Stop the Wake School Board Bullies sign now

Stop the Wake Board of Education Bullies

We, the undersigned, sign this Petition to express a "no confidence" vote in and demand for censure, resignation, and/or recall of of Wake County Board of Education members John Tedesco, Deborah Prickett, Debra Goldman, Chris Malone, and Ron Margiotta, for the following reasons:

In the past, we had confidence our School Board was acting in a inclusive, and civil, nonpartisan manner, and that there were various checks and balances in place to keep them from doing harm. Even when we didn't agree with all the policies, we still supported our board.

While many of us agree with one or more of the policy positions of these aforementioned members, we object to the MANNER in which they conduct themselves--which is like to schoolyard BULLIES.

We have LOST FAITH in these Board members ability act in the nonpartisan, inclusive, and civil manner which expect. They are not reflecting our values, includind our sense of fair play, and are not setting a good eexample for our children.

They have introduced an unexpected and unprecedented amount of partisanship, including unprecedented amounts of SPECIAL INTEREST CAMPAIGN FINANCING, to our school board.

They have VIOLATED most provisions in the Boards own CODE OF ETHICS, which they signed in December 2009, including holding closed and/or SECRET MEETINGS, which, if not in illegal, certainly violates the SPIRIT of our open meetings laws and the rights of citizens to observe and participate in government actions and decisions. (See appendix below for specifics.)

Rather than encouraging civil discussions and seeking creative problem-solving befitting the Research Triangle region, these board members instead resort to bullying anyone who disagrees with them and doing whatever they want by whatever means they want.

They have also created a hostile working environment for educator exercising their right to free speech in disagreement with the boards policies. They have threatened to fire a dedicated public servant who has only tried to do whats right for three decades. They have alienated the school systems administrators, teachers and of the North Carolina Education Association.

In short, they have threatened, bullied and alienated the very people who interact with our children, whom we trust to guide and teach our children. Our schools cannot function without these educators, and they need our support, not a hostile working environment.

These board members also lack the support of parents, as evidenced by a recent survey, and the support of the majority of Wake County taxpayers, including 95\% of the registered voters, who did not vote for them.

We feel the negative atmosphere created by the named Board members is already having a negative impact on our school children and community and we are obligated to stop them before irreparable harm is done to our school system.

THEREFORE, we, the undersigned, in seeking to protect our school system and children from irreparable harm, sign this petition to demonstrate our lack of confidence in these Wake County School Board members and demand for their immediate censure, resignation and/or recall.

Signed (sign below)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Addendum: Section of Code of Ethics these Members have violated, with examples

A5. The need to conduct the affairs of the Board in an open and public manner, complying with all applicable laws governing open meetings and public records
These members admitted to talking and meeting amongst themselves so as to present a full agenda at their first meeting. They have presented Resolutions to the full Board and WCPSS staff without granting minority Board members and the public sufficient notice for research or comment. For example, on Dec. 2, 2009 they presented:
A Resolution to Appoint Interim Special Legal Counsel
A Resolution to End All Expenditures on the H-6 Site and to Seek an Alternative Site
A Resolution to End Early Release Wednesdays
A Resolution to Save Costs and Expenses (Note: hiring freeze)
Resolution to Ensure Parental Choice Regarding Year-Round Schools
Amendments to the Student Assignment Policy 6200
While some of this may have been legal, it does not adhere to the spirit of the law of the code of ethics or citizen expectations.

B1. Endeavor to make policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held Board meetings, including committee meetings
1. Several essential Board committees did not meet for the first 2-3 months of office,
even though policies that would fall under those committees were passed. This did not give
Board members an opportunity to evaluate and discuss these important topics, nor did the public
have time to comment. Example: The H6 High School site was abandoned without a meeting of
the Facilities Committee, at a cost to of millions of dollars, which will have to be diverted from
other places in the budget.
2. Passed resolutions without allowing for reasonable time for public input (see above)

B2. Render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups
1. One piece of research these members conducted prioritized speed over accuracy, resulting in a survey that represents only certain demographics, rather than full community, and therefore is worthless.
2. They eliminated mandatory Year Round schools, which are a way to save money on facilities in order to target limited resources toward academics. Mr. Tedesco has openly stated that his plan will create many (20 or more) low-income schools, which studies show are much more costly and less effective to support.
3. Theyve stated openly and often that their decisions are made based on campaign promises, not on the facts that are presented to them. For example, Chris Malone stated on February 16, 2010 that he is going to keep his election promises even though evidence clearly shows that this commitment is not fiscally responsible. [Board Meeting Part 1 WRAL, Feb 16, 2010.]
4. It should also be noted that these members were elected by just 4\% of the electorate, supported by partisan and special interest funding; therefore, their campaign promises have no public mandate.

B3. Encourage the free expression of opinion by all Board members and seek systematic communications between the Board and students, staff and all elements of the community.
1. These members failed to equitably distribute board responsibilities among all nine Board members, thereby denying equitable representation to all Wake citizens. For example, Chairman Margiotta explained why gave Board member Kevin Hill only one Committee assignment by saying "Kevin Hill has been the most critical of what we're trying to do," said Margiotta, who deposed Hill as chairman last month. "The committees can be adjusted once I feel Kevin Hill is willing to be more cooperative." [Margiotta puts allies in power slots, News&Observer, Jan 14, 2010]. The general feeling among citizens is that they are continually punishing our elected board members who do not agree with them.
2. They continually fail to seek or consider information from staff, education professionals and citizens if they perceive those people have philosophical differences with them.
3. They have threatened to fire the superintendent, who is a well-loved public servant of the school system with over 30 years experience, rather than allow him to finish out the school year as he desires. Firing him would leave the school system at a distinct disadvantage for lack of leadership.
4. They have mocked students who have expressed an opinion opposite of their own,
5. They have alienated the NC Education Association, to which many teachers and staff belong
All of this creates a hostile working environment and a negative atmosphere for learning for our children.

B4. Work with other Board members to establish effective Board policies and to delegate authority for the administration of the schools to the Superintendent
See above

B5. Communicate to other board members and the Superintendent expressions of public reaction to Board policies and school programs
1. Unclear whether these Board members have shared all the public reactions AGAINST their policies but they certainly have IGNORED all the students, teachers, staff and public input that is not to their liking.
2. Frequently present new policies without sharing them with the minority board members in
advance of meetings or giving adequate time to gather public opinion from the majority of us
citizens (see above).

B6. Learn about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs providing needed information, such as those sponsored by the State and National School Boards Associations
1. These members have already alienated themselves from the NCEA which should be a source of information.
2. They are attempting to make huge changes to our school system administration and structure without adequate study or input from the public, teachers or school administration. See many of the remarks above.

B7. Avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest and refrain from using the Board member's position on the Board for personal or partisan gain
1. It is now common knowledge that these members got considerable financial support from special interest groups, and the Republican Party and/or its members, making almost all their actions partisan
2. Some of these members having a conflict of interest by serving on the board of a private school and receiving special interest campaign supporters.
3. Margiotta, who serves on the Board of Trustees of a private school, stated he will bring down the Wake County Public School System as we know it. [WRAL, August 20, 2007] Other members have received donations from the owner and staff of that private school, who have been quoted as saying that they would like to close our public schools. [Online Comment Fixing the dropout problem through free markets, February 4, 2009.]

B8. Take no private action that will compromise the Board or administration and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law --
These members have admittedly holding conversations and meetings about policies and
administrative matters that in our opinion should have been held in public

B9. Remember always that a Board member's first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools
1. These members have shifted policy priorities away from student achievement and solely toward meeting the demands of the special interests (comprising 4\% of the Wake voters). They have stated openly and often that their decisions are made based on campaign promises, not on the facts that are presented to them. For example, Chris Malone stated on February 16, 2010 that he is going to keep his election promises even though evidence clearly shows that this commitment is not fiscally responsible. [Board Meeting Part 1 WRAL, Feb 16, 2010.]
2. Margiotta is a member on the Board of Trustees of a private school and stated he will bring down the Wake County Public School System as we know it. [WRAL, August 20, 2007] --Continuously fail to develop strategies to further the academic success of our students--These members have shifted policy priorities away from student achievement and solely toward meeting the demands of the special interests (comprising 4\% of the Wake voters). They have stated openly and often that their decisions are made based on campaign promises, not on the facts that are presented to them. For example, Chris Malone stated on February 16, 2010 that he is going to keep his election promises even though evidence clearly shows that this commitment is not fiscally responsible. [Board Meeting Part 1 WRAL, Feb 16, 2010.]




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Winifred ReyesBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Wake County Commissioners, NC School Boards Association, NC BOE, Legislature

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