Friday, June 03, 2016

Mishandling FOIA Requests Hurts New CCSD Superintendent

The hiking-the-Appalachian-Trail excuse again! 

Okay, I'll repeat myself: the attorney for the Charleston County School District--John Emerson--needs to be fired. What's stopping CCSD from doing so? Does he know where the bodies are buried or something? His latest foot-dragging excuse? "The remaining paperwork won’t be released until an outside attorney who handled the case for the district returns from hiking the Appalachian Trail next week."

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

The new superintendent and the Board of Trustees should pay special attention to the opacity surrounding the termination of School-of-the-Arts algebra teacher Patrick Ratigan. Despite Emerson's claims to the contrary, the situation appears SNAFU from its inception. Excuses after the fact do not compute. The district's current behavior only reminds people of the lack of transparency that was a hallmark of the last superintendent. Wait--Emerson contacts outside help whenever a legal problem arises? Hey, I could do that.

What happened here? CCSD stalled until school was out, then punted. Dare we suggest that the SOA's principal mishandled the situation? Is it common for SOA's teachers to miss more than 20 days of school? Most teachers don't miss that many days in 20 years. Parents must be sick and tired of not knowing what goes on in classrooms. From all reports, his "inappropriate" relationship was merely the last straw in a sorry record. Why wasn't the matter handled with more dispatch? Who was being protected here? Not the students.

Too many unanswered questions remain in this pathetic saga, but the most important is this one:

What will CCSD do differently next time?

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