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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Seattle School Board - Still a Real Problem

Update 2

I should have clarified that I left watching the Board meeting after public testimony. I posted this thread at that time. 

I hd seen a couple of comments on this thread that said I was trying to silence Sarju and I was completely mystified.

Apparently, Director Sarju made an admission later in the meeting about surviving a terrible sexual assault in her youth. (I cannot yet listen to that part of the meeting but I will.) I did not know about this.

My comment about her being a talker was about the beginning of the meeting. In the the past, I have also said this about Jill Geary, Eden Mack, and Sharon Peaslee, all white women. And, former Board president Chandra Hampson is the one who brought in a 2-minute limit for Board comments (and yet never applied it to herself).

The amount of time any given director takes to make a point impacts the length of the meetings which many directors have always felt are too long. What makes it really interesting is that the last Board voted to bring in 3 student "directors." If they think that having three more people up there at the dais is going to make for shorter meetings, I think they will be sorely surprised. 

end of update.

Update: it appears one director misspoke and there is no lawsuit over the HIB findings against Chandra Hampson and Zachary DeWolf.

end of update

If you go by the incredibly weird and awful process that was the election of new Board leadership, you'd come to this conclusion as well.

I will just put up the new leaders but there is a LOT to report out about what was said (and boy, Michelle Sarju has shown she is going to be a talker). 

President - Brandon Hersey

VP - Chandra Hampson

Member-at-large - Lisa Rivera Smith

One tidbit that I will throw out - it appears that a lawsuit has been filed by the Black staffers who accused former director Zachary DeWolf and current Director Chandra Hampson of HIB (harassment, intimidation and bullying) which an independent investigation said likely occurred with the directors using their "positional authority" to act against these women. I am not surprised.

I will look into the lawsuit - not sure if it is against one director or both or the district itself.  

12 comments:

Disgusted said...

Oh, FFS.

Anonymous said...

What the hell were they talking about at that meeting? I've seen some weird things go on at school board meetings over the years, but this 12/1/21 meeting was beyond bizarre. What is this student outcomes focused stuff they were talking about? Why is it so wink, wink, hush, hush? This is a public school district. These are public meetings. This is public money. The teachers are public employees. The board members are elected representatives of the voters. If a focus on student outcomes is going to somehow close gaps, doesn't it seem like Seattle voters would be thrilled to support that? So, why does it feel like the board is stealthily joining a cult? Why can this only pass if Hampson is on the executive committee? If it's the right thing to do, wouldn't it be the right thing to do in broad daylight in view of the taxpayers?

Also, when are they redrawing the school board district boundaries?

-Sandview

Anonymous said...

@Sandview

The cult is called “Policy Governance”. It is a board policy model that is sold to non profits which effectively cedes all power to the ED (and in this case the superintendent). The meetings have been filled with Carver Model buzzwords and the secrecy that is associated with implementation is a red flag.

The district likely hired a consultant to assist the board with implementation. A PRR will expose it.

—-Been there got the t-shirt

Committee Assignments said...

Committee Assignments:

Audit and Finance: Hersey (Chair!), Hampson and Song Maritz
(Hersey does not have a background in Finance)

Student Services and C&I: Rankin (Chair), Harris and Sarju

Operations: Rivera Smith (Chair), Rankin and Song Maritz

Anonymous said...

Hampson has filed an appeal on the findings, so there is an active lawsuit in KCSC burning more district money.

-SoTired

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sandview, that's an interesting question. I don't know the last time they were.

Hersey will be chair of two committees? Huh? And why isn't there three members in A&F?

So Tired, are you sure there is an actual lawsuit. This appeal was mentioned in a Times' editorial but I don't see how she can. She and DeWolf DEMANDED the investigation and the investigation shows that both of them were offered extra time for more evidence and witnesses.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I had two comments that I was being unfair to Director Sarju. I said she was a talker and if you watch each time she spoke at her first meeting as a director, it was much longer than most. It's just a basic statement.

If you don't like this blog, again, go start your own. Don't read mine. Solutions

Anonymous said...

The ladies of SPS Resources have got themselves into an ideological pickle! It is fine and good for a public official to harass a black staffer in the workplace, but a citizen blogger noting that a public official is talkative is “silencing” that person. SPS community culture is rotten. The snake is eating its tail.

FWIW, King Co Court records show some activity for Ms Hampson in September as both a plaintiff and respondent, but records are not available online. Im not sure what an “appeal” Ms Hampson would have and against who - she wasn’t disciplined and her fellow Board members took no action against her. Whatever it is, whatever it costs, the FB ladies will follow her.

Cluck cluck

Legal Eagle said...

Chandra Hampson has filed a lawsuit against the district AND the school board for the decision it reached on September 9th.

How can she be a VP of a board that she is suing?

Are board members concerned that decisions that they make that upset Chandra Hampson might land them, the district or the school board into another lawsuit?

Legal Costs said...

It appears Hampson's lawsuit against the district has the capacity to silence board members.

Per the lawsuit: "The plaintiff/appellant did not violate School Board Policy No 5207in exercising her responsibilities as an elected District board member in holding district staff accountable for their failure to perform their duties and execute policy as established by the District's elected board".

Hampson fails to recognize that the board holds the Superintendent responsible and the superintendent holds staff accountable.

Hampson is costing the district a fortune in legal costs.



Anonymous said...


Legal Eagle,

Ugh - if true, this is really, really troubling. Do you have a source you can point to? Would love to know more.

The only “action” the Board took was a very muzzled statement to the effect of “FYI, we have a policy you should follow” and not anything material, per the minutes:

“Director Hersey moved the following motion: “I move that the School Board take the following action with respect to the conclusions of the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors Amended and Final Investigation Report prepared by MFR Law Group: (1) provide a copy of Policy 5207 and Procedure 5207SP to Directors Hampson and DeWolf;
5(2) instruct Directors Hampson and DeWolf that they are required to comply with Policy 5207 and Procedure 5207SP and request that they review the Policy and Procedure and direct any questions regarding its provisions to District staff; and (3) request that District staff provide training on Policy 5207 and Procedure 5207SP to all new School Board Directors prior to or as soon as practicable after commencement of Board service and provide ongoing training regarding Policy 5207 to School Board Directors as needed, and I further move that the School Board waive the provision of Policy No. 1420 for posting to the District’s website at least three days in advance of Board meetings.”

That’s it. Is she going after her colleagues for something they did in an official capacity to protect the district from legal action from the staffers who raised the complaint? She is not likely to prevail in court on that, and I sincerely hope she is not burning up education dollars for this nonsense. Would seem to be her MO to carefully manage her public image this way, based on all I’ve read about her, and statements made on social media. I will be watching this very closely.

Lawyer Lawyer

Legal Eagle. said...

The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court. Phil Talmedge is representing Chandra Hampson. The district has not answered the suit yet.

How can the board oversee this lawsuit? Decide on a settlement? The interim Superintendent was brought in by Hampson.

Neither the board (nor any members individually) are named parties.

I have way more questions than answers.

Maybe when Hersey has the board take some time to reflect on their comments or votes, he could add “…or you might get sued.”