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The Spirit of Burlingame High School
Interests: The History of BHS
Recent Activity
A Special Board Meeting will take place on Thursday, August 5 at 7 p.m. The agenda will be posted on Friday, July 30 by 4 p.m. This is third unscheduled Special Meeting in a row. The past two have been to “evaluate” the Superintendent. CLOSED SESSION C.1. [ * ] Public Employee Evaluation pursuant to Government Code Section 54957- Title: Superintendent There has yet to be a report out by the Board on the closed session business. A First Amendment Legal Firm confirmed that Deputy Superintendent Black’s failure to post his own contract and those of other administrators (despite the fact that this has been the practice for AT LEAST three (3) years) was a violation of the Brown Act. The item was sent to the SM District Attorney’s Office who found that Black had met the minimum standards required by the Act. The Board has local control and SHOULD mandate ethics are a strong component of the business of the Board. The issue is centered around the fact that Black and Duszynrski's credentials are up for suspension and their contracts were blocked from public comment. (Trustee Lees Dyer has already admonished Black on the record for his failure to properly post agenda items in a timely manner) Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black and Mills Principal Duszynrski are all awaiting the suspension of the credentials by the CTC Educator Misconduct Committee who have already found these leaders to be in violation of state standards. The CTC Educator Misconduct Committee Investigators spent ANOTHER summer investigating NEW complaints against Skelly, Black, and others. The CTC Education Misconduct Committee dismiss cases very early where there is no merit. They spent the summer on the SMUHSD. Where is the truth? The SMUHSD does not have a licensed medical professional on staff at ANY campus as Dr. Black eliminated the District Nurse position (part of the CTC Investigation) leaving the schools without direction. This is distressing considering the continued lack of candor, ethics, and truthfulness of the leadership. In April/May 2020 when the SMUHSD put together a teacher-administrator-parent committee to look at re-opening the schools. The Committee was chaired by Deputy Superintendent Black. The expertise of TWO local Epidemiologists was passed over by the administrative leader of the committee so that a regular “doctor” (selected by the administration) could testify in support of the administration’s plan to open school. Directly after this event, the parents on the Re- Opening Committee “bolted” as they became extremely frustrated by Black’s manipulation of the committee, its data, and his reporting of their work. The parents formed their own committees at their school sites and neighborhoods to create presentations to the Board. Black reported false data to the SMUHSD Board and was called out by a math teacher on the committee as he had falsified his statistics and a parent from the Committee came on to the Zoom meeting to call out Black’s lies. As the final report by the administration to Board came due, Skelly and Black had nothing. Two days prior, a SMHS teacher team (who had worked weeks with SMHS parents) begged Skelly to listen to their presentation. Skelly allowed them a private session of two hours of time, and then rejected their work. Two days later, when Black revealed that his committee had absolutely no plan, Skelly and Black hijacked the SMHS Teachers plan and presented it to the Board as their own. (This is all documented and on Zoom You Tube recordings. Where is the truth? Where are the ethics. During the past year, the CTA President has presented at most EVERY Board meeting that the HVAC systems at the school sites were not up to standards AND an entire building at BHS did not function. The SMUHSD sat in silence, every meeting, as the evidence was presented. The SMUHSD then transferred (rotated) the Heads of Maintenance from each school site to another campus. These individuals know the campus, its buildings, its operations, and its safety needs better than anyone else. (they also know where the problems are located and what has not been fixed. Why transfer these informed maintenance and safety professions PRIOR to the reopening of the schools when SAFETY is the #1 priority? During its Board meeting last Spring, the SMUHSD announced that the HVAC system at Burlingame High School was not functioning and would need a full replacement (despite the recent upgrades and modifications to the school). The administrators thought that they could just hide the HVAC information and then get it replaced in the summer of 2021 when no one was paying attention. When the district put the contract out to bid and filed a request to start construction, the STATE informed the SMUHSD that both construction and permits were backed up over a year and the work could not be done until Summer 2022! These are not careless errors but rather acts of negligence in leadership. A truthful leader would come forth and communicate the Bad News to the Board and properly inform the public. The Brown Act is the least of the worries for the SMUHSD leadership as a lack of truth and transparency angers but public. Throwing the public’s money to pay for legal teams to cover up negligence has reached its end. The items listed above are barely the tip of the iceberg which is going to sink the SMUHSD. Just look at BHS 5-10 years ago versus today? The campus has become a playground for misbehaving teachers who ignore or abuse the students. It’s time for the Board to hold individuals responsible for their actions and remove those who have caused the damage.
Jobs for BIS listed on EdJoin contain the following: SIGNING BONUS! SIGNING BONUS FOR DIFFICULT TO FILL POSITION: $3,000 for 2021/22, $1,000 for 2022/23, $1,000 for 2023/24. It's cheaper than giving a raise, but what are you going to get for an extra $3000? Just hope your kid does not end up in that teacher's class. The quality folks are taking the jobs at the districts that pay.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
An elected position on a school board is great resume and LinkedIn content. The job (and the free healthcare at the high school level) requires members to know and understand what the administration is doing. Unless the Board member is using the seat to get somewhere else: political appointment, mayor, superintendent in another district. These folks are hesitant to pull the trigger (when needed) as an adverse but necessary action may spoil their personal aspirations. Superintendents care about two things: Salary and Retirement. Remember, these folks are under the teacher pension system, and they get a WHOPPING payout based on their salary. A Superintendent, earning $285,000 a year retires at 65 with 35 years in education (including teaching) will be paid $20,000 PER MONTH in retirement. The individual most likely also has a separate 401(k) which has been well funded. GOOD school leaders are worth every penny. Everyone else is just lining their pockets with the public’s money. The public SHOULD get what it pays for and if the performance is not at the required level, then remove the leader and get a new one. The pay levels at “premier” school district are similar, there is no reason to keep an inferior product employed when there are much better leaders available. Board members and Superintendents should not be friends. They should not have lunch, play golf, or engage in “professional” presentations at conferences. Superintendents are employees of the public and should be held to the highest levels of standards and ethics (in everything!) SMUHSD Superintendent Kevin Skelly stated, “I only need to keep five people happy, the members of the Board, that is it.” The SMUHSD Board is asleep at the wheel. Superintendents Skelly and Black are past their use by date. Skelly helped destroy BHS and now he is doing the same at Mills. Black has been an Assistant Superintendent for 13 years with no offers for a Superintendent’s position. He is the one responsible for the failures in “diversity hiring” and the racial/equity issues that have exploded on the school site. In response the Board approved the expenditures to hire a consulting firms (2) to perform diversity hiring and anti-racist professional development. Why not just hire an Associate Superintendent that can perform those tasks? School Boards are intended to direct a Superintendent, not be a doormat. BSD’s Mount-Benites already trashed the West Contra Costa district, and if he is left in place, he may do the same in Burlingame. The BHS Parents Group wanted Principal Di Yim removed at the end of her first year. The SMUHSD leadership mandated that she stay. She destroyed well over 80 years of the history and traditions of the school. Imagine if the Board had pulled the trigger and ordered the Superintendent to remove Yim by not renewing her contract, as they knew they should have? Instead, the BHS Parents (who already paid $10,000 to redecorate Yim’s office) funded Professional Communications and Leadership Training for Yim to stave off what they knew was coming from “the principal who carried the parasol at lunch while wearing white gloves so that she could sample the student’s lunches. (Not like that was an indication that things were going wrong?). It was Deputy Superintendent Black that kept Yim at BHS. Superintendents don’t have any ‘skin in the game.” They can walk away and into retirement while the school are collapsing behind them, and nothing happens to THEM. As Bruce Dickinson states above, fool me once, shame on you..fool me twice shame on me. Burlingame, you have already been fooled once- this one (at both levels) is on us.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
I can’t argue with BD on most of the issues. The state level CTA power is only second to the Prison Guards (not many know that fact). The local unions have no influence over the state CTA and most every teacher had no choice but to join the union. They are so young they would not even know it was a choice to not join. The locals are left to negotiate contracts and pay dues. When push comes to shove regarding an individual teacher, the member usually loses, and CTA isn’t going to fight. Here is what successful local school districts HAVE figured out. Make it local. The Board finds a Superintendent who loves the community and will run the show for the people. The Board and the Superintendent recruit, train, and retain the BEST teachers possible, pay them, medical, etc so they don’t leave. These people stay for years. These people do music, drama, coach, etc. The teachers get attached to the community and the community to the teachers. It's a win-win. So where did we go wrong? We hired 30-year old’s with no experience to become administrators and paid Superintendent’s almost $300,000 for a few years rather than a decade. Burlingame would never hire a Superintendent from West Sacramento (WTF?). If BSD was serious, it should buy a nice house in Burlingame and the Superintendent and family live at reduced rent as part of the contract.). (the Palo Alto school district's next superintendent will receive a starting salary of $300,000 and pay a monthly rent of $1,800 to live in a district-owned property in Palo Alto- As the PA Superintendent, Kevin Skelly received a $1 million interest free loan to buy a home- they now offer $1.5 million.) Burlingame High School is a shadow of its past. BHS teachers are not connected to BHS students or families, but they love the “perks” of Burlingame. Do any of the BHS teachers or administration care about the upcoming 100 year anniversary? Bruce Dickinson is not wrong about his current observations of the landscape. Its time to forget about the rest of the state and take care of the home-town crowd. The real return to school after COVID will come in the fall and those teachers are going to have a significant responsibility to care for the variety of needs of the kids. Superintendent Mount-Benites is not ready for Burlingame as he has his sights set on a much bigger stage. Let him go now and land someone more local who knows the town, the people and the schools, or at least comes from a similar area. Pay the teachers or not, this situation does not look like an arrangement that will be in the best interest of Burlingame for the years to come. BSD is approaching insolvency and the SMUHSD's leaders are having their credentials suspended. Any other wealthy town in America having THESE problems with their schools. Bruce is a very successful music producer. Bruce, would you do when the band just couldn't find its sound or produce another hit record. The dispute about the salary is a distraction from what is really going on in our schools. We should look forward, remember and fix the past, draw upon our strengths, and build a stronger future. (it sounds like new leadership is needed at multiple levels, but that is up for discussion.)
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
"A Fish Rots from the Head Down." How can the Board of Education sign new contracts with their Superintendents when there are serious issues of negligence and ethics. Both the BSD and the SMUHSD leadership are engaged in serious ethical issues. The article above and the statements and actions of Mount-Benites show that his actions regarding the budget may be suspect. The SMUHSD's Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black, and Principal Duszynski each face the suspension of the credentials for unethical behavior. How can an elected Board engage in binding contractual employment when there are serious ethical questions? The SMUHSD officials have pushed their appeal to later in the summer as they are attempting to get the teacher to settle her legal claim and then mandate that she drop the CTC Educator complaints as part of the deal. A public Board would not sign a contract with a construction firm, vendor, or legal firm that was under investigation or attempting to operate with suspended credentials. Why would we do the same for the leadership of the organization. The four education leaders described collectively make over $1 million in pay and benefits. If these employees are not able to clear up and clean up the mess, then there should be no contracts and they can find work elsewhere. The CTC Educator Misconduct Investigators and Committee have already found Skelly, Black and Duszynski as guilty. There is no debate on that issue. The teacher was bullied off the campus. Maybe its time to lead by example and not by covering up negligence.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
The Edsource article (above and attached) is from January 2020. The 2020 article is referencing the disaster that Mount-Benites created in 2017. He went from West Contra Costa up to West Sacramento and then Burlingame. West Sacramento to Burlingame? (a very large ladder is needed for that move) Was there any due diligence performed before this guy was hired?
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
BSD's crashed the West Contra Costa District- see the entire article. Same issues, then he left. Duffy told the board last month that the deficit problems started in 2017-18, when Mount-Benites estimated the district needed to cut $12.3 million to pay for salary increases for teachers and other staff members, as well as for other items in a contract settlement reached with its teacher and staff unions in July 2017. “That was the calculation that turned out to be wrong,” Duffy said
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
The BSD only needs to look down the street to see where things are going. The SMUHSD should be a solid reference point. After the gutting of BHS and now Mills High School, BHS was the feature of the SM Grand Jury and the two Superintendents credentials are recommended for suspension with further investigations into their actions and negligence by the CTC Educator Misconduct Committee The SMUHSD Board does nothing. Deputy Superintendent Black ( $275,000 )and Superintendent Skelly ($320,000) will have their lucrative contracts renewed (again) at the July Board Meeting without question. Would you hire a doctor or a lawyer with a suspended license (or one pending suspension?) A Burlingame family, with four children, two years apart would spend a total of 10 years at the high school. Ask THEM what has changed at BHS from 2011 to 2021. It DID NOT get better! They sent their last child to private school.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
This isn’t about money, it’s about management There is no doubt that BD knows school funding formulas. We can debate who cause the financial problem, but that isn't the issue. The district could have given the teachers the one-time $2000 per person from the state (as intended) and then said, we can’t meet your five percent, but we can give you 1%. The teachers may not have liked that deal, but they would already have $2k in their pockets and would have most likely taken the 1% with a good will promise there would be more in the future. Teachers will work for less money if they believe they are valued. They would have received the $2k and decided to take a 1% raise- The administration tied the one-time $2k per teacher money to the 1% to make it an all or nothing deal. They ONLY get the $2k IF they ACCEPT the 1% deal – They have NO choice. It’s an ultimatum. Now there is blood in the water and impasse means an outside party is going to decide. Even if BSD wins, they lose. Burlingame needs an Education Summit- A meeting of the taxpayers to articulate what they desire in K-12 education. Why should BCE raise money if they are going to get blindsided? When the state funds cannot cover the described values of the parents, then BCE (or another group) raises the funds and pays for it. This would cover BHS as well. The Burlingame identity has been gutted from the campus because of external values and priorities. AP European History, a great academic course, was removed because it was too Euro-centric. Where parents included in the discussion to remove this longstanding course? (AP Euro was added at BHS when the external forces wanted to remove 10th grade honors at BHS because it was not fair to the other schools in the district.) The new Board representation plan should place a single Board member responsible to Burlingame. La Jolla High School is in the San Diego Unified School District, but the SDUSD knows to not mess with La Jolla’s own schools. The schools are a big reason why Burlingame is a desirable location. In the end, it is the Boards that are in charge, not the administration. The Board needs to listen to the LOCAL taxpayers and set the standards for the administration.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
Private Schools and Home School are great options to public schools, but the exodus from BSD schools could cause lasting damage that is already in progress. The BSD fiscal scenario is a product of families leaving its schools. When the local population begins to abandon its schools (for whatever reasons) who are funded by Average Daily Attendance (ADA), then the system starts to collapse and other problems start to manifest. A strong factor in home values is access to high quality schools. When the schools collapse, next go property values. John Horgan recently wrote of the disparity of funding on the Peninsula and the home values were in direct comparison to the funding elements. While Burlingame’s state funding for schools is low, it has been the identity of the BSD schools that captures financial and personal support from local families . Private schools and homeschooling are available only for those who can afford it which is usually not the upper middle class. Private school tuition on the peninsula is well above $45,000 (cheaper options are available- but why bother) and sacrificing an income to home school is far more expensive. On the contrary, when a wealthy area engages and supports its public schools, the properly values continue to climb as well as the education and options for the students and families. Wealthy real estate does not equal quality schools. The public needs to create, run, and constantly manage and upgrade those schools, otherwise the schools will be captured by others or fall into disrepair. The BSD Schools are being captured by “other interests.” The current Superintendent and Board Members do not seem to be vested in the identity of Burlingame when making decisions regarding schools. A look back in time would find all the decisions regarding the BSD schools and Burlingame High School were based on what was best for Burlingame. In the 1980’s BHS was saved from closure BECAUSE the residents of Burlingame who would not allow the SMUHSD to close THEIR school. BHS had programs, courses, sports, etc that were not available at any other schools. The BHS Band was connected to both the music programs of the BSD and to the town. The Carpetbaggers have move here to enjoy what has been created (housing, schools, parks, etc) but have no idea how decisions were made to create and maintain this excellence. BHS is losing its identity as Burlingame’s High School. Its becoming just another school in the district. Its history and traditions are vanishing as it’s referenced and managed just like any other school. BHS was NEVER just like any other school. The decisions at BSD are beginning to look like those at any other school. The Italian Language program is a part of the identity at BIS. Individuals who decided to cut this program don’t understand its history, value, and connections to BHS. Giving BSD teachers salary raises in a time of uncertainty is a vote of confidence and security in the people who teach our children. The negligence that created the problems are shifting the financial uncertainty from the district level to the teachers themselves. This is not an investment in Burlingame’s identity or best interest. The continued failure to produce Burlingame centered decisions for Burlingame schools will render Burlingame just like anywhere else. Families did not move here because it was just like anywhere else. Burlingame had the look, feel, and identity of a small town with great schools, sports, activities, and so much more. The more we do things “like any other place” the more we lose the identity of being Burlingame. School boards and district leaders who fail to listen to facts or their constituents are sacrificing the spirit and identity of their schools.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
How much damage is the Board willing to inflict on the teachers for an issue that has nothing to do with them. The teachers don't manage the budget. It looks as though too many families left the district (ADA) during COVID and contributed to the economic crash. Easy answer- Pay the teachers the $2000 per person in COVID money from the state and a 2% raise. Then figure out how to get through the next few years. When a district is broke, it needs All Hands on Deck to get through the problem. This is about tomorrow, not today. The amount in question is so little that the teachers should take it personally as the mismanagement has nothing to do with them. New taxes from home sales are booming, salaries at other districts are rising, the state has a surplus, WTF happened at BSD? How many teachers will the BSD lose from its current staff and how many new teachers will stay away as taking a job in BSD will be seen as a risk. The SMUHSD's Finance Legend Liz McManus is retired. Hire her as a consultant to balance the books and put a budget plan in place. An advanced Board and Superintendent would never attempt such a "bait and switch," but these kids have no experience and are about to do long term damage to the BSD.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
$1.7 Million for Anti-Racist Training SMUHSD Budget Presentation- 5/13/21 Anti-Racist PD (Certificated/Classified) ● Contract ● Variables $1,700,000 If the problem is so large that it will take $1.7 million to solve, then the District Leader who allowed this to happen needs to be fired. The presenter's referred to the budget line items as "Buckets of Money." Trustee Lees Dwyer did communicate a concern over the $1.7 million -"this is a huge amount of money" to be spent on teacher training rather than students (education?-learning?) It's about time to just put a tent over the SMUHSD and sell tickets. The organization and its leadership has failed. If the leadership actually enforced the laws on the books, (against both students and adults) then the $1.7 million could be spent on improving the Human Capital of the students rather than having to put out a fire created by an internal arsonist. The SMUHSD leaders who are having their credentials suspended by the state are also the ones creating the problems AND are also allocating the budget, shifting essential funds away from the classroom to put out the fire they created. One would think the solution is obvious.
Remove Skelly and Black. Bring back Liz McManus as an Interim Superintendent as she knows the district, the money, and the people. She also has the ethics to do the right thing. The community can then hire a new leader that can properly reflect and implement the education values of the community. The reopening of the schools after COVID is a perfect time to continue this shift to a positive and growing environment.
"fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" A public record disclosure of the legal and investigation costs related to these "antics" would be shocking. Mills High School is about to implode as teachers want to leave the sinking ship. Black is the one who kept Principal Yim at BHS for a third and destructive year (against two years of BHS Parent outrage) and Skelly enabled her to stay finish off the school. A good oncologist gets rid of all of the cancer. There are high quality leaders who will earn the salary and know the basic difference between right and wrong. We pay strong leaders to prevent behaviors that require the state to intervene and suspend teaching credentials, not to engage in them. The CTC didn't get one, they got three!
SMUHSD Agenda- May 13, 2021 C.1. [ * ] Public Employee Evaluation pursuant to Government Code Section 54957- Title: Superintendent The sh&t has hit the fan. What is the Board going to do? No one is surprised by suspension of Deputy Superintendent Black's credential. He has been engaged in these abusive actions for a while. People are surprised that Skelly was foolish enough to get dragged down with Black. The SMUHSD is now on the walk of shame and subsequent investigations and disclosure of more details will only make the local district look worse. Its Murphy's Law, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. The district needs to liberate itself or be dragged down with them.
The SMUHSD Board Agenda shows "Employee Evaluation-Superintendent" listed for closed session April 13. The CTC does extensive investigations prior to issuing sanctions. Skelly is used to "waiving his hand" to make things go away. This isn't one of them. It is believed that at least 15 teachers were interviewed by CTC Investigators. The investigation was a multi-level process that took months. The sentence recommendations of credential suspensions is not taken lightly. Skelly's 30-day suspension will cost HIM at least $45,000! The Mills principal's 120 days suspension will be over $120,000. If these two are going to take a substantial financial hit while Deputy Superintendent Black walks away with almost no punishment at all, then they deserve the personal loss. Black is the Director of HR and has complete responsibility over these (an other issues). The responsibility is 100% on his shoulders. When Skelly is blocked form information, he can't make effective decisions. Skelly and the principal are fools for taking the fall for Black on this issue and the previous ones. Black has been blocking the Public Record Act requests for the expenses of these and previous events. The disclosure will not look good for his employment future. It's that famous Watergate phrase, "follow the money." As taxpayers, we are the fools if this is allowed to continue. The Board knows what it needs to do, it just needs the courage to do it.
A sentencing recommendation comes after a guilty verdict. The complete CTC-multi-level investigation found then guilty. They are NOT appealing the verdict, only the sentence. These jokers are caught and they want to use tax-payer money for lawyers to save their individual credentials and reputations- NO. The stated abuse is NOT a one time thing. These are serious issue of negligence. Gaslighting, and abusive behavior in dealing with employees. If these education leaders want to challenge the CTC decision, then they can pay their own lawyers. The taxpayers do not need to be a party to the defense of abusive behavior. The Board needs to remove the emotional abuse and Gaslighting by the "uncontrolled ego" or it will be a very expensive day in court.
This is not symbolic action. It is sending message to the Board. Given large scale of negligence of educators in our state, the CTC does not suspend a credential UNLESS evidence of gross negligence is present. The CTC's normal process is to take no action at all. A serious financial or criminal action would receive a multi-year suspension. This is an act of retaliation and abuse so the CTC issued what is saw as appropriate. The Mills principal got a four months suspension. Skelly was issues a one month- 30 day suspension that will (personally) cost him about $45K. A $45k "fine" should send a sharp message regarding the negligent actions. Black only received a 15 day suspension or about $18.5k. Unlike the NFL, these individuals will pay these punishments themselves because they can't work. These suspensions will also go on their records. Ironically, Black is he cause of this mess, yet he gets the lowest fine. This alone should make Skelly want to fire him. Sadly, these issue have already cost the SMUHSD Taxpayers over $500k and there is more to come. Skelly's claims in the Daily Post that "he" is going to appeal. Who is going to pay for this appeal? Not the SMUHSD? The District in no longer in peril and therefore has no reason to pay the legal bills to support the ego's of these leaders. The CTC Educator Misconduct Committee was sending a message to the SMUHSD Board- YOU NEED TO ACT! Is the SMUHSD the Theranos of school districts?...Just lie and hope that all goes OK... its other people's money anyways. CTC Educator Misconduct Department has found ALL THREE SMUHSD leaders GUILTY after a SERIOUS investigation. They interviewed MULTIPLE teachers at Mills High School and "deposed" Skelly, Black, and Duzzynski. Superintendent Skelly - 30 Day Suspension of Credential Deputy Superintendent Black 14 Day Suspension of Credential Mills Principal Duzzynski- 120 Days Suspension of Credential This is unprecedented. The two top leaders of one of the wealthiest school districts in the state are found guilty of ethics violations and maybe more! Like doctors and lawyers, educators both teachers and administrators must have a valid credential (license) to perform the work. If the credential is suspended, then they are banned from working and being paid as they have violated professional standards, practices, or ethics. This censure is paramount to a doctor being placed on a suspension and barred from treating patients. What message does this behavior of leaders send to the students? The California State Commission on Teaching Credentials Educator Misconduct Panel is sending these Superintendents and the SMUHSD Board a clear message, “you got caught and you had better do something about it.” The negligence of these administrators is also responsible for the cover up of the negligence at Burlingame High School which is also (again) under review by two state agencies including CTC Educator Misconduct. This additional investigation could also cost two BHS teachers their credentials because THEY lied to administrators and investigators. Deputy Superintendent Black and Principal Di Yim had a fiduciary obligation to inform Skelly and the Board of what transpired at BHS. They failed in this task. The facts are available which make Skelly and the Board look foolish. This is a serious stain on the SMUHSD. Skelly was the runner up as the Superintendent of the Year in the USA and now his credential is suspended. What education leader goes from top to bottom in such a short period of time? Ironically, Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources Kirk Black received a lesser suspension, despite that fact that it was his negligence the dragged Superintendent Skelly into this mess. It was Black who knew of and supported the debacle at BHS with Principal Di Yim as Black, Yim, a select few BHS teachers, and the SMUHSD were under investigation by the United States Office of Civil Rights only weeks prior to Skelly's arrival, yet said nothing... when asked! Superintendent Skelly has one response to all of this mess. He has the power and the (somewhat) authority with the Board to correct these issues. This needs MORE than a “MEA Culpa” and let’s move on. Skelly or the Board need to purge those who have engaged in these actions. The SMUHSD's legal firm, Lozano-Smith continues to be paid to defend these actions, on the tax payers money. Again, an educated guess would put the legal and investigative costs of these administrative debacles at well over $500k. These are all avoidable expenses as the actions are ego driven and have nothing to do with the operations of the schools. The Petersen case has yet to go to trial where MORE of the details will come out. A full deposition of Black or Skelly would be a disaster for the SMUHSD. The censure from the state is a separate issue, the SMUHSD Board represents the local constituents and taxpayers, yet the Board remains silent. Why would any high-quality teaching candidate or administrator want to work in a district where its leaders are found guilty of ethical misconduct? There are times when a real leader to removes the cancer and charts a new course for the organization. A resignation at the district level should be tendered immediately or Superintendent Skelly should be required to take action and fire the cancer that has infected the organization. If Superintendent Skelly’s own fall from grace and suspension is not enough of a wakeup call for him or the Board, then we need to lock up the $325 million from the sale of bonds and property plus he COVID money until there is a logical and ethical leader in place. This is NOT a normal event for a school district. The suspensions of the Superintends (both) is a response to an extreme act of negligence by the district leadership. This cannot be ignored.
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May 6, 2021