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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Scott Shine uses his position on the school board to influence professional practice investigations

I know it is hard but I would like you to take me out of the story. I hate that I have become part of it. I wish instead I could be writing about the hard work by the school board and administration and the incredible work of the district's teachers or even about Tallahassee's attempts to dismantle public education. That being said I and I think many of you will find it unacceptable that we have school board members who thinks by virtue of his position he can say and do whatever he wants to.

The thing is this what follows isn't about what happened to me, that is over and finished. The story here is about a school board member who in my opinion tried to use his position to influence the outcome of an investigation, it is about an egregious abuse of power.

Now before I continue I want to say we have some excellent school board members. Paula Wright and Becki Couch will be sorely missed when they are term limited out. I also don't believe what happened to me would have happened under superintendent Willis, who I think has done a great job leading the district. She has a calm leadership that our prior superintendent didn't have. 

So here is some background. Last summer the school board was weighing entering a lawsuit against the public school kneecapping bill, HB 7069. Board member Shine wrote a piece that appeared in the Beaches Leader where he said overall he was against the bill but it had some good points and the main one was "union teachers" would be fired, the implication being that union teachers made some schools poor performing.

I spoke at the SB meeting where the board was discussing  joining a law suit against HB 7060. There I talked about Mr. Shine's comments, that I found them reprehensible, and encouraged the district to join the lawsuit, which they did.

Shine also spoke at the meeting saying he was against the bill (though he didn't mention his position about union teachers) and later said that the members of the Duval Delegation, who voted against public education and for the bill did so because they didn't know what was in it and that they were afraid of Speaker Corcoran. 

You can listen to the meeting here, it is the 7/19 recording.

I wrote several blogs about the meeting, including one which said, Shine calls members of the Duval delegation ignorant and gutless.

He then filed a professional practice complaint against me, the third one in less that two years that the district investigated.

I think filing a specious complaint about me was bad enough but then he attempted to use his position on the school board to influence the investigation and that is unacceptable. Of course I disagree with him filing the complaint but even if you don't I can't see you agreeing with him trying to influence the outcome.

The school board often says it has one employee and here Shine is saying to his one employee that he needs to hear a decisive statement of action from her and if he doesn't get it he will seek "declaratory judgement" against the district and as bad as that is, it gets worse.

Here he lets the OGC, outside general council, know he thinks they are not defending his point of view, and I read this as he is infuriated by it, but he is also telling them when to finish the investigation by ominously letting them know, "time is running out."

But it gets worse than this too
Here he is saying his claim should be substantiated (which is wasn't) because another claim was substantiated, (that one was and wasn't by the way, creating a paradox but that is an entirely different post).

He is furthermore telling the investigators how to do their job, and what their findings should be, he is demanding another investigation because he didn't get the outcome he desired and he is also asking for somebody else to do an investigation. No matter what you might think of me or my blog, school board members should not be allowed to interject themselves into investigations and that is the bottom line.  

I have several other emails where he is telling a variety of people "time is running out" which are disturbing as well but I think with the three above we see an unacceptable pattern with  how he tried to influence the investigation.

Scott Shine isn't a random teacher or parent. He is on the school board. He has power and influence and here he tried to use it in an inappropriate manner.

What can I say friends, except we deserve better from our school board members and hopefully as a result of all this we will get it.

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