2008-01-16

I Do Not Trust or Believe the Athens School Board

Right now I do not have a dog in this fight, as my kids are not in the government schools of Athens. I do pay school taxes though. In my 13+ years living in this town. my opinion of the local school board has not changed, except in a negative direction. They cannot manage SPLOST money effectively, they are petty, and the try to hide behind a law when firing people when asked why.

Now-fired Cedar Shoals Principal Tommy Craft says he was fired because he refused, under pressure, to promote Board Member Sidney Waters son-in law to assistant principal 3 years ago. Board member Chester Sosebee says it is not so. When push comes to shove, guess who I am going to believe?

(However, if Craft did report this to the superintendent when it happened, he should have done it in writing and be able to produce a copy of the documentation if he is going to make these statements.)

So a wise warning to anyone who aspires to be a principal or administrator in the Athens-Clarke county school system: if he parents like you and your school is improving, you better keep your resume updated and handy. You represent a threat to the school board and you will not be kept around.

5 comments:

Tim said...

I don't have a dog in this fight either. A lady I worked with had a daughter at Cedar Shoals and some of the things she told me were very troublesome. The principal is a Jesus freak who frequently tried crap like having students assigned bible verses as reading assignments. He also was reprimanded for reading that smarmy School Prayer over the intercom to the entire school.
I have no problem with christianity per se, but I have a huge problem with fundamentalism in any religion. The guy is a fundamentalist Jesus freak to core and as such is a dangerous influence on children.

Adrian said...

The board members are indeed between a rock and a hard place on discussing personnel matters. There is apparently law that restricts employers from reporting reasons for a firing decision (I haven't studied it and am not sure what it is). There is also the potential to be threatened with a defamation lawsuit in such situations. If the board members violated a law by talking about the situation, then our local newspaper editors would criticize them for that. But of course you want to know how your elected officials are deliberating, so these confidential personnel decisions are frustrating.

However, I do prefer that my tax dollars not support religious badgering of minors who are in government custody. Whether the other reports of his proselytizing are true or not, that poetry reading crossed the line.

Christopher Byrne said...

Interesting perspective. If this is the case why have we not heard more vocal complaints about this over the years?

hillary said...

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/120504/opi_20041205034.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/120104/opi_20041201030.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/061606/news_20060616032.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/061806/opinion_20060618001.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/120204/let_20041202080.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/020806/letters_20060208026.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/120504/let_20041205038.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/120104/let_20041201033.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/112206/news_20061122077.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/060306/news_20060603040.shtml

A lot of those are fairly vocal. There are an equal number of letters of support, incidentally.

hillary said...

Sheesh. It decided to cut off all my links. Anyway, you can count them. Some are about "The New School Prayer," some about Craft supposedly making students write out Bible verses, some about a student he wouldn't let give a sarcastic graduation speech, and one alleging that he pulled a table providing educational materials opposed to abuse of gays and lesbians due to religious beliefs.

I ain't got no dog either, and being principal of a school is a difficult job that attracts controversy easily, but it's not as though there have been no complaints.