Mr. Valdez: Please consider this a formal professional-standards complaint against Linda Kipley, Director of Professional Standards. Somebody else must guide this case rather than Ms. Kipley because she is the subject of the charge. I debated whether to send the complaint directly to the office of the Secretary of State to the committees of Professional Practices and Ethics but decided to send it to you first to see if as director of personnel you can deal with my charges--this one against Ms. Kipley and the one I filed on February 2, 2009, against three special-ed administrators.
I believe most people are of the opinion that only teachers are liable for professional standards charges. That is the attitude that the Hillsborough County Board and administration convey.
The Secretary of Education's Web pages say that not only teachers but also administrators are liable and that either category can lose his or her teaching license be the charge serious enough.
The ROSSAC Community Affairs office informed me that one must have standing to file a charge and that I did not have standing.
This stranding restriction did not appear in any of the requested data that the Community Affairs office sent me on the operation of Professional Standards.
The Secretary of Education's site features no mention of restrictive standing to file a charge that I could discover. In fact, I found no impediments listed in the Department of Education's Web site to a citizen's filing a charge for professional or ethical lapses of administrative or teaching personnel.
I therefore charge Ms. Kipley with unprofessional conduct in her treatment of my charge against Mr. Smiley, Ms. Morris, and Ms. Sosa of the Special Needs Children's Division. I charge that she failed to acknowledge the charge and failed to process the case.
Beyond the unfair punishment of Mr. Kemp by the three administrators, there is an extension of their behavior that encompasses the offense of child abuse because not only did this trio of administrators punish Mr. Kemp undeservedly, but they also behaved in ways that threatened children's safety.
By extension, Ms. Kipley's refusal to process my charge or even acknowledge that she had gotten it includes collusion in ignoring the safety of the children involved. Ms. Kipley's failure to notify me that she had received my charge prevented my immediately filing the charge with the office of the Secretary of Education.
The Secretary of Education's site says that anyone who knows of child abuse should report it.
I thought Ms. Kipley's failure to acknowledge my charge against Smiley, Sosa, and Morris unorthodox, but I inferred that she would do her duty that taxpayers pay her to do and investigate and assess my charge.
But when three months had elapsed and I had heard nothing, I emailed Ms. Kipley at least twice for the status of the charges:
5/4/09 I request that you send me your findings on the unprofessional conduct of the three administrators involved in dereliction of duty in the Kemp set-up case to scare him into giving up his education blog and to frighten all other teachers in the school system with Kemp's example so that they will not dare criticize the administration.
I asked Ms. Cobbe to find out the status of the charge when I didn't hear from Ms. Kipley.
-----Original Message----- From: lee [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:21 PM To: 'Linda Kipley' Cc: 'MaryEllen Elia'; 'Candy Olson'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'Jack Lamb'; 'Susan Valdes'; 'April Griffin'; 'Patrickmanteiga@lagacetanewspaper.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'Stein@sptimes.com'; 'Marilynbrown@tampatrib.com'; 'Linda Cobbe'; 'Ken Otero'; 'Dan Valdez'; 'Lewis Brinson'; 'Gretchen Saunders'; 'Wynne Tye'; 'Cathy Valdes'; 'Connie.'; 'David Steele'; 'Gwen.Luney@sdhc.k12.fl.us'; 'Stephen Hegarty'; 'William Birdsall'; 'FOY333@aol.com'
Subject: RE: professional standards charges against Smiley, Sosa, and Morris
Referring to Ms. Kipley's distorted response below, Ms. Cobbe told me that Ms. Kipley did not have the information I asked for. She apparently did not read my email to Ms. Kipley.
I wrote Cobbe: I emailed it directly to Linda Kipley, Ms. Cobbe. If she says that she didn't get the charges, she is as usual lying. I cc'd people.
I know the last name of the top administrator: it was Smiley. I cannot recall the names of the principal and lower-level administrator involved.
Their names should be on the child-abuse charge that Ms. Kipley and Ms. Elia filed against Steve Kemp. Please send me those three names and the job descriptions of each one so that I can refile the charges.
And don't tell me I have run out the clock. I filed in a timely fashion, and somebody found it convenient to lose charges against administrators instead of teachers. Lee Drury De Cesare
5/14/09 Ms. Cobbe: Please provide me with a list of Linda Kipley's emails from 2/9/09 to 2/15/09. ldd
5/28/09 Ms. Kipley: Please render your decision in my complaint against the three administrators involved in the Steve Kemp case. Lee Drury De Cesare
Ms. Kipley: Pray substitute this Professional Standards charge for the one you said you lost. Please note that I have changed one of the names because I got it wrong on the original charge. lee drury de cesare
Ms. Kipley finally returned this enigmatic reply that took a phrase out of context from my 5/4 email:
Dear Ms. DeCesare: In response to your request for this office's "findings on the unprofessional conduct of the three administrators involved in the dereliction of duty" in the "Kemp-case," no such records exist.
This is where the administration's hiring a home-ec teacher for an executive position that appears on the school stationery with the board's and superintendent's names reveals itself unwise.
Ms. Kipley quotes a piece of my sentence. An ethical, educated writer knows to put ellipsis marks before "findings" and after "duty." Ms. Kipley's not doing so is deliberate distortion of the sentence's original meaning.
Ms. Kipley's is not only unprofessional but ignorant: she demonstrates ignorance of the basic protocols of punctuation. Such people don't merit executive positions in school administrations. I wonder who in the world hired her.
Mr. Kipley's not thinking of the children's welfare exacerbates her unprofessional, unethical conduct. The three administrators against whom she did not accept or investigate charges threatened the profoundly retarded children in their care. Their conduct trumps the "abuse" by Mr. Kemp.
Ms. Kipley knew that the three administrators against whom I filed charges were not only guilty of sadistic treatment of Mr. Kemp but also culpable for indifference to the safety of retarded children in their care by assigning an untrained teacher as their teacher and by making their classroom a junk-filled room with the walls filled with unstable, heavy material that could topple over and injure them when they tried to investigate the material as Mr. Kemp says they did.
Administrators Smiley, Sosa, and Morris have no excuse for their behavior. They had extensive training and incumbency in the field; they were versed in the laws and rules that apply to teaching Profoundly Mentally Handicapped students. Yet they placed in the classroom of these children, an apparent junk room with hazardous piles of material on the walls, an untrained teacher and gave him not a word of orientation.
Mr. Kemp was not even minimally trained to care for such children. He knew none of the intricacies of working with some of the most severely challenged students the schools have. He had to learn or guess on his own from the time he stepped into the classroom. These administrators were well versed in restraint law; Mr. Kemp did not know it even existed.
And I have never had an explanation of how hooking one child to a desk with his in-place restraint, one infers from the bus ride, to chase another child--a big fellow weighing 175 pounds--who was trying to get out of the room is child abuse. If it's not child abuse to restrain a child on the bus, why is hooking the restraint to a chair in a classroom emergency child abuse worthy of filing a felony charge with the Sheriff's Department, especially since Mr. Kemp got no briefing from the administrators on restraint protocol?
The administrators placed Mr. Kemp into an environment without any prior notification nor any special training. The highly trained responsible administrators are more culpable than Mr. Kemp for their dereliction of duties to ensure the children's safety and not to make inappropriate instructional assignments. Then one ponders the significance of waiting six days before reporting the alleged felony child abuse to the sheriff.
The report should have cited the three highly trained and experienced administrators who waited six days before reporting it. Irrational too is their keeping Mr. Kemp in the same classroom for the ensuing six days despite their labeling him a "child abuser." These administrators' behavior shows to be unprofessional, reckless, and indifferent to the children's safety or Mr. Kemp's professional right not to be expected to function a classroom of profoundly retarded children when he was unacquainted with the protocols of the children's care. __________________________________________________________________________ To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards From: Lee Drury De Cesare, citizen 2/11/09
Please consider this a formal complaint against Mr. Ron Smiley, head of Section 5 of Special Ed. In the matter of the case of Steve Kemp’s alleged child-abuse charge filed by Mr. Smiley at the Sheriff’s Department, I protest its validity on the grounds that Mr. Smiley himself bears guilt in the situation for his not rendering to Mr. Kemp the help that Mr. Smiley’s job description clearly outlines:
• 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 Mr. Smiley's job description. Instead after the lapse of a week, he went to the Sheriff’s Department and filed felony child-abuse charges against Mr. Kemp after the administration had kept him in the class with these children six days after they had observed the "child abuse."
The sheriff’s office dismissed the felony charge, but the administration continues its baseless charge against Mr. Kemp when it is the supervisory people like Mr. Smiley who should be cited for abuse of Professional Standards.
_ To: Linda Kipley, Professional Standards From: Lee Drury De Cesare, citizen 2/11/09
Professional Standards charge against Principal Sharon Morris of Special Ed
Please consider this a formal complaint against Principal Marion Morris of the Special Ed division. In the matter of the case of Steve Kemp’s alleged child-abuse charge filed by Mr. Smiley. District 5 head, at the Sheriff’s Department, I protest its validity on the grounds that Ms. Morris along with Mr. Smiley and Ms Sosa bear guilt in the situation for their not rendering to Mr. Kemp the help that the three’s job description clearly outlines:
Ms. Morriss’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. Ross gave Steve Kemp no assistance that coincides with the above duties of her job in this case. 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 guidelines 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. Ross gave Steve no advice or orientation to help him do the job right. In this lack Ms. Ross was 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 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 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 Ross threw Steve as a substitute in a room the population of which was profoundly retarded children. Neither she nor Ms. Ross gave Mr. Kemp any orientation or comments on his conducting this unfamiliar client base, not a word. This is dereliction of Supervisor Ross’s written duties, and I protest her behavior and ask that she be subject to a Professional Standards charge.
Mr. Smiley was the Judas who had turned in Steve to the Sheriff’s Office; thankfully, the felony charge of child abuse went poof in the sheriff’s hands. He didn’t buy it. What sensible person not living in the alternative reality of the ROSSAC denizens would?
I request that my cases against the Special-ed administrators be continued and that Ms. Kipley's violation of her duties as head of Professional Standards, which are her contribution to the endangerment of the Special-ed children's safety from the unprofessional and reckless behavior of Smiley, Sosa, and Morris, her unprofessional, juvenile behavior in not responding to my queries, and her violation of academic standards by taking a piece of one of my sentences and not indicating elisions in order to return to me what she considered a witty and subversive answer to my legitimate queries. These offenses constitute unprofessional behavior and child abuse.
Attorney Gonzalez said at the board meeting at which I brought up the Kemp case for a second time that "lawyers dealt with that [the Kemp case] months ago." So determined is he to distance himself from the case that Mr. Gonzalez puts the activity of settling the case in which he participated in the third person. Mr. Keep says his impression is that his lawyer talked to Mr. Gonzalez weeks, not months, ago. The mystery is why Mr. Gonzalez wants to divorce himself from the case. Does he sense a quagmire if he has to defend the board's behavior in court? And when and where did you, Mr. Valdez, learn that Mr. Kemp was "pleased with the outcome"? Did you talk to him? If so, why didn't you say, "Mr. Kemp told me that he was pleased with the settlement of the case"? Somebody must step up to the plate and take responsibility of this year-long display of administrative and board sadism, irrationality, and bungling. This false charge against teacher Kemp is an administrative, professional, and ethical mess, and the board and administration made it and can't now walk away and bury it in oblivion.
Please email me that you have received this charge; please tell me as soon as possible whether you will investigate it as a Professional Standards charge.
Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
JUNK ROOM CLASS ROOM FOR SEVERELY RETARDED STUDENTS: