Saturday, July 04, 2009

Speak Truth to Power--Speak Loudly and Persistently

PRO On HCPS has left a new comment on your post "Thank You, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and All the Sh...":

I can add to this story, and give it a local tie in.

"PRO on HCPS: A Piece of the Dysfunctional Puzzle:

"...Along with the identifying data, it contains the Subjects and the original grades. Two of the original grades were 'D's. They have been slashed through and have 'C' written next to them.

At the very bottom of the form is the following written by a teacher about an Area Director. It states:

' * These grades have been changed as per (name withheld)'s request although I feel it is unethical to do so. I have changed them solely to avoid any charges of insubordination'.

Once again, this is one 'small piece' of the dynamics I faced for many years."

Richard L. Hancock

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Posted by PRO On HCPS to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 5:09 AM

Richard, people can't change grades even under duress from a higher-up. I ran into this problem at HCC. When my immediate administrator pressured me to pass a student who had plagiarized his term paper off the Internet, I said, "Keep this up, Jo Ann, and I will go before the board and report you." She stopped.

Another time an administrator changed the grade of a teacher friend of mine from failing to passing for a student. My friend with a Ph.D. but no guts did not have the moxie to fight. I fought for her. I called the president, Gwen Stevenson, twice. I told her she had to do something about that administrator's illegal action. The second time I called, I told her I would see that the action was made public and report that she did nothing about it. She then fired him. But he got a job at another college, of course. If I had had a good horse under me, I would have followed him.

But I tell you what I have found out in my years of civil-rights work: evil is a growth industry. Just get up every day and do what you can with the first piece of skulduggery you come across. Tomorrow, there will be plenty more to tackle.

Don't be afraid to confront and speak truth to power. Don't hang back and think they will reform themselves. Don't be nice. Don't beg. Don'plead. Don't cajole. Don't snivvel. Be
sufficiently mean so that the thugs get the idea that you mean business.

Give me enough information to identify the administrator, and I will ask him or her about the incident. I won't get killed. Just hated and feared.

I am glad to get your email address. I lost it and have had to leave you out on the email rounds. lee

1 comment:

PRO On HCPS said...

If I knew then what I know now, I would have pursued this issue differently back in 1996.

There is irony in this story because the teacher had also changed documents. I had the copy of the original to prove that point.

The then Area Director has long since retired. The last I heard anything about him was he had an unsuccessful bid for a school board position.

The whole group involved in all of the unethical events that happened during that time opened my eyes. The end result was I think I did a pretty good job of advocating for my son, but not changing the system.