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Friday, August 29, 2014

Principal Al Brennans most despicable comments at faculty meetings. First Coast HS parents he is in charge of your kids.

I met with numerous members of the First Coast teaching staff and sadly they are a miserable lot. It doesn't have to do with the kids either and to be honest it rarely does but with the principal who talks to them in a fashion that would get them fired if they did the same to a student. Bullying, intimidation and threats are alive and well at First Coast High School but its not kids people have to worry about but the principal Al Brennan.

Below are confirmed quote from multiple sources.

(First Coast Parents) are Malicious and Vile and they would lie about anything.

I didn't even want to be principal here... preferring a school closer to his house.

You (teachers) are in the palm of my hand as I (pick who to) surplus

Go to Kinko's if you want to make copies (as he changed the locks on the copier room telling teachers there would be no more ink or paper).

If you show up Sunday, (during pre-planning for teachers to work on their rooms) I will open up my window and laugh at you.

If only I didn't have to depend on teachers, who are to incompetent to count students (paraphrased over the intercom during classes).

Teachers can't tutor students anymore unless you can support it by data and have my permission. (paraphrased)

This is my rodeo!

Finally and I hope you read this twice.

At a staff meeting Mr. Brennan told a story where he crossed paths with an autistic student at Walmart, he then  proceeded to mock and ridicule the child. What they told me was to reprehensible to write.

Finally it is truly horrifying when you consider that above has very little to do with the bullying and intimidation tactics he uses which is why the staff contacted me in the first place.

This man is in charge of staff and students.

Welcome to Duval County.


  1. I have been fortunate to be under principals who really seem to value their teachers as much as they can with the resources they are given. I have heard horror stories like those above, and they are not hard to believe. Now, AP's have been another story; they have been varied and inconsistent in terms of quality.

    Overall, Vitti seems to support methods that make teachers feel like powerless peons, like we are the ones who created the system in the first place and now have to pay for it. WE did NOT send students to school without early learning, lunch, school supplies, or discipline. WE did NOT put people in charge who have the power to uplift or destroy teacher morale. WE did NOT create the massive paperwork or testing issues that occur every day. Those downtown don't seem to value teachers at all; otherwise, we would have our stipend right now to pay for basic supplies. We would have 2 days to give the baseline test, not 1. We would have less than 40-50 students in electives. We would have technology that actually works. We would be valued over TFA. We would be supported if students have to be sent out for ANY reason. We would be able to use our time effectively. We would have an ID machine that works. We would have an effective tardy policy. We would have a Student Code of Conduct that enforces discipline consistently.

    Seriously, I really like my principal; however, he is bound by the "gods" downtown who lord over everyone, staring down from a crumbling ivory tower of ignorance. Vitti and those with whom he surrounds himself do NOT understand how learning really works, how students can truly make gains, or that we TEACHERS will still be here when he has handed off the baton to the next person who makes promises he/she cannot or will not keep.

    I will say that there is 1 thing that I can praise Vitti for, and it is the Grade Recovery policy change. It has altered how my students think about their progress in class. I wish I could think of something else that he has done to revolutionize DCPS.

    Maybe someone else can come up with something/anything for which downtown can be praised...

  2. I guess they now appreciate their last (female) principal.

  3. Who are your sources?

  4. Abusers have no concept of the damage they perpetuate, as the boss bullies the employees, the students suffer. If he talks like that to grown, educated adults, imagine how he speaks to and about students and parents. A school should be a Safe Space for all. One must wonder why the district chose to rehire a man with a reputation for bullying, is it ignorance or do they simply believe that the school deserves to be punished? Under the leadership of Vincent Hall the school improved in safety and improved the C grade to an A. Perhaps if the district explored stability in the administration by keeping the effective leaders at the schools they are in, like our neighbor Clay County (ex: Clay High), we would not watch schools repeatedly plummet. Ineffective administration shouldn't be put on action plans and/or moved to other schools or district jobs, they should be either formally trained or fired. This school in particular has also had the unlucky fortune of being saddled with an administrator that had been demoted from her principal throne after tanking an elementary school. I suppose giving her a stab at a large high school is First Coast's reward for all their hardwork.

    The bottom line is that he believes First Coast teachers just don't give a damn, according to his statements to the superintendent. On the contrary, they care so much they are staying despite the hostility and desperately trying to save a school that one man hates. No one wants the situation to be true, but only he can change it.

  5. I wish the sources had been cited. I have two children at First Coast, and neither heard the comment over the loud speaker.

    1. Staff members don't want to be identified over fear of repercussions and I imagine a message two weeks ago might not have resonated with a student as much as it would have had with a teacher. Are you happy with the job Brennan is doing?

    2. To the parent asking about the sources, most of those comments were made in faculty meetings, your children would not have heard them.

  6. The man (Brennan...I can't bring myself to say Doctor) can not write a grammatically correct paragraph either And yes I saved the emails ( I can quote them if you like). They're pitiful. How can a man who couldn't possibly score higher than a 3 on the' FCAT Writes' possible move a high school . FCHS has already dropped from an 'A' to a 'B'. I'll be back later with some direct quotes, but I have to go to bed. Tomorrow's a school day

  7. I taught at First Coast High under a protoge of Dr Brennon and I wish to say, unequivocally, that I have received malicious and vile treatment by several First Coast Parents and yes they lie about everything, comparable with their students. Too much paper and toner was wasted for guided notes and recovery packages. I had to do 2 hours of tutoring 2 times days per week and one or two student(s) usually showed. When the next quarter starts several others show up for recovery packets. Every quarter I had to prepare Recovery Packets for about 50% of my students and to disrupt. Parents at First Coast care only about grades for their students not learning. They insult and harass teachers, especially if you are Asian and have a foreign accent. One of the famous sayings is; " We don't tolerate C grade in our home". Dr Brennon,s protoge placed numerous students who were at 1st to 3rd grade level in math into my Algebra 2 Honors class. That is why I received an Unsatisfactory VAM Score. One student, whose mother told me she needs help from 1st grade to Algebra 2, called me a "Dumb Indian Teacher". Well, it does not take long before you begin to feel that way at First Coast High. However, I substituted at Englewood High School several times while Dr Brennon was Principal and I will say he demands STANDARDS and is a strict disciplinarian. So, hands off Dr Brennon; others made First Coast what it is now, not Brennon. And certainly, his protege does not have Brennon's class. The protege was all about the few more thoudands added to his 6-figure salary.

    1. This sounds like the same old nonsense I've heard from every teacher WHO DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO TEACH. I taught there for seven years and found the parents to not only be pleasant but extremely grateful to finally talk to a teacher who does not hate children. That school had potential, we were meeting that potential, Vitti dropped the ball, Daniels might as well not even been there, and Brennan turned it into hell. He is rude to the students, he has run off a laundry list of the schools best teachers, and doesn't seem to care in the least for doing so. But what are you going to do, there seems to be no system for change and dcps is infested worth apathetic teachers who don't remember why they are where they are. And those teachers LOVE to hide behind characters like Brennan.

    2. I wonder what you teach; is it math? Other teachers who observed me teaching praised my teaching. It is very difficult to produce real student growth in math, in a culture where education is not valued and where students who still add by counting with fingers are placed in advanced math classes. If they have to have 4 math classes to graduate but can't add, subtract, multiply, and divide, then place them in Algebra 2 but not Algebra 2 Honors; Got the message?

      I do understand the ENTITLEMENT ISSUE, and most of the problems stem from that because the PLUTOCRATS are opportunistically using that as a springboard for attacking/destroying Public Education and concurrently set up their PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL POLITICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.

      I am also aware that so-called teachers, those who readily compromise values and give grades are loved by students and their uneducated parents. In Urban Culture Teachers who are strict on DISCIPLINE and insist on LEARNING are hated by students and their parents. First, the students go home and STIR the POT when they get such teachers, just because they were given grades throughout elementary and middle schools, and their parents know it. Think of it - would you want one of these students drawing your blood or mixing your medicine in a pharmacy - I know I wouldn't.

      That school was meeting that potential in terms of Standardized Tests because the students are taught HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT ANSWERS. As regards PROBLEM SOLVING they don't care, but the whole of life is about PROBLEM SOLVING. If you notice on the NEWS every night there are SHOOTINGS and MURDERS in that neck of the woods; its because the young people are not learning to problem solve. Do some self-introspection to determine if you are a good teacher; consider all the free A's and B's and C's you have given away. Then decide if you really want to criticize other teachers. My 11-year old has just gone beyond Solving Quadratic Equations to Solving Polynomials, and my 16-year old in Pre-calculus now boasts that he does not need my help in math anymore. I TEACH THEM TO PROBLEM SOLVE!

      By the way, I saw a female teacher at First Coast cried because she got an IMPROPER DRESSING DOWN from a parent of one of her and my student. Two weeks later the student went to Alternative School. Children more often than not reflect their parent. Mine were taught that they are MY AMBASSADORS and they don't have to be reminded. A good teacher is one who makes students learn, not one who gives them grades as part of ENTITLEMENT. And of course, FCAT is Absolute Nonsense.

  8. The district loves data. Ask them how many First Coast teachers did not accept their evaluations last year. How many teachers and staff actually left First Coast last year, and how many tried to leave by submitting transfers. I was lucky and got out. Many did not because of the volume of surplused people the district had to place first. I do feel for my friends who are stuck back over there.

    But ask the District, they should be able to produce those numbers in no time. It's a shame the union is not crunching that data to support the many grievances coming out of First Coast. Compare those numbers with a school like Ed White. I always considered Ed White and First Coast to be very similar demographically.

  9. "(First Coast Parents) are Malicious and Vile and they would lie about anything." I could substantiate this. This is what I experienced when I taught at First Coast. It was rather disgusting the way they bullied us just to get an A or B grade in math for their children. Their children spoke lies on teachers and they, the parents defend their children's lies. Then at least my administrator told me that I have to be able to tolerate it if I want to stay in teaching. It was total disrespect for teachers at First Coast, at least some teachers.