May 9, 2015

Allentown School Directors In Dark About Assault

A decade after a student on student indecent assault at Central Elementary School, this past week news broke that another alleged assault occurred at Jefferson Elementary, and parents are again suing the school district. Although I had no intention about posting on this incident, today I received a pertinent comment from a school board member on the lack of communication, between the administration and board members. The comment was submitted to another post, but I made an editorial decision to run it as a separate post.

On Wednesday the board received an email concerning the incident referred to. I know nothing about this event since it seems it did not filter down, to at least this board member, when it occurred. I cannot comment on it. I can comment on ASD administration communications. Often information seems not to make it to the board and when it does, well there is always some logical reason why these issues are never the fault or responsibility of the ASD administration, a statistical impossibility. Personally I find the level of communication and the ability to get information from the administration sadly and woefully inadequate, as a board member and as a parent. Adjust your expectations and be realistic about transparency coming from the ASD administration. At least, to me, they seem to ascribe to the theory legal liability trumps truthfulness. As co-chair of the finance and budget committee they will not discuss $3 million in revenue projections for the current year's budget that never materialized or how they conjure up their doom and gloom projections of the imminent dire depletion of the fund balance of the ASD that has not materialized as well. Maybe they think if they keep silent long enough it will all go away.

David Fehr Zimmerman


Anonymous said...

The idea of an administrative employee refusing to provide information to a school board member is troubling. I mean, doesn't a school board approve most everything?

It might be time to become more aggressive with this staff. I'd march in there and DEMAND what you want. Give them 24 hours to start producing documents and statements.

If necessary, walk in there and begin sorting through files as they watch. Obtain necessary passwords and research documents from home, etc.

As a last resort, begin the process of dismissal and notify affected persons immediately by mail.

I certainly hope things aren't this out of hand, but it's not my school district. Good Luck.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

Mr. Zimmerman.. as long as they let you know that they have a problem with an employee and the general reason for that problem. That is enough. It is not the job of the School Board or its members to become involved in the minute details of these issues. The less you know, the better. Otherwise, you become just as culpable and liable as the administration. Have you ever thought this so called lack of communication is to protect you and each of your Board members? I am sure your family will not appreciate you being "in the know" when the lawsuits come.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a veiled threat to me. Are you employed by the law firm the ASD pays a ton of money to each year? Your attitude is typical of the ASD administrative line of BS, it is very obvious. Or maybe not telling school board members is a convenient ploy to prevent the school board from seeing how poorly managed certain issues are. My main concern is how delinquent I perceive the finances of the ASD are and the dire state they are in. Taxpayers in Allentown should be enraged over the "material weaknesses" found in FY14 budget, that is FINALLY finished. This is what the current slate of school board directors up for reelection should be attending to.

David Fehr Zimmerman