Monday, September 10, 2007

Secrecy in schools must stop in New York and California

At Jamaica High School in New York, deans were forbidden by the chancellor to call 911 under any circumstances because the school had landed on a list of dangerous schools as a result of too many altercations.

When a 14-year-old girl suffered a stroke at Jamaica High School in New York, her mother was called, but an ambulance was not called. The mother is suing the district for $10 million dollars because no medical treatment was sought for an hour after the girl was stricken. The girl is having trouble walking and reading, among other things.

Success through secrecy seems to be the motto of just about every school district in the country.

Secrecy is also a standard tactic for dealing with problems at Chula Vista Elementary School District, the school district where I studied as a child and taught as an adult.

The board and administration of CVESD refused to investigate a report by two teachers that there might be a mass shooting at the school. Even the teachers union, California Teachers Association, and the local Chula Vista Educators, refused to insist on an investigation. Why? Because past and current presidents of Chula Vista Educators (Gina Boyd, Jim Groth, and Peggie Myers) were afraid that crimes by teachers would be brought to light if an investigation took place.

We need administrators and union leaders who will solve problems at schools, not cover them up.

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