The union currently does not have control of the Kings School Board. The voters elected three members that are not indebted to the union. At least one retired Kings teacher is on the board and she does not wield the power that she has had for many years. She is now on the minority. Her voice is still heard and her opinions voiced.
Kings Board Member, Kim Grant
Kim is a mother and has had children in the district. She says in an Enquirer op-ed that "she has attended board meetings, delved into the budget, has kept apprised of issues in the district." In other words, she has been a good citizen. Like me, she believes that "one person can make a difference." In her case she made a huge difference to the children in Ms. Kitcho's class.
The administration prefered to give the abuser a letter of recommendation and sweep the whole issue under the rug. Sadly, the superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal and school board knew the facts of the case and did not bother to advise the parents. It would have been better if the administration had attended the situation and perhaps seen to it that the teacher receive help. After all, I would assume that she went into special ed because she cared about the children. Instead the district is facing a federal lawsuit.
A comment made at the meeting on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, just blew my mind. "We don't want to air our dirty laundry." I have heard that comment many times. When I was on a school board I was advised not to look into any of the scandals that were reported to me by parents. One example is that the district had a huge drug problem that was never addressed. They denied that there were any illegal drugs at any of the schools. A parent called me and reported that her daughter was selling LSD at the high school and that no one would do anything about it. Yes, she called the principal and he denied that it could happen. As part of the "propaganda" stand each and every district portrays themselves as "the best." Everything is perfect, all schools are "Lake Wobegon."
Instead of bothering to address problems, the union and administration prefer to always white-wash any problems. Therefore, the problems fester and get worse.
At the time that I served on a school board we were recruiting a new superintendent the rest of the board wanted to allow the superintendent to pick his replacement. Of course he would pick one that would not expose the failures and financial mistakes of his predecessor. He wanted to bring in someone that he could trust to keep his secrets. This is the case most of the time because there is a "superintendent pool" that moves from district to district just ahead of the revelations of their mistakes and connections. There rarely seems to be an investigation of the money that is missing or misspent.
The Kings School Board tried to hire an interim superintendent. A man who had been a superintendent at Kings, a man who has had national recognition and awards, a man that just retired from the superintendency at the Warren County ESC, John Lazares. Having Mr. Lazares there would give the board time to evaluate resumes for the permanent position. By the way, Mr. Lazares agreed to work for exactly $1.00.
Well, the union went berserk, they would have no decisions being made without their approval. They filed legal action against Mrs. Grant, they filled the board meetings with protests. The circulated a petition to have Mrs. Grant recalled from her recently elected post. The union wants the power and they will not accept board members that are not endorsed and selected by the union.
Tuesday night was a perfect example of a rogue union. A union that thinks they can do and act however they please. The leader and speaker for the union stood up to the microphone, as he started to speak all of the red shirts stood up with a loud noise. The floor made a cracking sound and the red shirts stood at attention the entire time their leader spoke. The whole "ceremony" was extremely intimidating. After the union leader spoke many other teachers repeated similar ideas. How dare the board make a decision without letting the union know what was going on? They even had a lawyer there giving his threats of prosecution and recall. I would describe the entire evening a "bullying session."
This is how the union operates and this is an example of how the true character of the event is never reported by the press. Propaganda at it's finest.
This is the crowd on May 21, 2014
Visualize a sea of red on June 17, 2014
They were organized.