Personnel Director or 1st Amendment Abuser?
Here she is, in all of her glory - Janet Young, Personnel Director, Victor Elementary School District (VESD) - the individual responsible for the botched attempt made by the VESD to retaliate against the teacher responsible for reporting VESD to the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (and for exercising his first amendment right), to have his teaching credential revoked.
As a DIRECT RESULT of this letter, the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights, found that Victor Elementary School District violated Federal Law. While the District refuses to admit any responsibility for wrongdoing (yes, the sky is green and dogs meow), the fact is, OCR DID determine a violation occurred which has resulted in the district "voluntarily agreeing" to a resolution.
Now, on with the show! Apparently, Mrs. Young doesn't remember the First Amendment from her own experiences as a student. Just to help her remember, here it is:
Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Please double click on the images to view.
Gosh Janet, ever heard of this? You should have studied it in elementary school, middle school/junior high, high school, and even in college. Oh how memories fade . . . (it's easy to understand there may have been a memory lapse as the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified a LONG TIME AGO - back on December 15, 1791 to be precise). Now, in yet another exercise in exposing the grossly unethical practices that exist in our schools, ASEE is proud to print, in its glory, your apparent pernicious drivel! Remember deary, OPINIONS, especially about public officials such as yourself, are permitted by the First Amendment. Do you think that this amendment may have been created as one way for Americans to keep public agencies, such as the public schools, free from corruption? If you can't answer that, we're sure you may be able to find a rudimentary (or remedial) civics class somewhere!
. . .and now, here it is!
ASEE couldn't agree more with your reference to the California Code of Ethics of the Teaching Profession (Click here to view that code). In fact, if you are capable of actually reading (and comprehending) that code, you will understand EXACTLY why the teacher reported the Victor Elementary School District to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights in the first place! The teacher you harassed with this drivel has kindly shared it with ASEE for publication on this web site. That teacher had a moral and ethical OBLIGATION to "protect the health and safety of [his] students." Furthermore, that teacher also had a moral and ethical OBLIGATION to seek full "participation in educational programs without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, or sex both in what is taught and HOW [emphasis added] it is taught," regardless of what VESD wanted. Finally, it certainly appears as if you have violated several sections of that code yourself. Perhaps someone needs to go after your credential!
Gosh, isn't it rather odd that, as "Director of Personnel" for an employer, you are such as staunch "defender" of those organizations that allegedly represent the "employee." Let's be a bit more specific here. You often serve on the negotiations committee as a representative of the Victor Elementary School District and yet your statements seem to implicate that you are a "fan" of the bargaining unit's representatives - the Victor Elementary Teachers Association (VETA), the California Teachers Association (CTA), and the National Education Association (NEA). Perhaps THEY helped you write this pernicious document? Maybe that's why almost no one can remember the last time VETA, CTA, and or NEA filed a grievance against the Victor Elementary School District - even though the district is more than 100 years old! As for your apparent state of shock that the esteemed Delaine Eastin could be criticized for granting awards to a school and a school district is quite amusing! Remember, like you, Delaine Eastin is a PUBLIC OFFICIAL, subject to all the scrutiny that carries. Apparently, you missed the lovely music that accompanies Ms. Eastin's page - click here for details! One can't help if you're just trying to get Ms. Eastin to toss a few more awards your way.
If Delaine Eastin's actions and those of her delightful California Department of Education weren't so abhorrently repugnant (as ASEE has already posted) whereby she and the CDE completely failed to truly investigate Lomitas Elementary School by IGNORING ALL complaints her office received during the dog and pony show the school put on, your statement that her staff "conducted a thorough review" would be laughable. While we're on the subject of "humor," let's take now take a line item view of your false claims; here it is:
- Your claim that "every effort" is made to "balance classes" - oh PLLEEEEEeeeeeeaaaaassse! You can't possibly BELIEVE that?!?! By any chance are you aware of any of YOUR family members being placed in certain classes? Funny that you also provided the scores obtained by students at the END of the school year and NOT the test scores of students when they were PLACED in certain classes - that, Janet, might just be a bit too revealing. Oh, while we're at it, ASEE wonders why you also didn't go back and show the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (and the US Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights) the test scores for children ENTERING each class for the 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96 school years. Perhaps just a bit of "new math" on your part but then we know better, don't we! Hmmmm....
- Janet, can't IMAGINE why a complaint against just ONE school (Lomitas Elementary School) resulted in, as you so clearly state in your letter, monitoring by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of an ENTIRE SCHOOL DISTRICT, for period of nearly TWO years?!?!? Do you think that OCR's ability to WITHHOLD ALL FEDERAL MONIES from the Victor Elementary School District had anything to do with THAT? Why would OCR investigate the ENTIRE school district and not just Lomitas Elementary School? Are you even aware that the case was reopened at the behest of none other than Hilary Clinton! (Yes, that' s the First Lady - click here to view!) Gee wiz!
3. It would seem that your ability to read with comprehension fails you once again. The figures reported to the California Department of Education asks for your schools' TOTAL enrollment - not the enrollment of those that took the test. Furthermore, VESD's game of not completely testing all students - ESPECIALLY those with special needs (not just those with IEPs) are well known. Surely as someone who works in education (to be considered an educator, ASEE believes you must be working IN THE CLASSROOM, not sitting behind some desk playing with numbers and maliciously attacking real educators), you can't be serious.
- No, don't tell us it's TRUE?!?! Lomitas Elementary School the "National Blue Ribbon School" that claims:
"The Mission of Lomitas, as a school of Communication Arts and Technology, together with the community, is to empower students to be socially accountable life-long learners by providing a positive, child centered education."
. . .couldn't manage to come up with their own web site, especially in light of the fact that they are, indeed, a "school of technology." Instead, they had to rely upon VESD's "Director of Technology and Transportation" (now THERE's a combination for you - wonder how many districts have one of THOSE positions?!) to get the "district's server" up and running again AND it only took SEVEN months to accomplish that?! (Let's count the months, just to make sure: 1. March 1999, 2. April 1999, 3. May 1999, 4. June 1999, 5. July 1999, 6. August 1999, 7. September 1999 - yup, that's seven months!) Funny thing is, as of the date that this page was created (October 2, 2000) the Lomitas Elementary School Website apparently hasn't been updated since LAST APRIL (they're still advertising that 1999-2000 yearbook orders must be placed by May 1, 2000)! This "National Blue Ribbon School" also has just ONE class listed under "teachers" - obviously, this must be a highly technologically literate school staff! Finally, the name of VESD's "Director of Technology and Transportation" seems to ring a bell - wasn't that individual involved in the infamous raids that took place throughout the entire school district? (Update, as of July 15, 2001, it appears as if VESD has FINALLY hired someone to create a "real" district web site for them - wonder how much THAT cost! Anyway, it's about time. Looks like your "Directory of Technology and Transportation didn't create that one!) Oh, you remember that one don't you - those were the raids that were also IGNORED by the California Teachers Association! Perhaps THAT's one of the reasons why you're so amiable towards VETA, CTA, and NEA! So many unanswered questions!
- Gosh golly - first a civics lesson, then a math lesson, and now one on semantics - absolutely BRILLIANT! So, the teacher now in question wasn't granted "special waivers" but an "Emergency Long Term Multiple Subject Teaching Permit" - now THAT's a real oxymoron! Furthermore, this same "teacher" apparently continued to do "what was needed to renew it" for TEN YEARS (oh yes Janet, you left that part out). Then, after taking "classes to attempt to fulfill" the requirement that he/she needed to maintain the credential was still "unable to pass the MSAT" - EVEN AFTER TEN YEARS!!"
- Lomitas Elementary School Does Not Have an Arts Program" - So Janet, bet you won't find a single, legitimate arts education organization in the country that would consider after school programs, taught by uncertificated individuals, as a GENUINE arts program. Oh, and by the way, just who provided so many arts education staff development programs for many of the teachers at Lomitas (as well as other VESD schools)? While we're at it, just WHAT, if anything does THIS have to do with "unprofessional conduct?"
- Okay, now someone is telling a BIG lie! (And that's a FACT, not an opinion. Just for your information, Janet, one can't be sued for telling the truth either!) It appears that either you, or Denise Edge, has lied in order to cover some of the harassment VESD subjects teachers to. The male teacher who received the "Lomitas Boxer Shorts" was personally handed them by Denise Edge, principal of Lomitas Elementary School, "A National Blue Ribbon School." Furthermore, that teacher was handed them in front of the rest of the Lomitas teaching staff at a staff meeting. The teacher is fully prepared to swear, under oath and penalty of perjury that this is what actually occurred. That teacher is also willing to submit to a polygraph test in order to further verify that that is EXACTLY what happened. (ASEE can't help but wonder if you might short-circuit a polygraph - now that's an opinion not a fact). To state that those boxer shorts were given to him "by a parent, NOT by the principal or any employee of the district" is absolutely, without question, a LIE. Isn't it rather odd, to say the least, that you also don't mention the name of the "mystery" parent?
- While on the subject of "opinions," one can't help but wonder, yet again, if VESD was not denying greatly needed services to children, then why did the US Department of Education monitor the district for nearly two years???????? And why did Hilary Clinton request that the case be re-evaluated by the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights????
9. So, you allow one white teacher, who couldn't pass the MSAT in order to maintain an "Emergency Long Term Multiple Subject Teaching Permit" (there's that oxymoron again!) to teach for ten years, and yet you finally hire back an African American teacher, who taught for just a few months and wasn't rehired until six years later? Just how DID that individual teach for those few months considering he/she was "not eligible for any California Credential?" Truly, a great mystery. (FYI, ASEE is delighted that you decided to hire the African American teacher upon successful completion of the CBEST - why doesn't VESD hire MORE under-represented minorities as teachers?)
- Another semantics game - VESD "certainly does non-reelect [now, there's a mouthful] teachers who do not meet district standards within their two year probationary period." Well, that's old news, what you fail to mention are how many teachers are ENCOURAGED TO QUIT, RATHER THAN BE FIRED! They are told that quitting will "look better" on their resumes. What they ARE NOT TOLD is that the district will then "blacklist" them and that, by "quitting," these teachers are also not eligible for unemployment benefits (which the district would then have to pay). Also, as you so proudly note, during the 1996-97 school year there were 87 PROBATIONARY TEACHERS - WOW! That's an ENORMOUS NUMBER considering that the district has approximately 300-400 teachers. Why so many? Sure, class size reduction occurred but that certainly doesn't account for all of the new teachers VESD must hire each year! Your district is just 30 minutes from California State University, San Bernardino, one of the largest teacher training institutions in the state and your salary schedule tends to be rather high - why don't you hire more teachers locally?!?!?! You even admit that at one point "probationary teachers constituted 50% of [your] staff!" Wow!!! Factoring in for growth doesn't account for such a TREMENDOUSLY high turn-over rate. ASEE has received several written complaints from other former VESD teachers who have been subjected to the district's antics once they have left. Obviously, there is something VERY WRONG with a district that consistently requires so many new teachers.
- Now this is getting boring Janet...still more semantics! So, you don't hire "emergency credentialed teachers from other states" only teachers from other states who are, in your words "eligible for a One Year Non Renewable Multiple Teaching Credential." Guess that's like six of one, half a dozen of another! The fact of the matter is that these individuals DO NOT HOLD VALID CALIFORNIA CREDENTIALS outside of these special one year non-renewable credentials. (So Janet, would you like to explain what these teachers obtain during their second year of teaching in the district, assuming they haven't been "non-reelected" or asked to quit?)
- Well, ASEE has got to hand it to you for this one, an esteemed VESD "director" finally admits that they have indeed offered financial incentives to the Superintendent for district test scores. You fail to mention, however, other "incentives" provided to schools for meeting some of the other, often nebulous, "district goals."
- The key word here, Janet, is "ANOTHER," as in "there are more" teachers who were also convicted and/or pleaded guilty to charges involving sex with minors - what about those two MENTOR TEACHERS that did so (which, ASEE would like to point out, involved completely separate instances). True, the teacher mentioned in the article was not employed by VESD at the time he pleaded guilty; he had however, been employed by the district. Furthermore, parents of the student claim, in the article, that officials at Liberty Elementary School District (a VESD school) did know about some of the problems. ASEE encourages readers to contact the newspaper directly for the complete story! Apparently, Janet, you feel it is "unprofessional conduct" for a teacher to expose (no pun intended) some of the things that happen in the public schools.
- Again, one must question your reading abilities - you refer to a question as a statement - looks like it's time for "remedial English 101." Oh...the matter regarding the $35,000 in materials that may have been used to build patios for school board members was allegedly reported to Ralph Baker, Superintendent of the Victor Elementary School District. He allegedly poo-pooed the whole matter and allegedly refused to investigate. Not to worry though Janet, the name of the individual who allegedly observed this has already been turned over to both the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Education. ASEE certainly hopes that these agencies WILL investigate!
15. Now here's a no-brainer! You wonder how a former teacher has access to confidential student records (which, readers will clearly note does NOT, in anyway, indicate or disclose the identity of the child harmed by VESD's refusal to help). Well Janet, the information you seem so concerned about is available to all American citizens through the Freedom of Information Act. All anyone needs to do is contact the Untied States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights and ask for their own copy of Docket Number 09-96-1268-I. Now that wasn't tough was it? Duh. Oh, by the way, you don't seem too concerned that this same child's photograph and name were printed in a school year book which ALSO IDENTIFIED HIM AS A SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENT. Now, for some unknown reason, the word "hypocrite" seems to pop into mind - we wonder why?!
- "VESD is known to assist teachers who wish to relocate," Oh sure, those are the one's VESD likes! What about the ones that are fired, "non-reelected," asked to "resign," or quit in disgust at what really happens in the district? Gosh, isn't it rather interesting that documents submitted to the US Department of Education, including one dated September 16, 1996, outline, in great detail, how this teacher learned about his own interviews from other VESD teachers who had no knowledge of them except for the fact that they were openly discussed, by Denise Edge, at Lomitas Elementary School staff meetings AFTER the teacher had quit the district? Then there's the matter of yet another lie, by either Janet Young or Denise Edge regarding the fact (no, that's NOT an opinion), that Denise Edge contacted the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Office and intentionally interfered with a job interview (in case you've missed it, click here to hear the actual message left on the teacher's message machine) AFTER he had left the school!
- Well, perhaps ASEE has got to admit one minor error - if Denise Edge did teach, at the junior high level for five years, then so be it. The fact remains, however, that she has NEVER taught in an elementary school (a few months as a student teacher certainly doesn't count - if it did, school districts, such as the Victor Elementary School District, would grant credit for student teaching experience on their salary schedule)! Janet, you also fail to mention that Denise Edge became an administrator at the ripe old (and highly experienced) age of approximately 27. It's rather enlightening to note that the positive statement quoted in your letter was written back in 1991 - just a few months after Denise Edge had become a principal (and was just beginning to show some "true colors"). Specifically, that letter to the superintendent was written when one of the first teachers subjected to the wonders of working at Lomitas Elementary School had complained about Denise Edge. In true Lomitas fashion, a "search" was conducted to find the teacher who had made that complaint. At the time, the author of the complimentary letter was still naive as to the nature of the vindictiveness within the school and the district, and was also personally offended anyone would have considered him as the source of the complaint. Needless to say, he wasn't the source of the complaint but, over the ensuing years, found Lomitas Elementary School to be, in his belief, a horrifying place to work where the weak egos of adults seeking personal glory, at the expense of children with very real needs were ignored.
As to be expected, your closing remarks are quite revealing - ASEE can't help but wonder just how much the California Teachers Association, the National Education Association, and their affiliates may have paid you to write such malicious garbage. ASEE also wonders if this was also an attempt to score a few more "brownie points" with Delaine Eastin so that other schools within VESD could also be bestowed with the California Department of Education's highest honors. (Kissy, kissy!) Let's face it Janet, the materials posted on this site represent not only the rightful use of our country's First Amendment rights but also provides a strong, and VERY REAL, look at the inner workings of the institutions that are supposed to develop the future citizens of this country. May God help us if VESD serves as a microcosm of what is to become of our nation.
By the way, thank you for the compliments - First, it didn't take "hundreds of hours to create this site" (how would you have any idea as to how long it takes to develop a website, especially when a district, such as VESD, is unable to develop much of a site of their own!). Second, thank you for commenting on the "state of mind" of the person you viciously tried to attack (but failed) - it's refreshing to know that there are a few honest people out there who have the integrity to stand up for what is right.
In closing, the first place this new page will be announced on is the "Teachers Net Chat Board" - which you apparently enjoy spending your own hours collecting the 323 pages of drivel you sent to the California Commission on Teachers Credentialing. That, obviously, will be followed up with an international news release. Enjoy!