Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Plant City Council of Trent Convenes to Decide Whether the School Board of Hillsborough County Can Flout State Bullying Law HB 669

The Florida Bar Ethics Committee
651 E. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300

Florida Bar Ethics Committee:

Please consider this a formal complaint against Bar member Tom Gonzalez, attorney of the Hillsborough County schools.

The Hillsborough County Schools have only partially implemented the HB 669 bullying law because the board and administration do not want teachers and staff to have access to its protection. The administration and board aim to protect their power over the state tax money that pours in from student headcount so that they can prance around in the community as important people and hire their relatives and sycophants into high-level jobs--or often featherbedding jobs--for bloated salaries. The board and administration thus have deliberately and with Mr. Gonzalez's sanction left out the adults' protection in the bullying bill to keep the teachers and staff unprotected by the bullying fill.

Worth noting is that the Tribune has recently reported a school-board case in another county where teachers filed under the bullying law against a board member who harassed and threatened them about her child's grades.

Yet when I filed a charge of protest against the administrative and board bullying of teacher Steve Kemp, the response from the Public Access supervisor Steve Hegarty was that my charge was "inappropriate."

The board and administration use the schools' Public Affairs apparatus to target and threaten the jobs of any teacher who lodges a protest or utters a peep of criticism critiquing the board's and administration's running of the schools. The board wants all news about the schools to transverse the Public Affairs Laundromat to fool the community into thinking that they do a wonderful job of running the schools.

The board will not allow teachers a place on the board agenda to give their input on the running of the schools and insure that the administration does not punish them in retaliation with a Professional Standards charge if they do submit their views.

The board and administration will target a teacher, lie in wait for him or her to stumble, and file a Professional Standards charge against the poor wretch that threatens his or her job. They also inflate or even manufacture Professional Standards charges. I have witnessed both phenomenon.

A teacher with a blog is sure to be targeted for retaliation as Steve Kemp was. He was suspended for a year and kept on tenterhooks, his job jeopardized for a case the sheriff's office threw out the day the administration filed it; concurrently, an administrator of King High School who ordered pubescent boys into his office, ordered them to take off their shoes and socks, and ordered them to give him their feet to fondle was not even ordered for a psychiatric review but got instant board and administrative forgiveness as an administrative card and a cut-up.

To legitimize their refusal to fully carry out the bullying law and include staff and teachers in its protection, board member Candy Olson and Attorney Steve Hanlon enacted an apparently pre-arranged colloquy for public consumption on the board dais in which Ms. Olson requested that Mr. Gonzalez confirm that the bullying law covered only students and omitted adults. Mr. Gonzalez complied with the request; the board notes will record that he said the bullying law applied only to students, not to teachers and staff.

This gesture is typical of Mr. Gonzalez's shaping a law to fit the board agenda.

Mr. Hanlon got his job as a hand-off from former board attorney Crosby Few over six years ago after the Hanlon firm tried and lost the case of Whistleblower Doug Erwin. Dr. Earl Lennard, who had headed the effort to prove Mr. Erwin crazy and evade the charges when Erwin pointed out crime in the schools, gave Mr. Gonzalez the job with no advertising of it despite the board's constant refrain that it is an equal-employment opportunity employer. Apparently because of the taint to how he got his job, Mr. Gonzalez supports the board and administration no-bid contracts, citing fugitive legal penumbra to back up his support.

Mr. Gonzalez's handling of the Olson request to assure the board that it and the administration can shut teachers out of the protection of the bullying law is typical of his accommodating the board's and administration's prejudices and giving the back of his hand to the law.

These defections from the letter of the law are a serious matter both legally and ethically. The legislature writes the laws; the board with the advice of the attorney carries out the laws. At least that's how the ritual should evolve. In the Hillsborough County schools it does not because the attorney fits his opinions on law to the board and administration prejudices.

A school board attorney advising a board that pays him a whopping $275,000 in tax dollars in one year to twist a law to coincide with their skewed priorities is not an ornament to the Florida bar. His behavior is unethical and injurious to the community that trusts that a licensed lawyer whose salary they pay interprets the law neutrally even when he is the attorney for a school board that has abandoned the wellbeing of the whole community in its role as board members to form a fortress of privilege and flimflam in the ROSSAC administration building.


Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708


HB 669 - School Safety
"Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act"
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to school safety; creating s. 1006.147, F.S.; providing a short title; prohibiting bullying and harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution; providing definitions; requiring each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting such bullying and harassment; providing minimum requirements for the contents of the policy; requiring the Department of Education to develop a model policy; providing immunity; providing restrictions with respect to defense of an action and application of the section; requiring department approval of a school district's policy and school district compliance with reporting procedures as prerequisites to receipt of safe schools funds; requiring a report on implementation; providing for construction; providing for severability; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 1006.147, Florida Statutes, is created to read: 1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited.
(1) This section may be cited as the "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act."
(2) Bullying or harassment of any student or school employee of a public K-12 educational institution is prohibited:
(a) During any education program or activity conducted by a public K-12 educational institution;
(b) During any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity or on a school bus of a public K-12 educational institution; or
(c) Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of a public K-12 educational institution.
(3) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Bullying" means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students and may involve:
1. Teasing;
2. Social exclusion;
3. Threat;
4. Intimidation;
5. Stalking;
6. Physical violence;
7. Theft;
8. Sexual or racial harassment;
9. Public humiliation; or
10. Destruction of property.
(b) "Harassment" means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:
1. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
3. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.
(c) Definitions in s. 815.03 and the definition in s. 784.048(1) (d) relating to stalking are applicable to this section.
(d) The definitions of "bullying" and "harassment" include:
1. Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.
2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause physical harm to a student or school employee, by:
a. Incitement or coercion;
b. Accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system; or
c. Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.
(4) By December 1, 2008, each school district shall adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. Each school district's policy shall be in substantial conformity with the Department of Education's model policy mandated in subsection (5). The school district bullying and harassment policy shall afford all students the same protection regardless of their status under law. The school district may establish separate discrimination policies that include categories of students. The school district shall involve students, parents, teachers, administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community representatives, and local law enforcement agencies in the process of adopting the policy. The school district policy must be implemented in a manner that is ongoing throughout the school year and integrated with a school's curriculum, a school's discipline policies, and other violence prevention efforts. The school district policy must contain, at a minimum, the following components:
(a) A statement prohibiting bullying and harassment.
(b) A definition of bullying and a definition of harassment that include the definitions listed in this section.
(c) A description of the type of behavior expected from each student and school employee of a public K-12 educational institution.
(d) The consequences for a student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution who commits an act of bullying or harassment.
(e) The consequences for a student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution who is found to have wrongfully and intentionally accused another of an act of bullying or harassment.
(f) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying or harassment, including provisions that permit a person to anonymously report such an act. However, this paragraph does not permit formal disciplinary action to be based solely on an anonymous report.
(g) A procedure for the prompt investigation of a report of bullying or harassment and the persons responsible for the investigation. The investigation of a reported act of bullying or harassment is deemed to be a school-related activity and begins with a report of such an act. Incidents that require a prompt investigation when reported to appropriate school authorities shall include alleged incidents of bullying or harassment allegedly committed against a child while the child is en route to school or waiting for transportation to school at a designated school bus stop.
(h) A process to investigate whether a reported act of bullying or harassment is within the scope of the district school system and, if not, a process for referral of such an act to the appropriate jurisdiction.
(i) A procedure for providing immediate notification to the parents of a victim of bullying or harassment and the parents of the perpetrator of an act of bullying or harassment, as well as notification to all local agencies where criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator.
(j) A procedure to refer victims and perpetrators of bullying or harassment for counseling.
(k) A procedure for including incidents of bullying or harassment in the school's report of safety and discipline data required under s. 1006.09(6). The report must include each incident of bullying and harassment and the resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals. The report must include in a separate section each reported incident of bullying or harassment that does not meet the criteria of a prohibited act under this section with recommendations regarding such incidents. The Department of Education shall aggregate information contained in the reports.
(l) A procedure for providing instruction to students, parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to bullying or harassment.
(m) A procedure for regularly reporting to a victim's parents the actions taken to protect the victim.
(n) A procedure for publicizing the policy which must include its publication in the code of student conduct required under s. 1006.07(2) and in all employee handbooks.
(5) To assist school districts in developing policies prohibiting bullying and harassment, the Department of Education shall develop a model policy that shall be provided to school districts no later than October 1, 2008.
(6) A school employee, school volunteer, student, or parent who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or harassment to the appropriate school official designated in the school district's policy and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures set forth in the policy is immune from a cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself or any failure to remedy the reported incident.
(7)(a) The physical location or time of access of a computer-related incident cannot be raised as a defense in any disciplinary action or prosecution initiated under this section.
(b) This section does not apply to any person who uses data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network when acting within the scope of his or her lawful employment or investigating a violation of this section in accordance with school district policy.
(8) Distribution of safe schools funds to a school district provided in the 2009-2010 General Appropriations Act is contingent upon and payable to the school district upon the Department of Education approval of the school district's bullying and harassment policy. The department's approval of each school district's bullying and harassment policy shall be granted upon certification by the department that the school district's policy has been submitted to the department and is in substantial conformity with the department's model bullying and harassment policy as mandated in subsection (5). Distribution of safe schools funds provided to a school district in fiscal year 2010-2011 and thereafter shall be contingent upon and payable to the school district upon the school district compliance with all reporting procedures contained in this section.
(9) On or before January 1 of each year, the Commissioner of Education shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the implementation of this section. The report shall include pertinent data collected pursuant to paragraph (4) (k).
(10) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge the rights of students or school employees that are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Section 2. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared severable.
Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

The "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act" is a memorial to Jeffrey Johnston, son of Debbie and Robert Johnston. Jeffrey's story can now be found, with other "bullycide" stories, in the book, "Bullycide in America: Moms speak out about the bullying/suicide connection". The book can be ordered at www.bullycide.org.

This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

File Away, Dixieland


It's a rare professional outfit without an oversight committee.

File against all these "professionals" that you cite who ruined your professional life and caused you so much grief.

The School state site has an ethics committee. File to all its members and the Secretary of ed. The psychiatrist has an oversight committee; file an ethics charge with it. Get that shitty lawyer too who did such a wretched job. File, file, file.

Write a narrative of what you suffered. People get a better picture from a story than from analysis. Send it to each with the relevant information highlighted.

Send copies to the AG and Governor asking their advice on what further you can do.

Here's my best suggestion. File a bullying charge against each of the fiends in the school system. Send a copy to the AG. Say that there is no statute of limitations on the 669 bullying law. Send them all a copy. Leaflet hither and yon. Send Tom Gonzalez a copy. He will have a hernia.

Our goal is to out these villains' conduct. The school thugs sneak around behind the public and do vile things to people and then have the Public Affairs office send out slick press releases covering up their dirty deeds. Let's not let them get away with this.

The addresses are all on the Web for you to pull up.

Send me copies for my blog so that I can post them. These cheer people up.

Be sure to file against Tom Gonzalez with the bar for lack of ethical conduct by trying to buy you off with a thousand dollars after the state system has upheld you, not that vicious principal. Find out the head of that outfit and zap a copy.

Don't forget Ron What's His Name, the one who runs around Tampa hailing people down in the streets to tell them he graduated from Harvard. He will have a duck when he reads that you have filed a bar ethics complaint about him for saying you were guilty of "moral turpitude" and then having no better sense than to tell your own lawyer about his "ploy."

Nothing is too farfetched. File, file, file. lee

Here's a start:

The Florida Bar Ethics Committee
651 E. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300

A New Year to Rock and Roll Against the ROSSAC Thugs. Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

Be patient, my buckoes. I am working on a Florida Bar ethics charge against Tom Gonzalez. I should have it sent to the legal priesthood and online and to the board and selected administrators before the snow flies.

Vox has sent in a piece on how teachers used the bullying law in another county. I will cite that and do my best to report how Gonzalez is a bunion on the bar's reputation. After that, I am going to critique his writing deficiencies in his letter to Steve Kemp's lawyers and send it to his law school--FLorida State--and complain that they let out lawyers who can't write any better than Tom does.

Somebody look up the pay levels for school lawyers in Florida. Remember that TG gets $275,000 a year. That's highway robbery.

I spent Christmas with my family and all ten wonderful grandchildren. Hope yours was bright. Happy New Year. lee

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When in doubt: nag, dammit, nag

My legacy

George Sheldon, Secretary

Department of Children and Families

1317 Wineward Boulevard

Tallahassee, FL 323990700


Dear Mr. Sheldon:

I attach the message I received from regional director young Mr. Nicholas Cox in response to my charges of child abuse by the board and administration of the Hillsborough County schools. I attach in addition the complaint I made to the Department of Children and Families about abuse of severely retarded children in the Hillsborough County school system that Mr. Cox blows off.

One knew immediately that one dealt with a bureaucrat of unusual importance from the illegible flourish of Mr. Cox's signature. Were the semiotics of this rococo John Henry not sufficient to signal Mr. Cox's eminence in the state labyrinth of government bureaucracy, the catalog of tax-paid jobs listed in his Web resume neutralize any doubts. Mr. Cox has been in the system so long that he is adept at all evasions, feints, and kick-to-the-curb maneuvers to short-change a citizen's request for him to do his job, which is to protect vulnerable children that people report to the state agency.

Mr. Cox said that your agency's child-abuse people do "not have the authority over employees of the Hillsborough County Public Schools" so that, in effect, any children abused in that conglomerate would just have to tough out the abuse.

This cruel logic leads one to ask this question: Which other institutions in the county are beyond the reach of the child-abuse people so that children enmeshed in those can't get help from the state agency charged with protecting abused children? What about Dillards? the Tampa Dog Track? McDonald's?

Mr. Cox also suggested that I petition Superintendent Elia to correct the problem. Ms. Elia resides at the base of the problem. She has presided over this situation about which I complain and done nothing to correct it. The Cox suggestion is analogous to referring me to Darth Vader to solve the problem of his android intergalactic army's shooting death rays at the humanoids in space.

Mr. Cox also gives me another that's-not-my-job referral to the sheriff's office. The sheriff is the default hidey hole to which the bureaucratic mind resorts when evading what a tax-paid employee was hired to do.

I judge the dilemma of Mr. Cox's inability to deal with the child-abuse problem I laid before him stems from the phenomenon of tribal ethics. Mr. Cox joins three women on the Children's Board from the county school system: Superintendent Elia, Board Member Doretha Ethridge, and a third female school admninistrative functionary whom I do not recognize.

I infer that Mr. Cox does not want to cloud the Children's Board's chirpy meetings with any unpleasant data about abuse of children--plus everybody knows how women in packs scare men to death.

If I thought that you had mentored Mr. Cox's evasion of his job, Mr. Sheldon, my complaint would be about your slack devotion to duty instead of his dance of evasion. I will assume these maladroit escape maneuvers originated with him and that you knew nothing about this operative's

actions in the field.

A review of the agency's capacity, functions, and scope as presented on the Web raises public information questions for this citizen:

I request 1. confirmation of the number of 14,000 that I believe one site said was the total employment of the families-and-children division over which you preside. Please confirm or correct that figure and tell me 2. what the total payout from tax dollars is that subsidizes these child-protection functionaries.

I request as well 3. your salary and 4. that of Mr. Cox.

I find incredible that out of 14,000 people, there is not at least one who could have solved the problem of the abuse of retarded children in the Hillsborough County school system and used the power of the child-abuse agency to stop the abuse. That no one had an answer except "That's not our job" says that the agency lacks employees with sufficient mental capacity and problem-solving abilities to deal with unorthodox or new problems. As such, they don't deserve the salary they get from taxpayers.

A Web review of the agency suggests that a whole lot of energy goes into summits of the agency's upper crust in discussions of the metaphysics of the peripherals, the non-substantive chewing of the agency fat about this, that, and the other in the subjunctive mood.

I imagine these summits cost money for food, drink, and a place big enough to hold the agency attendees and their grandee guests.

I suggest a summit on what is apparently the novel problem that I have presented to Mr. Cox, who himself has dodged the bullet of responsibility for its solution. Part of the discussion should deal, of course, with the interlocking bonhomie of state agencies such as child protection and school systems. This buddy status pinpoints the children's welfare bureaucracy's unwillingness to tackle problems such as the one I present that its minions evade from fear that their doing something about a problem such as I lay bare challenges the suppleness of the child-protection agency in facing and solving rare and challenging problems that infringe on the territory of other giant bureaucracies such as school systems.

I would like to audit such a conference were it to occur, an event which I judge to have a snowball's chance in hell of taking place.

I would like to point out that Mr. Cox's airy response to me couched in the cotton-wadding rhetoric of bureaucratese violates Governor Crist's Executive Order 07-01, the plain-language amendment.

I still am not sure what the young man is talking about. And there exists a good chance that he doesn't know either.

One of the child welfare agency's pages lists members of the state advisory board. There are no addresses or emails attached. Please see that these people get a copy of this mailing. It's the sort of dilemma with which the advisory members need to wrestle with so as to give your agency guidance. I believe this advisory panel will be astonished at the photo of the junk room that comprises the classroom for retarded students in the Hillsborough County schools. I was.


Lee Drury De Cesare

15316 Gulf Boulevard 802

Madeira Beach, FL 33709



c: Governor Crist

Attorney General McCollum

Secretary of Education Smith

All Members Hillsborough County School Board

All Members Hillsborough County Children's Board


To: Florida Child Abuse Agency

From: Lee Drury De Cesare; citizen, 15316 Gulf Boulevard 802; Madeira Beach, FL33708;727-398-4142; tdecesar@tampabay.rr.com

Subject: Systemic Child Abuse in the Hillsborough County Special Education Department

Please consider this a formal request for the Florida Child Welfare Agency to review the patterns and practices of abuse by administrators in the Hillsborough County Special Education Department and in the Personnel and Professional Standards offices.

Practices of administrative child abuse came to light during a false charge of child abuse against a teacher by special ed administrators Smiley, Morris, and Sosa. He suffered extended punishment.

Teacher Steve Kemp has an education blog that sometimes includes issues that relate to the Hillsborough County schools. The blog is serious and deals with education issues in a respectful manner. It sometimes discusses issues that relate to the Hillsborough County school system.

Reader comments may be flippant, but Editor Kemp's comments are uniformly serious. Nevertheless, the blog caused the Professional Standards office to target Mr. Kemp on any pretext because the administration and board hate blogs because blogs provide information that does not agree with the Community Affairs' sanitized information of board and administration activities and decisions to make them look good

The problem with Mr. Kemp's blog or any blog comes down to the fact that the administration and board want only information sanitized by the Community Affairs staff to reach the public about their running of the schools.

In a broader sense, the reason for board and administration hostility to teacher blogs has to do with their unwillingness to tolerate Constitutional free-speech discussions about the school system's administrative and board actions. They want to hide from the public what really goes on in administrative and board activities and decisions so that the public will remain ignorant of anything amiss and will believe that the Community Affairs gloss of school matters constitutes valid report of what goes on in the schools.

Innocuous as it was, Teacher Kemp's education blog represented a threat to that public-relations system of sanitizing reporting on the board's and administration's activities and decisions, hence was viewed by the board and ROSSAC administration as a threat that put Mr. Kemp on the administration's troublemaker watch list. Teachers on this watch list are charged with Professional Standards violations to scare them about losing their job so that they discontinue blogs.

Teacher Kemp's class did not make a year ago, so Section 5 Supervisor Smiley and Principal Morris threw him into a classroom of profoundly retarded children whom he lacked training to superintend. He did not know the state restraint laws, for example.

Both Mr. Smiley's and Ms. Morris's job descriptions say that they are supposed to brief teachers before sending them into a classroom. One infers that this administrative obligation especially applies to teachers such as Kemp, who don't know the rules in a new teaching environment. Smiley and Morris ignored their documented duty and injected Steve Kemp into a classroom of profoundly retarded students with no briefing by the two administrators as was their obligation according to their job descriptions. An administrator named Sosa was also involved.

The department's giving seminars in different aspects of special ed testifies to special-ed's teachers' not knowing all aspects of the field.

Morris, Sosa, and Smiley should have known that fact and responded by briefing Steve on what he did not know about care rituals of the children whom these senior supervisors put him in charge of .

The state restraint law represented a mystery to Steve. Mr. Smiley and Principal Morris gave Steve no data on restraint policy before putting him into a class room for profoundly retarded students.

Two of the retarded youngsters were large boys of about 175 pounds each whom wanted to escape from the classroom by slipping out a door.

Worth noting is that besides the door to the hall, a door to an adjoining classroom was left unlocked. Steve Kemp says this room contained medical substances which if ingested by the wandering boys could have been injurious or worse.

More evidence of supervisory careless attitudes toward student safety is that the supervisors had put these profoundly retarded children in a storage room instead of a classroom. The storage room had large objects with loose articles piled on top. The objects were pushed up against the room's walls. The two retarded boys were especially curious to investigate these insecure piles of materials and could reach to the top of the large objects to dislodge and cause fall the objects scattered atop them The falling objects would endanger themselves and others.

The senior teacher left Steve alone with the class while she went on some errand. The two large boys were in a mood to slip out of the classroom. Steve found a cord (given the inflammatory designation of a "coaxial cable" in the Professional Standards report) and looped it through the back of one boy's bus restraint to keep him from escaping while Steve chased the other escaping boy.

This stationery boy had still worn what apparently was a bus restraint. If I correctly understand the online state restraint guidelines, an attendant should have be removed the bus restraint when the student arrived in the classroom.

But the previous attendant had left the bus restraint on the student. One infers that this regular staff person did not remove the bus restraint for staff convenience so that an attendant would not have to go to the trouble of putting the restraint on the boy again at the end of the day. This dereliction of state restraint rules by regular staff apparently went unadmonished and unreported to Professional Standards by the supervisory staff of Mr. Smiley and Ms. Morris.

After Steve had pulled the cord through the loops in the back of the bus restraint and secured the seated student to the desk, Mr. Smiley and Ms. Morris entered the room.

Ms. Morris told Steve to remove the cord from the back of the bus restraint apparatus, that she "didn't want to lose my job." Steve says she gave the information quietly, but Ms. Morris reported to the Professional Standards investigator according to the investigator's notes that she had raised the roof.

Mr. Smiley said nothing. He later maintained that the cord that Steve had looped to the bus restraint in the back went all the way around the boy. A physical-therapy observer refused to confirm this statement of Mr. Smiley.

After these scenes, six days later Mr. Smiley went down to the Sheriff's office and filed a felony child-abuse complaint against Steve Kemp. Ms. Morris backed him up and augmented her performance when she had discovered that Steve had looped the cord through the back of the bus restraint's loops..

Why these two administrators left a child abuser teacher in charge of these same children in the same classroom for the next six days after deeming him a child abuser remains a mystery of these special-ed administrative minds.

The sheriff dismissed the charge the same day Mr. Smiley filed it.

If one were to ask me why I think Mr. Smiley and Ms. Ross filed a cooked-up charge against Steve Kemp from circumstances that the sheriff found unworthy of a charge as well as a charge with the Professional Standards office, I would say that I infer that they thought lying about a substitute teacher's behavior ranked in their ethics system an acceptable way to call attention to themselves in the administrative hierarchy to hasten their climb up the employment ladder perhaps even as far as an office in ROSSAC. Despite the Sheriff's throwing Mr. Smiley's charge against Kemp out, the Professional Standards office kept the charge extant for more than a year during which he was put on suspension with all the attendant worries of losing his job.

After a year had elapsed with Steve still on suspension, board member Susan Valdes asked Mr. Valdez, personnel director, how much longer the suspension would be in effect. Mr. Valdez said it was hard to tell because the investigation was incomplete. Ms. Valdes made no follow-up question. Nor did any of the other board members ask a question about this mysterious prolongation of a charge the sheriff had thrown out the day Mr. Smiley filed it.

A rational person would say that the few people interviewed should not have consumed a year's time. So there must have been some other motive unfolding. It is hard not to conclude that Mr. Valdez was foot dragging at the behest of the superintendent to pressure Steve Kemp to abandon his blog and to serve as an example to frighten the district's teachers so that they would not question the board and administration's mess-ups..

I believe a state agency such as yours, Mr. Cox, can get a copy of the Professional Standards account of this charge gratis and make your own judgment about the Professional Standards case against Teacher Kemp based on Mr. Smiley's and Ms. Morris's assertions. I had to pay $73.00 for mine as a citizen.

The fact remains that the board and administration kept Mr. Kemp on suspension for over a year because of this false restraint charge of child abuse while the administrators themselves had committed a series of actions that endangered the welfare of the children. But the Professional Standards office punished no one but teachers. Administrators, no matter how egregious their behavior, are exempt from Professional Standards punishment.

Thank goodness, Steve refused to buckle to administration-and-board coercion and still maintains his blog. That is the only good thing that has come out of this bizarre case. It gave a lone teacher the opportunity to stand up for his individual rights and dignity.

I infer that publicity on the Kemp case by blogs and comments from the public at board meetings effected Steve's being taken off suspension and returned to the classroom after more than a year. The administration and board are reluctant to have the public know how badly they treat teachers because the public loves teachers of their own school years and reveres the teachers of the present who teach their children. This affection finds expression in John Adams' remark that "teachers affect eternity; you never know where their influence stops."

The administration via Professional Standards added three non-paid days to Steve's punishment from no cause but administration pressure to make him shut down his blog. These were in addition to the more than a year suspension he had already served.

Steve is now back in the classroom this semester, a sadder but a wiser pedagogue, but the board attorney, Mr. Gonzalez, delivered a thinly veiled, crude threat after Steve addressed the board to ask why his case got such different treatment from that of an administrator at King High School who called pubescent boys into his office, ordered them to take off their shoes, ordered them to present him their naked feet, and proceeded to fondle their feet and crack their toes. Steve pointed out that the sheriff's report on both his and the administrative toe popper got the same assessment from the sheriff but that he had got over a year's suspension while the toe popper administrator had walked away free with the administrative attitude of "He's just a card and a jolly good fellow." The administration and board did not even order to toe popper to a psychiatric evaluation for the students' safety who came in contact with him.

Mr. Gonzales had wrongly asserted at a previous board meeting that only Steve's sheriff's report said that further action might be needed by the board. The SPT had reported the accurate information that both Steve and the Toe Popper had gotten the same comment from the sheriff. Then Mr. Gonzalez disputed with the reporter's accuracy. Mr. Gonzalez makes over $275,000 a year from tax monies. For that kind of excess in salary, the least he could do would be to master the documents that apply to school business and have enough public-relations sense not to dispute a reporter's accuracy, equivalent to waving a red flat before a bull because reporters are sensitive to any disparagement of their accuracy.

Belatedly discovering that he was wrong on this issue when he tardily examined the texts, Mr. Gonzalez hastened to dictate to Ms. Kipley, head of Professional Standards, a redaction of the Toe Cracker file to coincided with his wrong interpretation and disguised it. This feat demonstrates the board's and administration's and attorney's concept of integrity.

When Steve Kemp addressed the board, he did not say he was dissatisfied with the disposition of his case; but Attorney Gonzalez switched the subject from Steve's question about disparate treatment of him and the toe-cracker, who got nothing save a mild rebuke and an avalanche of jocular administrative comments about what a card he was. The lawyer delivered a horseback opinion with the sly and threatening suggestion that if Steve were dissatisfied with his settlement, he could reject it and go to a hearing.

This response evaded Steve's question and represented patent attempt to shut Steve up by covert threats because he had demonstrated not the abject acquiescence that the board and administration demand of teachers but the temerity to question the wisdom and fairness of a board-administrative decision. For the board and administration and their attorney, this defiance was revolutionary stuff, harbinger of when les citoyens refuse to eat cake but mount the barricades to fight.

My judgment says the attorney was trying to coerce Steve with the usual oblique threat of job loss if he didn't shut up. and not ever dare challenge the board again in a board meeting. Board meetings are on public TV and can let the cat out of the bag about how the board and administration mistreat teachers.

When I learned of the special-ed administrative child-abuse procedures via the Kemp case, I sent to Linda Kipley, Professional Standards chief, with copy to Mr. Valdez, head of personnel, and board members my own Professional Standards charges against the three special-ed administrators involved in the Kemp case.

La Kipley did not acknowledge their receipt. When I emailed the lady several months later to learn what had happened to my charges against the three administrators, I did not get an answer and had to repeat my question about the status of the investigation of my charges against Mr. Smiley, Ms. Sosa, and Ms. Morris.

I finally got a response from Ms. Kipley that displayed a mish mash sentence cobbled from the words of my emails to her in which she violated all the rules of scholarship as well as of courtesy to one of the citizens who pay her salary.

To a job that should have a Master's degree in criminal justice, psychology, or sociology, Ms. Kipley brings a home-ec degree. She is the Poster Child of the administration's and board's hiring of buddies, relatives, and sycophants, cheating the taxpayers of qualified jobs that pay sky-high salaries while many teachers must work second jobs to make ends meet. This ill-qualified woman considers such treatment of a citizen who helps pay her salary her right, and Ms. Elia does not rebuke this uncivilized behavior in an administrator. The conduct coincides with the fact that only teachers get Professional Standards charges; administrators don't no matter how badly they behave.

Copies of Professional Standards Charges Filed
Against Three administrators and ignored by Professional Standards supervisor Linda Kipley, the Personnel Director Mr. Valdez, the Superintendent and the Board:

To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards
From: Lee Drury De Cesare, citizen

Professional Standards charge against Principal Morris of Special Ed

Please consider this a formal complaint against Principal Morris of the Special Ed division.

In the matter of the case of Steve Kemp, in which a filing by Mr. Smiley with the Sheriff's office alleged child-abuse by Mr. Steve Kemp, I protest its validity of the charge on the grounds that Ms. Morris along with Mr. Smiley and Ms Sosa bear responsibility in the situation for their not providing Mr. Kemp the instruction he needed before he entered the special-ed severely retarded classroom. The three's job descriptions detail those obligations that they

they either didn't know or ignored.

Ms. Morris's Job Description:

• Proactivity: Demonstrates readiness to initiate action and take responsibility for leading and enabling others to improve the circumstances being faced or anticipated;
• Organizational Sensitivity: Is aware of the effects of his/her behavior and decisions on all stakeholders both inside and outside the organization;
• Oversees and is responsible for school’s instructional program…and its results;
• Oversees and is responsible for the safety and discipline of the school’s students;
• Oversees and is responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of school’s records and reports.

Ms. Morris gave Steve Kemp no assistance that coincides with the obligations of her job. The only thing she said when she entered the room with Mr. Smiley and a physical therapist was that she “didn’t want to lose her job for child abuse.”

In fact, Principal Morris gave no instruction to Steve Kemp before she threw him into a classroom of severely retarded children with no debriefing. Steve had no education in or training to serve this student population. Ms. Morris gave Steve no advice or orientation to help him do the job right; she gave no information on state standards restraint rules. In these deficiencies, Ms. Morris shows derelict in her duties as a principal. Thus I file Professional Standards charges against her.

To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards
From: Lee De Cesare, citizen
Date: 2/11/09

Please consider this a formal complaint of breach of professional standards by
Supervisor Smiley, Section 5, Special Ed Division. Mr. Smiley I believe gave false witness to the placement of the cord that forms basis for this charge against Steve Kemp. My comments act refutation of the charge of child abuse against teacher Steve Kemp filed with the Sheriff's Department and with the schools' Professional Standards office .Ms. Morris participated in and sanctioned the assignment of Steve Kemp to the substitute duty of teaching profoundly retarded children without ascertaining his training or giving him a debriefing on things he needed to know to function in a new teaching environment..

Mr. Kemp has no academic credentials in caring for profoundly retarded children. His special-ed education is in teaching children who have trouble reading to read better.

Mr. Smiley's Job Description:

• Help teachers develop a strategy for the instruction and assessment of the subject area curriculum so that every student develops to his maximum potential;
• Be responsible for assisting the administration in monitoring absences and arranging coverage of classes when no substitute is present;
• To insure dissemination of information and subject area supervisors to all members of the department and to insure understanding of all directives issued;
• To assist the Principal and Assistant Principal for Curriculum for evaluation of teachers within the department and, when necessary, work with teachers to improve instruction;
• To become a trained classroom observer eligible to serve on Preparing New Educator Teams.
• To work with teachers within the department to produce the highest standards of teaching (This includes visiting classrooms, making helpful suggestions for improving lesson plans, counseling with teachers within the department, and coordinating the work of the group to achieve departmental standards.

Although Mr. Smiley visited Mr. Kemp’s classroom, he spoke not a word to Mr. Kemp in accordance with the mandate in his job-description directives. Instead after the lapse of a week in which he, Principal Morris, and Administrator Sossa left Steve Kemp in the same classroom with the retarded students he was accused of abusing, Mr. Smiley went to the Sheriff’s Department and filed felony child-abuse charges against Mr. Kemp for his hooking the harness one student had in place when Kemp entered the room uneducated in restraint protocols to the bus restraint's back loops with a cord to the chair while he dealt with another child's trying to run away.

The sheriff’s office dismissed the felony charge that Mr. Smiley filed on the day he filed it, but the administration continued its baseless charge for over a year against Mr. Kemp when it is the supervisory people like Mr. Smiley who should have received citations for abuse of Professional Standards.

Please consider

Principal. Morris's Job Description:

• Proactivity: Demonstrates readiness to initiate action and take responsibility for leading and enabling others to improve the circumstances being faced or anticipated;
• Organizational Sensitivity: Is aware of the effects of his/her behavior and decisions on all stakeholders both inside and outside the organization;
• Oversees and is responsible for school’s instructional program…and its results;
• Oversees and is responsible for the safety and discipline of the school’s students;
• Oversees and is responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of school’s records and reports.

Ms. Morris gave Steve Kemp no assistance that coincides with the above duties of her job. The only thing she said when she entered the room with Mr. Smiley and a physical therapist was that she “didn’t want to lose her job for child abuse.” She gave no help to Steve Kemp before she threw him into a classroom of severely retarded children. Steve had no education in or training to serve this student population. Ms.Morris gave Steve no advice or orientation to help him do the job right... In this lack Ms. Morris was derelict in her duties as principal; thus I file Professional Standards charges against her.

To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards
From: Lee De Cesare, citizen
Date: 2/11/09

Please consider this a formal complain of breech of professional standards by
Supervisor Sosa in the Special Ed division. This charge is a refutation of the charge of child abuse against teacher Steve Kemp.

Ms. Sosa was one of three the Special-ed administrative employees who assigned Steve to the substitute duty of teaching profoundly retarded children without ascertaining his training.

Mr. Kemp has no academic credentials in caring for profoundly retarded children. His education is in teaching children who have trouble reading to read.

• Ms. Sosa’s job description says that her duties include the following;

• Provide support for ESE teachers at assigned school;
• Assist teachers in monitoring the effectiveness of curriculum and materials used in the classroom;
• Assist teachers in the pre-referral process of intervention strategies, observations, and conferences;
• Provide in-service for general education teachers as needed;
• Provide program-specific orientation and training for newly hired teachers;
• Assist in developing intervention strategies in regard to behavior management and school discipline;
Provide support for parents and function as a liaison to the school, parents, and community agencies.

Supervisor Sosa was derelict in these duties when she and Principal Morris with Area Director Smiley's sanction threw Steve as a substitute teacher in a room the population of which was profoundly retarded children. Neither she nor Ms. Morris nor Mr. Smiley gave Mr. Kemp any orientation or comments on his caring for this unfamiliar client base, not a word. This is dereliction of Supervisor Sosas’s written duties. I therefore protest her behavior and ask that she be subject to a Professional Standards charge.

Liable for Professional Standards rebukes are other people aware of the situation who did nothing to protect the children. These are Mr. Valdez, head of personnel ; Ms. Kipley, head of Professional Standards; Ms. Elia, superintendent; and All Board members, to whom I had sent emails regarding this situation..

Those cited in the above paragraph knew what was going on or should have known, knew about the derelictions of the Special-ed supervisors charged with responsibility of insuring that the children had safe environments and competent attendants; knew about the disgraceful junk room that the severely retarded students inhabited. They sat on their hands did nothing.

I hope that the fact that this charge involves administrative personnel does not frighten or deter the Child-Abuse Department from treating this case like that of any other child-abuse complaint. I hope there is no bureaucratic and administrative collusion that excuses the consequences of high-level employees and even board members and the attorney in this case from submitting to investigation and receiving the State Child Abuse professionals' judgment of the situation. A lack of rigor and objectivity in response to this complaint will continue the injury of children in the Special-ed section of the Hillsborough County Schools, and defeat the mandate of the child protection agency to safeguard children's wellbeing.

I trust that the Child-Protection people will do their job in this case as in any other although my submission involves high-level members of the school system's hierarchy. Their practices of child abuse reflect an attitude of laizzez faire toward special-ed children's lax supervisors that is not acceptable in state employees charged with the safety and welfare of these vulnerable children.

Please let me know if I can provide further data or answer any questions.


Lee Drury De Cesare, citizen

15316 Gulf Boulevard 802

Madeira Beach, FL 33708


c: Governor Crist's Child Abuse Council

Eric Eikenberg, Chief of Staff of Governor Crist

All Members, Hillsborough County School Board

All Members Hillsborough County Children's Board