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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Alvin Brennan is proof positive the district doesn't care about its teachers.

As news of Alvin Brennan leaving First Coast high school circulates around the district, I can’t help but think about all the teacher whose lives he negatively impacted and wonder who cares for them.

I first heard the name Alvin Brennan in 2010 when he became principal of what was then Forrest high school. He would come into staff meetings belligerent and threatening. He would pick on and harass teachers threatening their jobs, especially ones, mostly women, that he considered weak. There was no sense of comrade and one friend who survived to year two of his reign of terror there said it was a teacher bloodbath.  

When Superintendent Vitti brought him back to the district two and a half years ago to First Coast high school, a successful school with a veteran staff for Brennan had changed little. I remember meeting one teacher at European Street where she told me about how intimidating he was and how the stress was leading to health problems.

In Brennan’s two and a half years there nearly a hundred teachers left, many veterans and some left the profession entirely. They had their lives turned upside down by a man who had known business being a principal in the first place.

I can’t help but think about how many hundreds of teachers and their children who were negatively affected by this tyrant in a tie over the years. Who cares about them and what they had to go through?

A principal like a good coach is supposed to make their staff, their team better, and this isn’t to say they can’t kick the occasional ass, but their number one job is that of a cheerleader. Alvin Brennan was the opposite of this, he ran his schools with an iron glove, and fear and intimidation where the two tools in his tool box, and for the last two and a half years the district has been okay with that as he ran First Coast into the ground.

Now is every principal as bad as Brennan?  Absolutely not but how many train wrecks, or car accidents, or tyrants is an acceptable number? How many teachers run out of the profession or made miserable is acceptable too?

If anybody has any doubt if the district cares about its teachers or not then all they have to do is look to First Coast and see that they don’t.  

So good riddance Alvin Brennan you won’t be missed by many but shame on you Duval County Public schools for putting him in a positin where he could needlessly disrupt so many lives.


  1. If you think Brennan is something, try Iranetta Wright. She's quite small in physical size but she's the biggest bully in the school system. It's awful how this bully has risen through the ranks by way of fear and intimidation.

  2. Iranetta is going nowhere, Vitti or no Vitti. If you think otherwise, you don't understand this city.

  3. You are so right about Irenneta, add to that Debbie Crotty and Mason Davis and you have &$&$ on Earth!

  4. Bonnie Fox is another in Palm Beach County. She may be the highest paid principal, but she s also the most vindictive and condescending witch. Her staff turn over is the highest in the county. Newcomer Awilda Thomas is following in her footsteps. These women cannot keep good staff members. They rule with an iron fist to get that state grade of "A," yet have no respect for the staff that makes that happen.

  5. Fear and intimidation are what Vitti wants, a district office staff who is judgemental instead if supportive is what Vitti wants. He got rid of all the supportive personnel last year with no good cause. He gets rid of principals who he thinks are not the right fit, or that his staff does not like instead of offering or providing support and guidance. Part of the reason for this is that there are no people on his staff who have done the hard work of being a school administrator for longer than a minute and absolutely no one who helps develop leadership in the school. Instead they bully and get rid I the people at the district level who really care about children and not their next job. Heck, he himself needed a leadership coach how can we expect him to develop leaders?

  6. Getting back to First Coast..... what are they doing with Townsend? Simmons is a great guy. He does not need, nor is there anyplace for her hostile nature in this new administration.

  7. Iranetta Wright is awesome! Just ask her. She'll tell you.

  8. I personally was attacked by Alvin Brennan.

    1. If you would like to reach out and tell your story, I would like to her it.