Sunday, August 02, 2009

This Will Be Placed in Your File as a Reminder of Your Mortality and That We Can Fire You on a Whim

I recently received from Linda Kipley's office a file of Mr. Steve Kemp's investigation that lasted over a year in which he was on probation for his putative child abuse. Ms. Kipley included in the file hortatory letters sent to teachers reported to Professional Standards for what the administration chose to label professional breaches.

The thing that struck me about these files--besides Ms. Kipley's sending them to me when she knew they would appear on my blog---was that if you examine personnel files in the Public Affairs office, you never get any narratives of misconduct such as these reveal. The elves scrub the personnel files clean of all revealing information. I know this statement to be true because I have examined any number of personnel files in the Public Affairs office.

This circumstance leads me to believe that the school keeps two sets of files: one for show and one secret for the in-crowd.

The present instance of La Kipley's sending these files in addition to the Kemp file to me suggests that in this, as in all things, the administration is duplicitous. It does not want the public to know what is going on in the schools. Both the board and the administration I infer insist on this double-file system. They want to look good to the public and to hell with the facts.

If the administration practiced open government, there would be a record, for example, of Ms. Kipley's stormy exit from Hillsborough High School as principal before the administration gave her the Professional Standards job without competition instead of firing her as it should have done.

The scuttlebutt was that Ms. Kipley's history of lying was such that many teachers would not go into a conference with her without a recorder in their hands.

That the board brought this malignant personality into Professional Standards to reign over the lives of teachers and to use her hypertrophied power to make their lives miserable with false charges and cruel punishments that she never uses on administrators says something about how much the board and administration value teachers. It says they don't value them at all; they tolerate them to reap the money the state sends to ROSSAC on the head count of teachers' students.

The board, I believe, despises and fears teachers despite its members' saccharine praise of teachers on the board podium for political consumption. They know that parents value teachers, and parents vote, hence the false praise of teachers. When I asked the board several times to give teachers and students a settled slot on the board agenda, the whole gang looked at me as if I were mad.

I am convinced that if an inattentive community of voters woke up and became aware of the board and administration savagery to teachers--but not administrators--through the Professional Standards system, the voting public would hold the board's feet to the fire as it should on this continuing injustice to teachers via Ms. Kipley's savagery egged on by Ms. Elia.

Apparently the guy in this recital that I append below did something wrong: he spanked a child. Even if he did it with the grandparents' permission, the physical punishment was wrong; corporeal punishment exacerbates violence in a child. It does not abate it.

At least there was basis for the teacher's rebuke in this instance. There was none but a made-up charge in the first case that I witnessed involving a Professional Standards charge against Bart Birdsall. It had no reason except that the malignant power of a Professional Standards charge, Ms. Elia believed, would make Bart rein in his practive of sending emails from his home to the county library protesting the curtailment of gays' rights to library services to appease homophobes. Commissioner Ronda Storms got the hateful piece through the Commission. She's a gay hater.

There was also, I suspect, Ms. Elia's fear that if the fens-and-bogs homophobes at the county's periphery knew that a gay teacher could exercise his First Amendment rights on behalf of gays, this knowledge would madden them and make hordes advance on her office chewing tobacco, spitting, and wearing overalls. Their names would all be some generic of "Sonny Boy," and they would march with pitchforks and baying bloodhounds. Ms. Elia fears these types, this terror being the reason she wilted and did away with the holiday change that offended them a couple of years ago because they interpreted it as a diminution of Jesus's hegemony.

Ms. Elia hates bad publicity, and these primitives scare her on that front too. I myself do not fear such gentry. I was born in the little town White Oak, Georgia, where all of the men are named "Little Luke" or "Junior" or "Bubba" and are members of the filling station culture.

Another reason for La Elia's using Professional Standards to scare Bart was that she had just got the job and wanted to strut her power. She got the job not through merit but through the chicanery of the board, which lowered the academic standards for her and ignored her lack of experience. Board members didn't pick any of the excellent candidates that could have done a superb job of superintendent for the county schools.

I read the files for that hiring. Trust me. The academic world is my bailiwick. Ms. Elia was the least qualified of the candidates.

The board's provincialism and self-protection, with one board member's telling me that a certain candidate with the best credentials was "too uppity"--played its part in the wrong-headed selection of Ms. Elia for the job. And before that, the board had picked Earl the Pearl Lennard, in charge of torturing Mr. Erwin for asking Lennard to do something about crime at ROSSAC. After Erwin's request, people inferred that Lennard, other high-level administrators, and the board were benefiting from the crime thus wanted it to continue, and that greed was the reason they wanted the whistle blower run out of town. Instead of shutting down crime on campus, Lennard tried to make people think Mr. Erwin was crazy and then to fire him deprived of his pension. Then Mr. Erwin took the gang to court and won his whistleblower case and a settlement. The jury didn't believe a word the ROSSAC Liars Club said. The taxpayers paid for the administration and board crime with the settlement.

The board had blown $35,000 of taxpayer money on nationwide advertising to cover board members' selfish, irresponsible asses in hiring a person such as Elia to be superintendent, not because she had the best record among the candidates but because she would let the board members to continue to sit on the board as ceremonial potted plants between forays of running around town to various political hoedowns with tubs of tax-paid food for them to gobble.

Board members go to multiple events supposedly to advertise their soi-disant sponsorship of education, but the real reason is to eat, eat, eat. It's hog-trough fare on the taxpayers' dime.

We infer board gluttony to be the case by observing from the audience on board nights the torpor on the podium of board digestive systems taxed to the limit with processing rich food consumed far too often at these political hog-trough celebrations. We have also diagnostic opportunities provided when a fat board member waddles behind the podium upon a pretended potty break but really for a respite from the bruising business of pushing the green button for anything Ms. Elia says.

These paragons are the guardians of the community's children's safety. They don't look to me as if they intend to do diddly to have the toe-cracking assistant principal at King High referred to a psychiatrist to ascertain the basis of his fetish for boys' feet and determine whether his sicko activity points to the Freudian pedophilic psychosexual pathology of fear of castration with the feet as the substitute penis. I am sorry for the diction, but you can't discuss Freud without it.

Somebody in the administration and board must know about foot fetishism. We exempt Ms. Kipley because her home-ec training didn't include any intellectually rigorous fare. But reputable colleges and universities require a psychology course in the core curriculum. Somebody in the adminisistration took one to be sure. Why didn't that person speak up? He or she was afraid of being fired is why.

There are two on the board dais who have not spent a day in a college or university, and the others have academic-lite degrees from marginal institutions as far as I can tell. With such C and D students from Podunk U as board members who surrender their authority to Ms. Elia so that they can frolic in the public eye and gobble down tax-subsidized chow at community festivals, it's a wonder that things are not worse than they are.

More Kipley-provided teacher rebukes are on the way after the one below. I will end with the Kemp file. It will take me a while to scan in. lee

School Board

Carol W. Kurdell, Chair Susan L. Valdes, Vice Chair Doretha W. Edgecomb Jennifer Faliero

April Griffin

Jack R. Lamb, Ed.D. Candy Olson


Hillsborough Coun!y PUBLIC SCHOOLS ifzcelhtce Ut (ff~n

Superintendent of Schools MaryEllen Elia

Deputy Superintendents Kenneth R. Otero Daniel J. Valdez

General Manager of Professional Standards Linda A. Kipley

James P. Parker 2704 Varsity Place Tampa, FL 33612

On January 29, 2009, allegations were reported to the office of Professional Standards by the Child Protective Investigative Department that a complaint was filed with their office that you had "whipped" a student assigned to your classroom at Robles Elementary School. In addition, the Tampa Police Department was involved. During their [its: pronoun reference to "Department"] investigation into the allegations, you were removed from the classroom, [no comma: splits a compound verb]and placed on paid status until the District could review their [its: pronoun reference] findings.

Though the Child Protective Investigative Department and Tampa Police Department closed their case with no indicators, they did so only because the grandparents of the student indicated they gave you permission to "whip" their grandson. You openly admitted to the Child Protective Investigator that you whipped the student four times with an open hand because the student had been in trouble recently for fighting,[no comma: splits a compound verb] and was suspended for two days.

During our meeting on March 10, 2009, we discussed that even though the grandparents gave you permission to spank their grandchild, the School District does not approve or condone any corporal punishment given by teachers. It is your responsibility to create a safe and caring environment free from physical or mental harm. Your actions are considered inappropriate, [no comma: splits a compound verb] and will not be tolerated by the District.

On March 11, 2009, you were returned to your regular classroom duties with the expectation that you would conduct yourself as a professional. As a result, you agreed to accept a three-day suspension without pay. The dates that you and Bonnie McDaniel, Principal of Robles Elementary School, have agreed upon on [are] August 18, September 18, and October 9,2009.

In addition; you are directed to contact Chuck Fleming, Director of Teacher Training and Staff Development, at 840-7021, [superfluous comma: compound verb] and schedule an ["a": precedes a word that sounds as if it began with a consonant] one-on-one training in ''Professionalism through Integrity," the Code of Ethics, [Omit comma: "that" clauses are restrictive.] that will include an online component. Documentation of successful completion must be forwarded to the office of Professional Standards no later than August 17, 2009. [This writer overuses the passive voice, a practice that makes her sound weak and indecisive: "Your supervisor must forward..."]

You are hereby reprimanded for your poor decision-making. A copy of this letter will be placed into your personnel file on or after July 24, 2009. Florida Statute gives you the right to respond [comma: compound sentence] and any response you choose to make will be attached upon my receipt of it. Be reminded that a positive perception of you as an elementary [hyphenated adjective before a noun] school teacher by the community, parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and District officials is critical to your overall success as an educator.

Any future incidents of inappropriate physical contact with students will result in a recommendation that your employment be terminated. If you need assistance in contacting Mr. Fleming, do not hesitate to contact my office at 840-7128.



General Manager of Professional Standards

Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested

C: Daniel J. Valdez, Deputy Superintendent

Bonnie McDaniel, Principal, Robles Elementary School .;

Chuck Fleming, Director of Teacher Training and Staff Development ./ Personnel file j

Instructional Services Center. 2920 North 40th Street. Tampa, Florida 33605 Office: 813-840-7128. FAX: 813-840-7186

School District Information: 813-272-4000. Web Site:

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