosecutor's lack of confidence in their ability to educate the jury about consent, and the pressure to only try cases with a high probability of conviction that keep a large number of rape cases from going to trial. The failure to take these cases to trial, of course, worsens all of these conditions.

I think we're all concerned about the privacy of student records, including the discipline history of the boy in this case. He never surrendered his right to privacy, and I don't think that record should be public.

The boy's name has never been mentioned here or in the press. I am glad that it has not appeared on the blog and I will delete it if I see it on the blog. I don't know it. I don't want to know it, which is what I have told people who do know it and offered to share it with me.

The fact that his name has not been mentioned, however, doesn't mean that his privacy has been preserved.

As for saying "alleged rapist" or "accused rapist" instead of rapist, I regard those as a thin shield for writers and a thin blanket of comfort for the boy. I haven't been fastidious about using them because I don't hold myself to that standard, I think it's a pointless distinction, and it diverts the attention from the main point.

I have instead chosen to write about the "reported rape" because that's the main point: the District has a duty to respond to a report, without knowing if the report is true or false and it is a settled fact that there was a report. I'm not at all interested in the boy. I'm not at all interested in the specifics of the act. My interest is not about what the boy did or what the girl did but what the District did. That's my focus. That's why I regard all discussion of the boy's innocence or guilt, the girl's innocence or guilt, even the state of the consent given or withdrawn as all off-topic and a distraction. None of that matters to the question of: How did Seattle Public Schools respond to a reported rape on a school field trip?

So call the kid an "alleged rapist" if you like. Cold comfort. Even with that modifier it's still not going on his resume or college entrance application.

Also - the government is restricted to regarding people as innocent until proven guilty (except of course when they aren't - civil forfeiture, grand jury, etc.). That restriction, like the free speech promised in the bill of rights, is not placed on private individuals. People here on the blog, like people in the street, are free to say that someone has broken the law even before their conviction in court. There are members of congress saying that the president has violated the constitution. Shouldn't they say "alleged"? No. There were people saying that O.J. was guilty of murder during the trial - heck, some still do.

Let's set this "alleged" discussion aside. It's pointless. First because it is off-topic, second because the inclusion of "alleged" offers thin cover to both sides.

The easiest way to do this is to refer to the "reported rape". That will be my practice going forward.

Carol Simmons said...

Samantha,
Thank you. I agree with your postings. I know personally how Director Peaslee has advocated for students...all students. I know that she is one of the most compassionate people I know.

Thank you Director Peters for your willingness to post. Your comments are extremely important.

Director Blanford. You gave excellent examples of resources that could be used in the classroom to teach about Ferguson.

Thank you
Carol

Beyond Irresponsible said...

Reposting from Sept. 6th thread:

"Anonymous girlfriend said...
There are many ways to protest, some probably better than others.

The two minutes at the podium at school board meetings.
Signs and protests at school board meetings.
Protesting any day of the week at the Stanford center.
Community meeting protest.
House of director or district employee protest.
Building occupation.
Obtaining historical landmark status for a site due for demolition.
Boycott school. Boycott tests.

All valid tactics, some illegal, some just icky, some truly inspired.

Rouse the Rabble, Charlie!

That's why we have free speech and regardless of how tone-deaf to social conventions you sometimes seem, your intentions are always the best for students, in my opinion."

I am finding this comment concerning:

"All valid tactics, some illegal, some just icky, some truly inspired."

Individuals can draw their own conclusions.