I am here today because I see a fundamental problem in the school district that is undermining the trust parents have in this institution: and that is a lack of transparency and communication.
Currently, my school does not have a principal. I wasn't told that by the school district, I don't know how long he has been gone, and I still don't know why he is gone.
This institution is built on trust. We trust you with our kids. Ultimately You are responsible to us, the parents. This only works when you communicate with us.
If you lose the trust of the parents, you don't have the kids. And if you don't have the kids, you don't have a school district.
I want to be empathetic and understanding here. I've been told, and it is my understanding, that when we see silence like this it is on the advice of legal counsel. In most cases, that is a reasonable trade-off.
But a school district is no place for secrets. Your exposure to increased legal liability should take a back seat to us, parents, feeling safe sending our kids to school tomorrow.
I have three explicit requests today. The first, if you were in fact given legal counsel to keep secrets from parents, I request you reconsider that legal advice. Anyone who promotes a culture of secrecy in this school district has no place in our community. Our school district should not entertain the idea of keeping secrets from parents. It should not enter into contracts that require you to keep secrets from parents.
Ultimately, as parents, we want to know you have this under control. We want to know you understand what happened. We want to know you are doing the necessary work to figure out how and why it happened. And we want to know you are doing your due diligence to try to keep this from happening again.
You have communicated none of that.
Instead you have shown us that for any issue, no matter how big or how small, you will remain silent.
Did an administrator get caught selling drugs in a classroom? You aren't going to tell us.
Was a teacher abusing students? You aren't going to tell us.
No matter the issue, you aren't going to tell us.
That is unacceptable.
My next two requests.
First, I request, no I DEMAND, that you immediately adopt a position of radical transparency and proactive communication with parents on this issue with our principal.
Second, I DEMAND that you carry that culture of radical transparency and proactive communication forward into all future incidents, no matter how big or how small.
The parents that are here today to request transparency, we are here to help. For many of us, this is the first time you've seen us. But it's not the last. This culture of secrecy will destroy this school district and ultimately hurt children. We are here to help, and we will stay here as long as it takes for this to be solved.
A school district is no place for secrets. Anyone who promotes the idea of keeping secrets from parents has no place in our community.