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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Board votes no to renewing two contracts

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Clay Community School Corporation Board of Trustees met Thursday at the North Clay Media Center to discuss the non-renewal of administrative contracts to a standing room only crowd.

A 4-2-1 vote resulted in the termination of North Clay Middle School Principal Jeff Allen's contract and the resignation of Clay City Elementary Principal Jon Russell, with both having the option to stay in the corporation as teachers.

With all seven members of the board present, discussion ensued.

"In all the years that I have been on the board, the topic of students transitioning to the middle school has been a common thread with people in the past," board member Ted Jackson said to the crowd.

"I have never received as many phone calls about any topic as I have had about this one," he continued. "I think it would be a mistake and though I have my opinions and facts, I am an elected member in the community and based on my experience and the conversations with parents I will not support this."

With a round of applause from the audience, the topic continued to gather steam.

"I have heard very positive things about (Allen)," board member Tina Heffener said. "It is not an end-all, I would encourage you to stay in the corporation as a teacher as well as request a meeting with the board."

"I encourage people to voice their opinion on this matter and give feedback," she added.

Dottie King spoke next and commented on how she missed the meeting where this was discussed because of her husband's father being ill.

"I was a little surprised," she commented. "As well as being very sad by this decision, and I am not convinced the board allowed the right process to take place."

Amidst the applause from the crowd, board member Forrest Buell voiced his decision and reasons for his vote.

"Since I have been on the board, I have wanted to learn what was going on in the middle school," he said. "I don't feel that I know enough about the situation or about (Allen) to make a decision, so I will abstain."

In the closing discussion board member Terry Barr, who was noticeably upset, commented on the issue.

"Regardless of what has happened, we are here and this is an issue that I have struggled with, but with the information that we have and with what we are basing it off of this is the best decision," Barr said.

The vote was motioned by board member Jennifer Kaelber, with Heffener giving the second.

Board President Brian Atkinson, Barr, Heffener and Kaelber voted in favor of nonrenewal, while King and Jackson voted no. Buell abstained.

Russell, who submitted his resignation from his position as principal, was voted in favor 7-0 with the option of staying within the corporation as a teacher.


Comments
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Why is the Clay County School Board going after many local principals that are natives of Clay County?

This is how the teachers have been treated for quite a long time, now it is happening to the principals. I think Clay County residents need to know how ruthlessly the administration treats its employees.

-- Posted by 5longyears on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 3:06 AM

Huge mistakes again by the school board. But what do you expect when those members are elected to the board and have the fate of the teachers and administration in their hands. God help everyone in the corporation.

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 3:33 AM

I think they should have to tell the public the reasons for why they are doing this to Mr. Allen. Chances are that he suspended a board member's kid, and this is just petty payback.

But we have no idea, other than "with the information that we have and with what we are basing it off of this is the best decision."

OK, what information do they have?

-- Posted by Bruther on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 5:11 AM

Correction.......It's not the Clay County School Board, which is non-existent. It is the Clay Community Schools Corporation School Board. I had to clarify that lest someone started going to county officials.

I don't know the reasoning of the Board, personnel matters and contract issues being discussed in executive session by the board. I do not see how the problems of North Clay can be laid on one person if Dr. Allen was abiding by the direction he received from the Central Office and the Board. Jon Russel submitted a resignation, which is his personnel decision.

To me, replacing these principals looks like finding a scapegoat to sacrifice without solving the problem.

The way that I see it, North Clay and Northview are just too large for proper education and personnel control. There are too many students in too large of a facility for students to even make it to classes in the time allotted, in the case of Northview. All seven of my relatives who have attended that school in the last decade have had classes in their schedule that required movement across the entire building that took over six minutes to move between classrooms with the halls empty. Yes, I walked and timed the shortest route, just to check.

The suspension and expulsion rate for North Clay exceeds the total for all of the elementary schools within the corporation by more than double in most years reported which indicates a problem that is not within the capability of the principal to control. However, the DOE database's last data on that is the 02-03 school year so that may not still be the case, although I would project from the trend that it is. Basically, the way that I see it, North Clay has problems, but it is a system problem not a personnel problem. I don't think that replacing one person or the entire staff is going to solve it.

Leo L. Southworth

-- Posted by FlyinLion on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 5:37 AM

BigCB20 - I don't understand your comment, "But what do you expect when those members are elected to the board and have the fate of the teachers and administration in their hands." Care to elaborate on it?

Would you rather the "fate" of employees rest one person, say a personnel director? I've seen that system be abused too often in companies with less recourse. I have to say that as a former shop steward with the Teamsters. Basically, when you work for "the Man", you work at his discretion and your job is always "on the line" if you irritate "him" in any way. "He" doesn't need for you to give "him" any other reason to be rid of you, if "he" wants you gone you will be gone.

-- Posted by FlyinLion on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 5:50 AM

I do not have kids at North Clay yet, but I do have other family members there. I know of 3 kids that were honor roll students all the way through elementary and then started getting failing grades while in middle school. There is obviously a problem there. I hope that replkacing the principle helps, and I have heard that he is very hard for parents to work with. I do agree with unoit that 6th graders belong back in elementary. I have always felt this way because they are just too immature to be thrown into the "big pond" that soon. Just an opinion.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 7:31 AM

unoit ~ I agree with you wholeheartedly ~ I personally feel that the 6th graders are not quite mature enough to be placed at NCMS ~ I like the idea of the 7,8 & 9 at NCMS & 10,11 & 12 at NVW ~ we had this in Thte many moons (decades) ago & all the children seemed to be at approximately the same maturity level ~ & here's something startling that I learned this morning from my senior at NVW ~ she believes that more Freshman girls are pregnant at NVW than Seniors ~ not that I believe a Senior could handle a baby ~ but, OMG, a Freshman?????

We, also, in the past had problems dealing with Mr. Allen ~ he has the his way or the highway attitude ~ this was many years ago, but you know the old saying ~ a leopard doesn't change his spots ~ I think the change may be a good one ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 7:46 AM

Wow. I was not aware of this. See what happens when I don't go to school board meetings. Attempting to keep this short and respectful to all involved...

There have been some long uncorrected problems at North Clay Middle School. That is well known. I as a parent have personally discussed at least one of them with building administration that was a repeated one that was not corrected after several years as two of my children with several years between them had the same problem with deficiency in academic areas with regard to one teacher. This occurred under at least two principals. Maybe three?

That said, I am still not sure that this should be a public forum school board issue but a closed personnel one as a duty of the central administration as that is who the board hired to manage the schools.

I understand why the board does this micromanaging due to history of non documentation of deficiencies. I have empathy for all concerned but this will also hopefully send a message that there is change on the horizon and no longer will deficiencies be ignored; as though it damages relationships between neighbors, ignoring the deficiencies have been hurting the quality of education and been unfair for the students for too long.

5longyears: I don't think your perception of this targeting local community members is accurate. This appears to be about job performance and holding staff at all levels accountable. Not that a person is a bad one or unworthy. Some people just aren't cut out for certain positions. I have supervised health care staff. There is a delicate balance between being a supervisor who sticks up for his subordinates and one who enforces policy and performance. It takes someone who can look at controversy straight in the face and separate the issue from the person. I do think that this has been a problem with several school administrators in this county which has let chronic sub performance become the norm. Again it does not indicate that anyone is a "bad" person or does not deserve respect. It is about their ability to perform their duties.

"Fixing" this problem at any level is uncomfortable and causes pain but if we continue to ignore it more damage and sub par performance will continue to hurt students and other staff.

We must support both those who made this decision and continue to support the persons that it effected as fellow human beings as they will have pain, will mourn their personal loss, question their self worth, and with empathy from others, will recover and go on and be productive in their life.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 7:58 AM

After reading everything the main thing that is popping in my head is WHY? Look at the Vigo Co. School Corp, the middle schools are 6-7-8; high school 9-10-11-12. Yes the high schools are packed but it is that way EVERYWHERE. When they build the buildings they don't think of expansion of kids. More kids are born in one year than another. What I have seen in the middle school, I think is has been better for the 6th graders. I know in our elementary school, the kids are segragated-one grade is not to interact with the other grades. They are set in the lunch room in designated class seating, activities are separate and so on. This is really limiting the learning of social skills that are needed in society. When I was in school, which was not that long ago and in Vigo Co., I had friends in all grades. I greatly feel that having this kind of experience helped me out when it came time for middle, high school and life.

Instead of trying to place the blame on the administrators why not try to find a way of making this work??? I feel my kids education is the most important thing. I think that they need to be looking at how to make this better than anything else. I don't know where the "empty class rooms" are but they are sure not in our school. Class size is ridiculous in the elementary schools and there is no room for the expansion of students that come into the schools. Explain to me how this is helping my child learn if she is shuffled to the bottom because there is not enough of the teacher to go around and no helper in the class? Second thing I see is the Special Education program for the corporation, it pretty well sucks compared to what I have dealt with in other counties. Resources and manpower are very limited and it is the child that suffers.

Clay County in general has problems with handling money which trickle on down the line to affect other areas, like the Schools. You have to look at the bigger problems before the smaller ones can be tackled.

-- Posted by smoke20fan on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:00 AM

The problems that lie within North Clay and the rest of the school corporation is the lack of respect and discipline the students possess. Not only are our teachers expected to keep each students' attention for a specific amount of time, make them feel worthy and good about themselves, now they also have to deal with unruly children who are constantly speaking ill things without any thought or even acknowledgement of what they are saying. It is impossible to walk down the halls of either the middle school or the high school without hearing a four-letter word (particularly the F word). Unfortunately, teachers are so restrained by what they can and cannot do, that offensive language is let go, because drugs, graffiti, and violence from students to other students is of higher priority (and rightfully so). How do I know this? I am married to a teacher and have been a substitute teacher in both schools.

I agree that all of these problems and issues cannot be blamed on one individual, especially, when that person is working to improve the overall student academic scores, staffing issues, and regular day to day duties that the job involves. (Just like all of us that work in any management type of position, there are a number of daily duties that takes place that their/our subordinates are unaware.)

I also disagree with the comment about the passing period issues at Northview. It is not impossible to travel from the far corner of the building to the opposite side in the 5 minute period. Is it easy? No. But not impossible, if you are diligent in your planning. As a former NHS graduate, I did this on a number of occasions and never received a tardy, had time to use the restroom, and stop by my locker. Did I have time to socialize each time? No. But school is not about being convenient or easy for students. It is about challenging students to think outside the box, develop systems that work best for each individual and become a more thoughtful person in decisions making.

I am very disappointed that our school board would also call an executive session and not be given all of the proper information before the meeting. How can we expect our elected members to vote on any issue, especially one of this magnitude, when not even properly informed with time to thoughtfully reflect before casting their vote? I am not certain who controls this flow of information, but I would venture to say it lies in the hands of the school board president.

Clay Community Schools and the School Board have long had severe issues with communication. Until we fix the foundation of the program, we will continue to fail in all areas. And, until parents take responsibility and trust that the teachers, administrators, school board members are working to help these children get the proper education and are not "out to get them" we will never succeed.

Parents, please remember, your children are not 100% angels--none of them. Not one parent can honestly say that their child has never talked back to us (the parent), "pushed our buttons" or angered us because of their lack of attention/respect/listening. If they do this with us, why would we not believe that this could happen in a school setting? The adults in the education program are there to prepare our children for their futures. It's what the students choose to do with the opportunity that determines their outcome.

Next time you get a phone call or a letter from the school stating your child has disrupted the school environment; take a moment to honestly reflect on their behavior at home. Chances are they are acting in the same manner. None of us are perfect, but the difference between good and bad behavior are those that strive to constantly improve, whether that is in the classroom, at home, as child, as parent, as a teacher, or a school board member. Let us all work to improve our school corporation but in a manner that cannot be conceived as "underhanded", "sneaky", or "ill-mannered".

-- Posted by teacherswife on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:03 AM

Since there are several comments regarding the 6th grade in Middle School, I want add this.

The 6th graders have their own wing at the middle school. They are completely separate. They have their own passing periods to go to their lockers, fine arts and PE classes without ever seeing a 7th or 8th grade student. They also have their own lunch period. The only times the age groups mix are on the bus, upon arrival, and at the end of the day when they load the busses again. You cannot separate them any more than that.

-- Posted by teacherswife on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:11 AM

Was this decision based in part on test scores? What has the superintendent had to say in regards to this situation? What do we pay him to do? To extend his own contract; for well over $100,000 per year? Who represents the Administrators? If a principal or any administrator's career is on the line, should the superintendent intervien? How many administrators have a PhD? Are all of the board members intelligent enough to be on the board? Does Dr. Allen have the qualifications to do the superintendent's job? After reading the comments from community members, it seems that everyone "WITHOUT" and axe to grind, is opposed to the decision. Look to person at the top for accountibility, and remember those board members who tossed Dr. Allen aside at the next election.

-- Posted by ucantbserious on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:02 AM

W-W-WOW! Lots to talk over here!

Some of you commented on Dr. Allen being "hard to talk to", not having people skills, and having a "my way or the highway attitude". I cannot agree or disagree as I have never had to speak to him on an issue. I have always had my conversations with his assistants, teachers, and counselors. To me, that is why his position has assistants.

Someone mentioned having a full investigation and there was a statement about what was discussed by the Board during the Executive Session concerning this matter. I don't believe that there is a way to "fully investigate" or learn what was said in Executive Session on a personnel matter unless the issue is taken into a court of law by a party affected. Executive Session activities can only be associated with personnel and contract negotiations without violating the "sunshine law" concerning public meetings. Both of those are restricted or privileged information, with personnel being entitled to their privacy.

On the sixth grade issue, it appears that people are more outspoken in Clay County than in Vigo. Looking at the DOE data base on school suspensions and expulsions, Vigo County's middle schools have higher incident per 100 student values than North Clay.

While there are a "few" empty classrooms in the corporation, 2 at Clay City Elementary and 1 or 2 at Forrest Park that are being used for other purposes, we do not have the classrooms to put our sixth graders back into our elementary schools. This is part of what I've been saying for the last sixteen months, that our building project should have been modified to improve education within the corporation instead of just improving the buildings themselves. According to the enrollment report dated 9/26/08, there are 274 students in the sixth grade at North Clay this school year. That would average out to putting 45 additional students in each of the six northern elementary schools, requiring two additional classrooms per building plus classrooms to replace the modular and "pole barn" plus any that we can add to reduce class sizes. This is what I've been trying to get across to the public, that, while some time was put into our plan, it simply wasn't researched with the thought of improving education.

LOL……..there is a lot of "personality and attitude" in both our school board and upper-level school administration, coupled, it seems, with a reluctance to communicate as has been mentioned in these comments. There is also the fact that was mentioned that some people just aren't "cut out" for a job, at times, even when they meet the qualifications.

We will just have to deal with the situation as best we can and I wish both Dr. Allen and Mr. Russell well.

Leo L. Southworth

-- Posted by FlyinLion on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 11:21 AM

-- Posted by ALancaster on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 3:07 PM

I find it interesting that people who don't work in the corporation are telling me on a blog how the system works. They are currently after two more principals at this time. Are you trying to tell me that four principals suddenly can't do their jobs? At Central Office the superintendent got rid of local people and hired his friends in the main administration. They also got rid of school guidance counselors so they could hire another friend in the main administration. Daily, the children in my class suffer because we don't have a guidance counselor.If you work in Clay Community schools you know that we work in a harassing, non-supportive environment. Thank goodness we have a strong union that protects teachers.

-- Posted by 5longyears on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 4:19 PM

5longyears ~

I would be very interested in anything that you feel free to share with us ~ some insight would be quite refreshing :)

-- Posted by karebabe on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 6:08 PM

teacherswife:

1] There are some very disrespectful students in the corporation. There are also some who are respectful.

2] There are also some disrespectful teachers who bully students. There are also some excellent caring teachers.

I don't think that we can lump all into one category.

Unoit: I think we need to keep the issue away from personal personality conflicts and on the issues of performance. We will always have people whose personalities clash. That's life. I speak to Dr Allen on a regular basis even though I no longer have kids at NC. I have never found him to be anything else but pleasant. I don't understand the statement about not being able to have a discussion with him.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 6:29 PM

First off I would like to commend the board for getting rid of MR Allen!!! Hats off to you !!! Its been long over due! You ask any student that attended NCMS what they had to call the principal? Here I will save you the trouble, they were and are still told to call him DR Allen instead of MR Allen. Now come on .. really, that is no place for ego's. What happened to the days when your principal was your PAL ???? Someone you could go to with problems or even just say hello to in passing. When I was in school teachers, principals, and all other staff was friendly. They ran their schools as equals not as a dictatorship. I truly hope the next principal out there remembers these students he/she is over seeing is our future leaders. I know first hand the attitude in that school, you walk in the office at any given time and you are not greeted with a smileing face asking can I help you, or what do you need? Instead you get a quick glance then after they are done looking down thier noses at you they ask what do you need. I realize working with children can sometimes be stressful, Im not doubting that at all. However that is the field they chose so either accept it and appreciate that you have impacted someone's life or get out of that line of work. I would much rather be remembered for the kind things I had done rather than the petty title I felt deserving. As far as the teachers they are only as great as they are allowed to be. I have children in different grade levels and have only had a few problems with teachers. I think we have a great bunch of teachers doing the best they can with what they have. Hats off to you also !!!

-- Posted by chevygirl on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:20 PM

I am truly sorry to learn someone has lost a job in these trying times. I have never had a conversation or incident with Dr. Allen, so I have no opinion if it is the right decision or not. That being said, I would also like to say I applaud the school board for following thru on a tuff decision in the midst of so much scrutiny.

I think many people in this community forget the process this country is founded on. We ELECT officials to make the decisions regarding our government and schools. The school board has the right to renew the contracts or not. They are privy to the information needed to make those decisions. DUE TO EMLOYEE PRIVACY we as a community cannot know all the information regarding someones employment. I am sure Dr. Allen knows the concerns and issues the board had with him. As that employee he could release this information at any time, but the school board cannot release private information unless we want a lawsuit to be slapped against them.

I have heard many rumors and comments regarding this issue in the last week and some of them are ridiculous.

#1 "the school board thinks they are god"--No they are doing the job they were elected to do. It may not be an easy job and they may not make the decisions all of us like, but they were elected by the majority.

#2 "the school board has a personal vendetta against Dr. Allen"-- OH COME ON!! These people did not run for school board to just mess with people. They wanted to help and make a change this community so badly needs. For years this school board has been scrutinized publicly and anyone who has the COURAGE to be on it and stand up to their fellow citizens should be applauded not ridiculed.

After hearing some of the comments made to school board members at this meeting, I would never want to be on this board or put my family or children through the agony. As angered as some teachers were, I can't blame school board members for not wanting their children to go to school in this area.

Some of the comments were inappropriate and as a parent I am heartsick that some of the teachers and members of this community sunk to that level. To the one who made a comment to a certain board member regaarding his deceased sister SHAME ON YOU! I can't believe the pilars of this community behaved so badly!

Before I get riduculed for putting down teachers, let me say I think it is just like everyplace else you work. 99.9% are good, but there are always a few bad apples. Not everyone is perfect. I think we have some awesome teachers, but not all.

I personally do not feel it is by job, or any one else other than the school board and the superintendent, to determine whether these individuals keep their jobs. It is none of our business what went on between Dr. Allen and the school board. If Dr. Allen wants to fight this he can, but as a community we should back the decisions our elected officials make, or at least not hold them up to public ridicule.

-- Posted by knightmom on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:54 PM

Chevygirl - you want to know what has happenned to the days when your principal used to be your pal - society and kids. Just in the past 10 years I have seen students develop more and more of this 'you owe me, I can't do anything wrong' attitude and someone has to step up and deal with these kids. Teaching has lost so much of it's fun factor because each year a teacher has to deal more and more with things that should be dealt with at home and by parents, but these days to many of our kids don't have that. Also, way to many parents see their child as golden and don't want to deal with the fact that they may not always be an angel at school. We wonder why kids have a chip on their shoulder, the apple doesn't fall to far in many cases. I know there are a lot of great kids out there, but they seem to get lost in the shuffle because there are so many cases where a teacher or administrator is dealing with the bad. And sadly, the bad usually have so much going on at home - school isn't important. The good are good for a reason, and many of the bad are bad for a reason - you get one here and there that doesn't fit the stereotype, but more often than not . . . It is just sad. I am scared to death where our schools will be when my kids get to that age, somehow we have to change things and administrators need to be able to do that without worrying about the possibility of being let go for doing what has to be done. All I know is that when I was a kid if I did something wrong and my parents got called, I was no longer worried at all about my punishment at school because at home it was going to be sooooo much worse, sadly - that is not the case many times in todays society. Something has got to change, but I have no idea what that is because I only see things getting worse for a while. Sorry, I will step off my soap box now.

-- Posted by IMHO on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 12:43 AM

IMHO ~

I will take over your soapbox for a minute ~ you are so right ~ so many kids & teens have been taught that their parents will bail them out of everything ~ so they proceed to do what they want when they want ~

Here's an example ~ my NVW child witnessed another teen scream & use foul language to the administrators for 30 minutes or so & then had the pleasure of witnessing the mom come to NVW & use the same behavior ~ needless to say this was an instance that caused long conversations in our home ~ thankfully, my child was appalled by the behavior of both ~

Parents are too eager to provide a parachute for their "little angel" ~ personally I have five kids ~ they all can be "little angels" & can equally be "little sh*ts" ~ fortunately I feel responsible to know the difference! Not to say I haven't been to school for my kids ~ but I only go when I know my kids are totally truthful with me ~ I can usually recognize embellishing when in use by any of my five ~ but that goes back to responsible parenting which is lacking in our society ~ the old rule that you grew up with, I also grew up with ~ I would've considered running away from home before facing my parents after being in trouble at school ~ LOL!! And, I hope that I have also drilled it into my children's brains that that same rule applies to them ~ we have had situations when I plainly stated that I would be at school to pick them up after their detention ~ not many smiles to Mom but they knew they weren't getting by with nonsense at school ~ and there were penalties at home as well ~ again, not many smiles to Mom ~ :)

So you are absolutely correct ~ but how do we re-educate parents to actually parent the kids??

-- Posted by karebabe on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 10:46 AM

karebabe.......5longyears really can't share too much to enlighten the public, for educators aren't allowed to get too direct without the fear of reprisal. It's well known that administrators have been told they cannot have patrons appear at school board meetings with concerns or issues, nor can they have patrons call board members. When the public gets involved, the board gets quite uncomfortable. When that happens, the administrator will find mention of such either on an evaluation or via a phone call by the superintendent or a visit by a board member. They've been told to keep that stuff "in house". There are even cases where disgruntled employees/patrons have called others and encouraged them to go to the board meeting and speak because they've been told if that happens the principal will get fired (nonrenewal of contract).

It's really sad that administrators are punished/reprimanded for situations that are completely out of their control.....class size, head lice, riffing, etc. But, when patrons get upset and voice their concerns, it's the principal's fault????

So, 5longyears is smart enough to realize the effects of retaliation. In fact, 5longyears could share enough that the public would be outraged......but to do so would ultimately lead to relocation and/or job insecurity.

There are a good number of excellent educators in our school system and an equally good number of administrators. All would be a lot better off if given the opportunity to have open communication without the fear of "pay back" coupled with team effort to work on improvement. But, things take time, and ruffled feathers want smoothed right now!

On a side note.....how is the old neighborhood? I haven't made a trip back that way in years!

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 12:26 PM

Chevygirl-

Your comment stands out to me as something that not only needs to be addressed on the local level, but also on the national stage. At what point in time in our public school system did it become the job of the administrators to be the "pal" of the students? Schools are not to be run in a way where everyone (staff and students alike) are considered as "equals". School is a way for children to prepare for the real world where they will have jobs, bosses, etc. Much like the way you and I report to our jobs, we know we are there to work. Our boss is not our friend, he is our boss. Although there is a mutual respect between the two parties, the proverbial line in the sand has been drawn from the beginning. School doesn't just teach children reading, writing and arithmetic. It also teaches important social skills (sometimes inadvertently) that we will use for the rest of our lives. On almost a daily basis, we all come in contact with people that are disrespectful and rude. Some of these people are shockingly in customer service type roles, but many of them hold positions of authority. However, as well-rounded adults we know we have to handle those situations with as much grace and class as possible so as to not jeopardize our own personal situations. How do you think your family doctor would react to you calling him "Mr. Jones", instead of "Dr. Jones"? If your answer to that is that he wouldn't mind, I suggest finding a new one. He, like Dr. Allen, worked AND continue to work hard to get and keep that title. The two Dr.'s are no different, so neither deserves more respect than the other from our children. As a matter of fact, many would argue that the one spending every day with your child would deserve more respect than anyone. I challenge you to close your eyes and dream that one day one of your children decides to purse their PhD and actually achieve that honor. As a mother, I have no doubt that you, like me, would be so proud of their attainment of the highest collegiate degree available, that we would request everyone in our sight to refer to them as Dr.

Prior to graduating from college, getting married, landing my dream job, and having healthy children, I was a student at North Clay while Dr. Allen was an administrator. Honestly, I too had some "run-ins" with him. Even then, I knew deep down inside that some of his lectures were well-deserved (something I still haven't told my parents to this day) and others I felt were a little silly (amazingly, I shared those with my parents right away), but above all, I never thought my best interest and the best interests of my fellow students' weren't at the top of his list. I'm sure he hoped I would succeed…and I did. Do I consider him directly responsible for my success? No because I was bound to make something out of my life because my parents made it clear from the beginning that that was what was expected, but I also know he didn't hurt my development either. Is anyone truly demented enough to cheer about someone else losing their job…their means of supporting their family? Were your children hurt in a way from which they will never recover? I highly doubt it or we surely would have all read about it on the front page of this very paper.

I hope that working with children IS stressful every single day for all those who choose to get into education. Those people are working to create the "future leaders" of our world and I hope they're putting every ounce of their being into making sure they do the best job possible. But I also hope those educators also remember that they're allowed to have a bad day every now and then, where their smiles and manners fade just like the rest of us. For it is only a fool who believes he does no wrong. The key to true triumph is to take a deep breath, dust yourself off and get back in the saddle as soon as possible.

And with all due respect,to Jenny Moore's comment, although eloquently written, your naivety on many subjects concerning the school board's reasoning is frightening.

-- Posted by lobreca on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 9:41 PM

Community members need to realize how much secrecy goes on in our school system. We as teachers are verbally and in writing told that we are not to talk to school board members or it would be breaking the "Chain of Command" and that we will be fired. It is the way the administration keeps the Board from knowing what is really going on. Some of the board members didn't seem to updated on why they were getting rid of two principals, they just did it.

-- Posted by 5longyears on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 10:48 PM

BigPappy ~

Yes, I knew that I was asking a loaded question to 5longyears ~ but I was hoping that they could expound their insight anonymously which I notice they briefly did ~ being close to many educators I have been aware of the animosity between the superintendent & adminstration, board & teachers; all that have related instances to me have the same underlying story line ~ just as 5longyears stated above ~

You made some very valid points which I was aware of through other sources ~ I think it's fair to state that many parents in our community don't feel any responsibility for their children's behaviour which has put us in the situation we are seeing now ~ but many of those same parents are quick to blame others as was done obviously at this board meeting ~

I recently had an opportunity to speak to one person that I have total respect for ~ this person has never lied to me (or probably anyone else); we stood in the cold conversing for quite a while; the situation & circumstances that this person was placed in (school system) really hit home after reading the above article & comments ~

If all involved in the school system are focused on the same goal ~ supposedly our children ~ I do not know how the constant secrecy & threats has a place among them ~ & any witch hunts should immediately have whatever "hunter" on the hot seat ~

If our elected board is being kept in the dark maybe it is time for the board to conduct their own investigation as to why this is done as well as who is promoting the darkness ~

As for the old neighborhood ~ some different faces but still the same old nice place ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 10:00 AM

lobreca -

I think you misunderstood my comment. I was not stating that I thought children and administration should be treated equal. I meant all administration should be treated as equals. As in any work environment, the staff is only as good as the management. The staff is a direct reflection of management. I will explain: If you are management and have problem staff members and you say nothing or do nothing than who's fault is it that they are what they are? It is managements, because it is their job to see the problem, address the problem and fix the problem. With that said; office staff must have bad or off days daily. I have been out there several times for various reasons and always got the same treatment. And before you assume my child was some sort of problem child, let me assure you none off my children have ever been in trouble at school, just the opposite in fact!

As far as you haveing been a student while Mr Allen was there and the time it must taken for you to achieve all your accomplishments. There seems to be a problem with the time line, seeing as Mr Allen has only been out there 5-6 yrs.

Also I am not alone in my thoughts or feelings of his ego problem!! Perhaps you should talk to some parents of children that attend/attended NCMS. Because Im sure if you did, you would soon see this is the opinion of most!

-- Posted by chevygirl on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 10:17 AM

chevygirl...

Dr. Allen has been at North Clay in an administrative position for longer than 5 or 6 years. He was there in 1993 in an administrative position. I know that for a fact as I dealt with him when a problem arose with my child. One of his jobs was to deal with disciplinary issues. I found him easy to work with. So, if you reread lobreca's post, you will see Dr. Allen was referred to as "an" administrator, so I believe there is no problem with the time line given.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 10:48 AM

I stand corrected, my apologizies !!! I am big enough to admit when I am wrong

-- Posted by chevygirl on Sun, Dec 7, 2008, at 4:30 PM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 1:59 PM

Does anyone out there really know why Dr. Allen was let go? No, we all give our opinions about what we think is going on and the real issues or issue is not given to the public. I am a tax payer with no children in school but I support good education for all children and being a tax payer I would like to know in plain words "just why is Dr. Allen no longer fit for his position?" He may or may not be fit but for Pete's sake board members, share the problem/issue with the public and then and only then we can make informed comments. Until we know then we are just blowing smoke by giving our opinions. Please enlighten us, the public. Thank you.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 10:46 PM

townpride -- I know it is frustrating, but this is a personnel issue and the board would get in big trouble for disclosing that kind of info. No employer can make reasons for such decisions public, whether the employee is paid by taxpayer money or not.

-- Posted by bsmom on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 9:29 AM

WOW!! Things never change in that town do they? This must be why I never really visit, only on holidays most of the time. Same ole stuff everyday. Enough with that I guess.

First of all who cares about the individuals involved. If the head person of anything can not perform their duties effectively, they are out. That's how our society works. Get over it. On a personal level I also had the pleasure to attend school with Dr. Allen, as a student, and wasn't exactly impressed.

Now for the ones who actually have the nerve to blame the kids. Are you serious?? I know there are some kids that will never behave and do not care about school, however this is still a problem of how they were raised. It is the job of the administration to fix it or get rid of them. If they don't, then they are not doing their job and should be let go. Oh and there are some kids that never caused problems. I may not have been one of them, but I did know plenty of them. So, please stop acting like your perfect and blaming the students because the teachers can't handle the stress. They knew that's what it would be like when they took the job. I was going to be a teacher, so don't think I don't know what I'm talking about. Another thing on that, If I were to hear a teacher that was paid by my tax dollars make inappropriate comments in a public forum in front of students! Lets just say it might not be pretty. That is pathetic, and you should resign if you can not conduct yourself as a professional.

Now for the other side. My kids can't handle being in a new building and changing teachers all day. Oh, come on. I would have loved to do one year earlier. Helps tremendously on a sports level, and I'm sure it helps with adjustment time before they get to the high school. So, please just stop complaining that the kids can't handle it, thats just another excuse for letting them fail.

And, that brings me to my last point. All these people whining that some one lost there job. Boo Hoo. I thought school was suppose to be for the kids, not a social event or popularity contest between adults. I think everyone involved needs to remember why they wanted to get involved with education in the first place, hopefully it was to help kids succeed, and maybe if everyone involved got back to doing it for those reasons, I bet a lot of these problems where fix themselves. Of course it is Brazil, so good luck with that.

Finally, I want to thank all the teachers, staff, and administrators who do make a positive affect on our kids, you have been lost in most of this, but there are some of who still appreciate all the hard work and dedication you put in. Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by former knight on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 9:54 PM

WOW!! Things never change in that town do they? This must be why I never really visit, only on holidays most of the time. Same ole stuff everyday. Enough with that I guess.

First of all who cares about the individuals involved. If the head person of anything can not perform their duties effectively, they are out. That's how our society works. Get over it. On a personal level I also had the pleasure to attend school with Dr. Allen, as a student, and wasn't exactly impressed.

Now for the ones who actually have the nerve to blame the kids. Are you serious?? I know there are some kids that will never behave and do not care about school, however this is still a problem of how they were raised. It is the job of the administration to fix it or get rid of them. If they don't, then they are not doing their job and should be let go. Oh and there are some kids that never caused problems. I may not have been one of them, but I did know plenty of them. So, please stop acting like your perfect and blaming the students because the teachers can't handle the stress. They knew that's what it would be like when they took the job. I was going to be a teacher, so don't think I don't know what I'm talking about. Another thing on that, If I were to hear a teacher that was paid by my tax dollars make inappropriate comments in a public forum in front of students! Lets just say it might not be pretty. That is pathetic, and you should resign if you can not conduct yourself as a professional.

Now for the other side. My kids can't handle being in a new building and changing teachers all day. Oh, come on. I would have loved to do one year earlier. Helps tremendously on a sports level, and I'm sure it helps with adjustment time before they get to the high school. So, please just stop complaining that the kids can't handle it, thats just another excuse for letting them fail.

And, that brings me to my last point. All these people whining that some one lost there job. Boo Hoo. I thought school was suppose to be for the kids, not a social event or popularity contest between adults. I think everyone involved needs to remember why they wanted to get involved with education in the first place, hopefully it was to help kids succeed, and maybe if everyone involved got back to doing it for those reasons, I bet a lot of these problems where fix themselves. Of course it is Brazil, so good luck with that.

Finally, I want to thank all the teachers, staff, and administrators who do make a positive impact on our kids, you have been lost in most of this, but there are some of who still appreciate all the hard work and dedication you put in. Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by former knight on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 9:55 PM

I for one am tickled pink someone finely put Jeff Allen where he belongs...away from our kids. He's been known to punish students if they refer to him as Mr. & not Dr. Allen. Every time I have spoke to him it was not pleasant. GREAT JOB SCHOOL BOARD!!! Whatever took so long???

-- Posted by nascarfans on Wed, Dec 10, 2008, at 8:52 PM


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