Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lafayette Principal Missteps in Investigation;District Does Little

I had learned of a serious situation at Lafayette. Charlie and I both felt it better to say nothing (it is not our place nor could we do much). I did let a few senior SPS people know that I knew and that it was vital for them to give the situation their notice and best effort.

As the situation has played out, I did not see that happening. Not from the principal, not from the Executive Director and not from SPS administration. Some of them are now saying they knew nothing about it and that is virtually impossible to believe.

But it has now been leaked to the media and I believe will become front page news in the next day or so. I will try to fully explain this when I get home from the Board meeting.

 I am sorry to see another scandal to try to explain but I will say that the district had better get principals better training NOW before a lawsuit drags this district down. There is no excuse for this to happen at this point.  Unless, of course, principals saw the handslap given to the Lowell principals in that case and thought that using their own judgment is fine in case they may confront at their own schools.


Dorothy Neville said...

All the training in the world will not ensure against rogue supervisors demonstrating extremely poor judgment. Leadership needs higher integrity and competence.

Jet City mom said...

In February a letter went home to parents from principal saying that she wouldn't be returning but was headed for district administration. ( it was on west Seattle blog)
I don't know what the issue is, but I don't think we need more people in administration just because they have trouble in the buildings.

Anonymous said...

I have thought over the last few years, that principals have been hired/rewarded more for loyalty to district headquarters than integrity. Perhaps it was always this way and I was lucky in my principals during the years of site-based management. But it seemed to me then that principals were more loyal to their schools. It makes me very sad.

- high school parent

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

I did see that anon. I wonder how MGJ is doing there?

Anonymous said...

The Lafayette principal is not the only principal that Ed Directors and the Enfield Central Administration have heard about recently. There's another doozy out there creating terrible situations for families.


Anonymous said...

So when are we going to start doing standardized testing for principals? If we can develop Value Added Metrics to identify and fire bad teachers, surely we can come up with some sort of bubble test to weed out bad principals.

Sick of It

Maureen said...

Here's a link to the West Seattle Blog piece about the resignation of Lafayette's principal back in February. No hint of 'a serious situation' that I can see, even in the comments.

Anonymous said...

The district seems to step in the same s*** over and over and over. They get fair notice about problems. They do nothing. They belittle and find ways to dismiss the people who report the problems. The notices of the problem keep coming in. Then they strenuously do nothing. They find even more ways to strenuously belittle and dimiss the people who report the problems. Then the great imperious executive directors say things like what's the problem let's have a coffee chat.

Hoping Banda will fix this

Anonymous said...

Training can overcome lack of knowledge about procedures. Training can not overcome lack of integrity. Where are executive directors and central administrators? Isn't anyone paid to supervise these principals? I certainly hope this is not another case of building administrators destroying careers, ignoring the needs of students,and costing the district tens of thousands of dollars in outside fees. This is ridiculous and this is why many of us did not want to "move on' after the Lowell investigation.

Fed up and I vote.

Anonymous said...

When I look at the salaries of the Executive Directors, that's where I start to lose it. They do not seem to be subject to ANY performance evaluation system. Talk to special ed families. Most problems in special education are general education problems. Yes, there are some special education staff who didn't seem to be awake when they got their degrees, but mostly the problems for special education start with the fact that general education doesn't want those kids in the first place. Give us one example of an executive director taking THIS on. This Executive Director system has been a failure.


Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

We got a pretty young thing for a principal who drove some families and good teachers out of our school. ED didn't do diddly. Nothing surprises me anymore. BFF is the new code among this bunch. Good Luck Mr. Banda trying to crack this "blue shield". It's not just the building that's rotten.

another fed up parent

Jet City mom said...

Reading about the principal of lafayette @ best places.net and elsewhere along with the other problem principals in the district makes Cathy Hayes, who was principal @ Summi for twenty odd years look like a miracle worker.

( & I found a nice article about William a Blair, who retired as Lafayette's principal in 1945. He begane at the district in 1906, and moved to Lafayette in 1923.)

But if you let the principal stay in one building for so long, as in Cathy Hayes case, they become an advocate for the community that they spend their time in & not a spokesman for the district party line.
Move the principals around every two or three years and it's harder for them to build ties to any one school, they are reminded they are employed by the district( being paid by the taxpayers is just an aside).

Jet City mom said...

Summit k-12, not Summi.

Darn glasses.

Double sad said...

Dear high school parent

I don't have to add anything.

We agree totally and are sad too.

These are the lingering effects of the "anything goes" culture MGJ/Kennedy fostered and (SOME)directors have become accomplices rather than leaders.

Sad & disgusted

Belittled and dismissed said...

This is an educational institution and these (principals AND Directors) are supposed to be "leaders".

Shouldn't we kinda expect them to be "trained up" when we hire them?

I mean come on, really!

My dad had two words that really helped me understand following rules: "County Jail".

Worked for me.

The structural flaws of the institution are exacerbated by lawyers who will defend any prevarication that might "stick to the wall" and the whole crew mouth the same line.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please say what the heck you're all talking about? What happened?
--irked by innuendo

Anonymous said...

Well, I know a long-time 5th grade Spectrum teacher may be no longer there.

Laf alum

Anonymous said...

Yes, the "I know something you don't know" game gets a little old. If this is not restricted information (and if the traditional media has the info that suggests it is not), then act like a real media outlet and report the story. If it's true, then you have nothing to fear.

Also Irked

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm sorry you feel this post is a "game". I will write more fully but it is a difficult story. My intent was to give a heads up about some bad news for our district so I didn't come as a shock when it is likely to be blasted out.

Jet City mom said...

I think when you behave responsibly and ethically, no matter what your eyes tell you, you expect others to do so as well.
So no matter what comes out it still is going to be a shock.

Saying that another serious scandal has occurred, is vague enough that it could be anything from paying millions for substandard concrete at Garfield, to systematically dismantling th gifted program and harrasing the families, to selling district gas cards.

In this district it really could be anything.

dw said...

Also Irked,

Melissa said she was going to fully explain soon, so it's kind of pointless to complain that it's a game. Especially with someone who publishes more school-related info than anyone else in this city.

That said, Melissa, I'd just as soon wait to see these kind of things until there's really something to publish. I can see why someone could be bothered by this kind of "placeholder" post. The blog already has a strong reputation, I wouldn't want to see things trend toward the big-media mindset of trying to be the first to break news, (even if it's only by 15 minutes over the other outlets).

Steve said...

I agree with Also Irked. Hinting at a story that is soon to come out doesn't lessen the "shock". It just causes rumors to fly, and builds anxiety. I personally can handle it when the story becomes public, even if it is shocking. I don't think it adds to the quality of the information on this blog to hint at big stories like this before actually publishing them. My opinion...

Jan said...

I agree with Fed up and emeraldkity:

My recollection of SSD principals from years ago was that they were champions of, and advocates for, their buildings and programs. You got the sense that downtown was dysfunctional, but your principal backed his/her staff and families, and did their best to make things work. They carried water for their schools and families, and were problem solvers.
Lately, the sense I get is much more that principals are there to be the "voice" of downtown in the schools -- to implement the downtown policies at the school level. If so, they are now "carrying water for" the Supe and the EDs -- they are part of advancing the downtown agenda. I always thought it was maybe just the difference between elementaries and the high schools. But maybe it is much, much more.

I definitely think that moving them around from building to building is part of it -- as is moving programs around (both break the bonds between principals and kids/families, and decrease trust and collaboration. It may work well with the "corporate model" which "moves" assets around every year or two as lower level employees go the "up or out" route, but even in corporate America, it leads to bad management (offset, I guess, by the idea that it leads to good leadership training -- and who cares whether the underlings who make the widgets like it or not). But here -- the "underlings" are our teachers, and the "widgets" are kids. We need to return to a model that uses more thought and care in placing principals (in light of programs and school needs) and then leaves them there long enough to build strong school communities.

No decent private schools have the sort of administrator churn that has become "normal" for SSD -- if they did, they wouldn't have any students.

Jan said...

Also Irked and dw --

I don't think Melissa's post is meant as an "I know something you don't know, and I am not telling." I think that it is more that ordinarily, she reports whatever she knows, as long as she has some confidence that her information is credible. Where there are "investigations" or the information is sensitive (relates to employee conduct, etc.), she tries to hold back until "credible stuff" actually hits the streets -- which means she needs to wait for entities with investigative staffs, the District, the ST, etc. But, as we all try to follow current District issues, knowing that there are various things out there that are being investigated or followed up on is useful, even if it is frustratingly vague.

I also think that, because the investigations take so long (and sometimes, the District doesn't want them to come out at all), it is helpful to know that they are going on early. That way -- when the District tries to do things like "just move on" from the Lowell incident -- claiming it is isolated -- it helps to know whether -- AT THAT VERY MOMENT -- the District is in fact dealing with another similar (or not) issue somewhere else. It goes to their credibility and their ability to actually think and act strategically, rather than reflexibly, about incident management.

If Melissa said nothing, some folks would be annoyed to find out, next month, that she had known about stuff 5 or 6 months earlier. If she told everything she thinks she knows, even though some of it may be just rumor or the facts ultimately are different than what she was told, lots of people would criticize her for jumping out in front with unsubstantiated facts, and not just waiting for the course of an investigation or lawsuit.

The real problem here isn't Melissa's timing. It is a District which over and over seems to come up with issues that are dealt with badly and in an untimely, reactionary rather than proactive manner. I for one am willing to wait for details, but am grateful for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Jan @ 12:25


Anonymous said...

I don't think something like this should be posted without explanation. It's like a someone saying they have a secret and they want you to know they have a secret but they won't let you know what it is. You are not helping to lessen the shock at all, you are creating drama.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I cannot change how some of you perceive this thread. I will say that it is not in my character nor that of this blog to "create drama". Our district does that all by itself.

My intent seems to be misread so lesson learned but I would appreciate people not assuming bad intent.

mirmac1 said...

Let's review. There is readily available information.

Principal is being reassigned
There is an investigation
May or may not involve staff
Senior staff either sat on their hands, or act clueless

That's it. I find this info useful. I will be watching how this plays out. Others may move along.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's the short version:

It was reported that a student at Lafayette sexually harassed another student by directing the gesture of rubbing his crotch and moaning at another student. This behavior was witnessed by about half a dozen other students. A complaint was made.

The principal did everything wrong at every opportunity.

First, she was non-responsive to the complaint.

Second, when the complaint was repeated with greater force the principal responded with a dreadfully inappropriate investigation.

The principal's conduct of the investigation was wrong all the way around the track starting with the fact that she should not have done it in the first place. The superintendent's procedure for sexual harassment complaints dictates that a compliance officer should conduct the investigation.

Then the principal botched it by refusing to allow the parent of the victim to be present during her interview - a direct violation of the policy - by claiming it was against the rules.

Then the principal botched it further by conducting a completely inappropriate investigation. Let's just say that the conduct of her investigation led to complaints of sexual harassment against her.

Then the principal determined that the incident did not happen, or was not sufficiently lewd to require consequences.

Then the principal told the boy's parents that certain other parents were trying to get their son expelled.

Then the principal told the complaining families that the student had been disciplined when he had not.

That's a lot of wrong, but it gets worse.

mirmac1 said...

Oy, deja vu all over again!

WhatThe said...

If that's the case that's just raging incompetence. I would think all principals are aware of the sensitivity of something like this, and their requirement to go by the book. (Unless something is wrong with the SPS rules.) It protects them as much as anybody. This just sounds like Principal 101 to me.

And, yeah, didn't we just do this?

Anonymous said...

I think that before anyone is assigned a position as a principal s/he should be put through the paces of fairly rigorous/serious psychological testing and evaluation to establish whether they have the character and maturity to deal competently and responsibly with situations like this (or like that at Lowell). I swear the principals in these situations have some sort of bizarre transferrence going on where they respond as if they're the ones being accused of something. What's going on in their twisted noggins?

-Sue in Zen Field

suep. said...

I wonder why some principals are 'reassigned' when scandals like these hit the fan, and others are allowed to remain in place.

It's baffling and deeply disturbing to me as parent that the district is willing to open itself up to such legal and ethical liabilities by leaving such unfit people in charge of our kids' schools.

What does it take for a principal to be truly fired? How much harm has to happen and to whom?

Jane Doe said...

I simply do not have confidence that our children are safe from sexual and other forms of harassment at our schools.

It is not just this incident, but the entire way this district has mishandled and swept under the rug serious allegations, going all the way back to the Shayne Hill case seven years ago. There has been serious mishandling of these cases by many principals, with apparently no significant consequences to their careers. The same cannot be said about the teachers and staff who bring these allegations to light, however.

I take these things very, very seriously. I need to know that my child will be safe from harm while at school, and that the people in charge - the principals especially - will do the right thing every single time, without fail. I need to know that the adults hired by this district will not throw my child under the bus to protect or advance their own career.

Everything I have seen over the last few years shows a broken and corrupt system that has allowed the abuse of vulnerable children to be blatantly disregarded. It is shocking and appalling that this situation continues to happen over and over again.

Our family is making some very expensive and very difficult changes so we can leave the Seattle public school district. I no longer feel my child is safe, nor the primary concern of administrators here. I sincerely hope that the new superintendent can address problems such as these. I no longer feel that I can wait any longer for this to happen. My children are growing up. Between the poor math curriculum, the excessive testing, the loss of art, library, and music, and the lack of trust in our building staff, we just cannot do this anymore. My kids are too important to me to ignore this anymore.

Charlie Mas said...

The families of the victim and the witnesses then complained to Aurora Lora, the Education Director. Ms Lora, in turn, botched it at every opportunity.

Ms Lora told them that she would look into the situation. Then she told them that she had taken care of it and that consequences had been meted out for the principal and the student, although there was no evidence of either. Ms Lora said that she could not describe those consequences due to privacy concerns. This is, in fact, incorrect and non-compliant with the sexual harassment procedure.

Then Ms Lora said that she had consulted with the superintendent and the district's legal department. Later both the superintendent and the legal department denied any knowledge of the situation.

But wait, it gets worse.

The father of the victim then files a formal sexual harassment complaint. That's when people even further up the org chart got an opportunity to botch it.

As of this moment, there are a half a dozen district officials who have either lied about taking action on this complaint or lied about knowing about the complaint.

The one thing that has not happened is the procedure that was supposed to happen. Not only did the principal botch it but so did the assistant principal, the education director, and, now, a host of upper-level management in the District.

Here's the worst thing. Lots of district staff have stepped forward, make sympathetic noises, said that they will take care of everything, and then either did nothing or did nothing right. The situation remains unresolved.

The families involved now suspect that the district's strategy is to delay and defer and pass the buck until the school year ends. At that point the principal will be re-assigned and they will regard it as no longer a matter worth pursuing.

The families are really angry about how they have been treated. They have been patient, they have shown good faith and expected good faith, and they have followed the procedures. The district - at every level - has failed, been dismissive, been deceitful, and failed to follow the procedures. This has been a show of systemic and institutional dysfunction.

suep. said...

@ Jane Doe

Hear, hear.

mirmac1 said...

Aurora Lora. No surprise there. Talk about another TFA alumn who fits the Peter Principal.

suep. said...

Another sad element of this sorry tale is that Lafayette's longtime former principal was well-regarded, but she got moved to Coe this year after Coe spent an unhappy year with an incompetent principal (who has since been demoted to asst. principal and reassigned to another school).

So not only did Lafayette lose its longtime strong principal, it got stuck with a highly problematic one, and now this is the result.

Why is it always a zero-sum game with this district?

One community's 'win' (here, Coe) is always at the expense of another community (here, Lafayette).

It should not be this way.

We have a crisis in leadership every step of the ladder up to the top in SPS.

Surely there must be better principal candidates out there -- people of integrity, experience, and good judgment. Surely.

But I suspect that we have had superintendents who do not want upstanding strong principals who will be loyal to their schools, but may in fact prefer flawed, problematic ones who are indebted to the district for having such a high-paying job, and who will in turn do whatever the district demands -- harass senior teachers into early retirement, not even try to get a math waiver though parents want it, accept MAP testing and all mandates blindly, hire TFA novices instead of fully qualified teachers, just to name a few.

Again I am sadly forced to reach a cynical conclusion about the underlying machinations and motivations of this district, but how else to explain the persistent mediocrity and downright dangerous incompetence that is allowed to continue in so many SPS principals?

Anonymous said...

What makes the union representing principals so much more awesome than the union representing teachers? Jo Lute Ervin isn't a newbie. She was principal at Leschi for 9 years but then 1 (or 2?) year at TOPS, followed by a year at Lafayette, with the announcement that she'll leave coming 5 months before the end of the year. Burn out? Not fair to speculate but she has something Aurora Lora doesn't. Experience. If Charlie's recounting is correct, someone with Ervin's experience should know what the policies are for handling this complaint. If principals are routinely allowed to drive out experienced teachers with trumped up improvement plans, what does it say when something like this happens with an experienced administrator?

Mr White

Anonymous said...

Once again--

Teachers are being evaluated with a fine toothed comb--by a four step rating scale--while more than a few of their "superiors" display reprehensible and/or incompetent behavior and continue to collect six figure salaries.

Worse, the pattern of principal misconduct and incompetence is not only troubling on ethical and leadership levels--but imagine being a competent staff person who is being evaluated by (and at the mercy of) such individuals. This is a recipe for extreme demoralization.

Why do these Ed. Directors even have jobs? Why can't the principals report directly to the superintendent? Ed. Directors are analagous to "instructional coaches" for teachers--competent principals don't need Ed. Directors and competent teachers don't need coaches. In the meantime, more counselors are being cut.

Ms. Lora is the TFA darling. Does she even have a combined ten years of teaching and principal experience? Brea Dusseault's hatchet job on Martin Floe (highly defended by the Education Sector crowd in the "report"--wasn't she formerly a colleague of Goldhaber of UW/Education Sector?) is another example of someone who was promoted without sufficient experience. Thanks, Susan Enfield, for both hires!

This principal is not new. Many of the worst principals are being warehoused in schools with vulnerable children--out-of-sight/out-of-mind--until they are put into schools where parents have some power and their long-time behavior quickly hits the fan.

This district is corrupt. It needs a complete housecleaning.

--enough already (I agree with concerns by posters who thought the "inquiring minds want to know" approach to this thread was beneath the character of this blog)

Maureen said...

The poor kids! Both the child who the harassment was directed at and the perpetrator. They need to know that adults agree on what is right and what is wrong and that there are real consequences when kids hurt each other. Trying to sweep this under the rug is causing damage to all of the children at that school.

I think we would all agree that children really benefit from boundaries and consistency. I have found that when they know that they will be caught and there will be consequences when they misbehave they all behave much better and don't keep pushing the boundaries to see what will happen. It has been amazing to me to see how quickly the (child) culture of a school can change when the leadership changes.

Leaders don't need to be punitive; but they do have to be clear and consistent and observant and active. And it helps if they really like kids.

Jet City mom said...

What the hell do they teach/screen for in the UWs Danforth Educational program?

Anonymous said...

I would encourage everyone reading this to keep in mind that it only takes a few angry parents to make big waves. Mistakes were made, but not everyone agrees they were as egregious as they are being portrayed. Certainly, please don't assume everything you read in the comments to this blog is factually correct. For those of you in charge of this blog, think about what you're doing by creating this post, with absolutely no factual content at all and no backup, and letting it become a smear-fest in the comments. The atmosphere at Lafayette is as poisonous right now as I have ever seen it, because of this. If this costs Lafayette a high quality principal (interviews were LAST NIGHT), those of you treating this as a war will have lost it.

- Lafayette Parent

Anonymous said...

Lafayette Parent - did the principal take the children into a room in private, and ask them to act out what they saw on their own bodies? Yes or no.

Another parent

Anonymous said...

Best of luck, Lafayette parent. I hope you get the world's best principal. You have a great school, and your kids deserve great school leadership.

Frankly, while I agree with Charlie's assessment that this was massively bungled all up the line, I also think these kinds of decision can be very difficult especially if (and I don't have any clue whether it is true here -- though the police report filing, and the allegations of parents yelling at other parents in the halls certainly set off alarm bells) you have one or more sets of unreasonable parents.

Seriously, what you need now is a seasoned administrator with a great internal character compass, and who is willing to go to bat for your school and its kids.


Anonymous said...

And, I totally agree with Maureen. Maybe this can be resolved with boundaries and consistency, and maybe more is needed. But it needs to start with a principal who loves kids.


Jet City mom said...

I'm glad Lafayette is getting to interview, I hate it when principals are appointed, although I have been on hiring committees where I wouldn't hire a couple of the candidates to walk my dog, let alone be in charge of my child's school.

Anonymous said...

"The one thing that has not happened is the procedure that was supposed to happen. Not only did the principal botch it but so did the assistant principal, the education director, and, now, a host of upper-level management in the District.

Here's the worst thing. Lots of district staff have stepped forward, make sympathetic noises, said that they will take care of everything, and then either did nothing or did nothing right. The situation remains unresolved."

Charli, for a minute there I thought we were still talking about Lowell.

Sue's in left field

Anonymous said...

I take back the previous comment. The situations at Lowell and Lafayete are completely different.

At Lowell, Gregory King, Rina Geoghagan and others did everything in their power to discourage staff from reporting future misconduct.

At Lafayette the principal and others did everything in their power to discourage students from reporting future misconduct.

I don't know which is worse. Both situations are beyond alarming.

Sue's in left field

Jet City mom said...

Since adults in charge of children must assume much more responsibility than adults working with other adults, even if said group of adults are in a "supervisory" position, I think it is pretty clear that recklessly abusing your position with the children is much more heinous.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Mistakes were made"? Shades of Watergate.


Also,any good principal knows that all schools need good leadership and would not be afraid of a school that needs unity and calm. (I note this kind of thing was said with the superintendent search.) I would not be surprised if every single candidate knew about this going in.

Fine, circle the wagons but it never helps. Ever.

Anonymous said...

"Mistakes were made". Sorry, Melissa, that's Iran-contra and George Bush the First.

Lafayette parent, I am also a Lafayette parent. I hope you reconsider your defense of incompetence. Unfortunately, Director McLaren has been moved by the "they're out to get Jo" excuse.

Ollie North

Anonymous said...

@emeraldkity - In both cases I meant misconduct towards children. No one will feel comfortable reporting after this.

As for supervisor misconduct towards adults (staff) , we all know there is a strong teachers union that will offer protection in those situations.

Sue's in left field

Anonymous said...

Sue's in left field:

The union left the two Lowell speech therapists totally twisting in the wind. Can't say I adore a lot of unions, but if you are going to have one, and pay dues, it would be nice if they showed up when you were being framed by management.

The difference I see in the two is at Lowell, the higher ups continually denied that there ever was a problem, or that anyone had reported it -- and then tried to screw the SLPs for NOT reporting -- and then DID screw them for having the temerity to file an ethics/whistleblower complaint.

At Lafayette, they acknowledged receiving the complaint (it sounds like the downtown folks were still doing a "Lowell," but Aurora and Jo weren't), Instead, they just bungled it totally and then misled parents about whether, and how, things had been handled.

Same bad result -- different bad tactics. But I know what a toll Greg's and Rina's horrible management took on the Lowell SLPs. I can hardly stand to think of 4th grade kids in a similar position of difficulty.


Anonymous said...


The comment about 'strong" union was tongue in cheek - for many, our union dues have been a waste of money.

The sad consequence from both situations though, is that children were not protected and actions by school administrators (both building and central) will discourage future reporting. It would have been so much simpler to have done the right thing from the start.

Sue's in left field

Jan said...

Sorry, Sue -- sometimes I am not as good as I should be at catching written irony. I agree with your conclusions though. I can't imagine what will go through the Lafayette kids' heads if they ever get involved in something like this again and have to decide whether to tell a "trusted adult!"

Ed said...

Say, Sue in Zen Field:

Did you see "Clockwork Orange"?

Seemed to work for Alex.

Ed (NOT Director)

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

Anonymous, your post will be deleted if you do not sign some sort of name at the bottom.

As to your comment about this being just "hearsay", at least one parent has confirmed that the principal did demonstrate mock masturbation in front of them and another parent, and was very open about how she asked the children to demonstrate the same thing to her. There is also a series of emails as well. This is well beyond simple hearsay. This incident seems very likely to have actually happened, which is simply appalling.

- Sign Here

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

It is hearsay that the initial alleged incident happened the way it is being peddled. Do you want the truth? Or, just to run with allegations?? Truth matters. This is supposed to be a forum for discussion, but any time I try and give perspective on the truth my comments get erased. Isn't that odd to you. It is to me.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Be careful not to be commenting on things that are not facts. Make sure you remember this. Talking is one thing, but when you are using hearsay as facts, you are unknowingly contributing to something that you might not believe in after all.


Anonymous said...

Make sure you ask yourself about the motives here. Where did this alleged series of e-mails originate and why? Have you asked this question?

-L Parent

Anonymous said...

The truth actually lies with Lafayette Dad.


Anonymous said...

Your posts were deleted only because they were not signed. This blog is very clear on that policy.

As to whether this is hearsay - the principal openly admitted to doing everything the parents said she did. As to the motivations of the parents - I know I would be absolutely livid if this happened to my child. I would also want to know if my child was acting out the way this boy was reported to have done, so I could have him evaluated immediately for possible sexual abuse. Young kids rarely do the things he was documented doing in a vacuum, which is beyond sad as well.

I do not doubt that you are upset by this situation. But the person to focus on is the principal and her bosses. She clearly stepped way, way, way beyond any procedures or policies, and escalated this into a very strange realm where she was acting out an act of masturbation for parents, and told them she did the same thing in front of their children.

Furthermore, her supervisors badly mishandled the situation as well, and tried to sweep it away. These are all very well-paid adults who are expected to know what to do in such a situation. That is what they are supposedly trained to do, and that is why they are paid as much as they are. The buck stops with them. The failure is theirs.

Sign here

Anonymous said...

Truthsayer and L parent: I have no clue what happened here, and I support the work the Melissa and Charlie do on this blog (including this story), but I think your viewpoint, and your cautions, are valuable.

I had a wild, impulsive boy. Mine didn't attend SPS until AFTER he had outgrown his wild, impulsive ways -- for just these reasons. He never did the things being discussed here. But believe me, he did plenty that had parents of milder, sensitive, law-abiding children convinced that he was just short of a criminal. Who knows what they thought of us, his parents. I also had two girls and another boy who did go to SPS and who had none of his issues. The teachers and principals willing to not sensationalize or overreact to his behavior but to work with us on it and who helped shield him from those who wanted him drugged, or in psychotherapy, or gone from the school, were angels.

I don't know what the child did, or why. I don't know what the principal did, or why. I don't know if the "other parents" were reasonable or hysterical. But I hear and appreciate what you are saying. One of the best things about this blog is the voices saying things we hadn't thought about.

--Think your name is apt

Anonymous said...

I heard there was no need for an investigation. Someone had a beef with the kid's mom and trumped up an incident into the world of the obscene and screamed "sexual harassment." I will never send my kid to that school.


Anonymous said...

Ok, I just heard on the radio that it was found that the principal at lafayette had not violated policy and there will be extensive new training for principals in this regard. Ummm ok she may have not violated policy however she did break the law. Why are the police not involved again? If my child was asked to demonstrate a sexual act, I would have called the police. This is ridiculous . Any rational adult knows you don't interview kids alone and certainly never ask them to demonstrate what they saw. No wonder people think educators are idiots.
-an educator but not an idiot.