Misconduct Letters To The Board of Education
Incompetence & Cruelty:
Principal is acting in a nonprofessional manner towards my child. He has made the following statements. a). I am going to be the only problem (name) has in this school. b). I don't care how anybody else treats him. When he comes into my office, he will be treated the same as any other child. Statements were made at a behavior plan meeting with Arin IU28 Behavior Specialist Pat Olsen on Thursday, April 9th at 2:30 p.m. Mr. Davis is also constantly punishing my son for behaviors which are a direct manifestation of his disability. Also my son was placed on homebound instruction by his psychiatrist, Dr. (Name), of the Family Counseling Center, (address), and a meeting was called on Feb. 5th, 1998 with Mrs. Judith DeFilippi, guidance counselor, all teachers, Mr. Gary W. Davis, parents, TSS, and Lutheran Youth and family services at which time I requested a 504 plan for my son, who since 3rd grade was diagnosed ADD/ODD, and who since 5th grade has been receiving wraparound services. I was told at that time that this was a 504 meeting and Mr. Davis informed me on May 1rst that my son never had a 504 plan. I requested a plan from Mrs. Defillipi on Feb. 8th, and she sent me a copy. My child is under ongoing emotional abuse because of Mr. Davis constantly calling him to his office to discipline him. He also tells my son that he is going to show his school records outside of school, and on May 4th, 1998, he showed my mother records and explained what my son had been written up for without me or my husband's permission, although we were at the same place but in a separate room. My son was also abused at age 4. This fact was made known to Mr. Davis, and his constant harassment is causing my son's condition to worsen.
My child constantly comes home from school crying, pulling out his hair, and showing extreme anxiety. These incidents always follow one-on-one contact with Mr. Gary W. Davis. He makes statements such as - behavior manifestation due to a disability is only relevant when dealing with special education students. This principal lacks the knowledge and education to effectively handle my child in a learning environment. As a direct result of this principal's inappropriate training, he is often disciplining my child for behaviors related to his learning disability. This principal needs ADD training immediately as was advised in his ARIN IU 28 BEHAVIOR plan.
With this letter, I also enclosed a letter dated 1/27/98, which had requested my son being tested for an IEP. I also enclosed a letter showing that the IEP Team denied my son of an IEP (YET AGAIN!)
**Please check at the bottom of this letter for my comments that I feel to be very important!
This letter was sent to 3 offices:
Mr. Gary Davis (Middle School Principal)
Mr. William Kerr (Superintendent at that time)
Department of Education
RE: Gary W. Davis
Dear Ms. (My Name):
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Office of Chief Counsel of the Department of Education has reviewed the complaint that you filed against Mr. Gary Davis. We have concluded that the allegations are not legally sufficient to warrant professional discipline and therefore dismiss the complaint.
In accordance with the Educator Discipline Law, for the purpose of our initial review we accepted all your allegations as true and determined on that basis whether the claims would warrant discipline. 24 P.S. 2070.9. Under this standard, the allegations contained in the complaint, even if proved to be true, would not warrant professional discipline. The reasons for this disposition are as follows.
First, you allege that Mr. Davis made inappropriate comments about your son. You claim that he told you, "I am going to be the only problem that (name) has in this school," and "I don't care how anybody else treats him, when he comes to my office he will be treated the same as any other child." Since Mr. Davis did not make these comment to your son, but rather to you, his conduct does not constitute cruelty or any other basis for discipline. Therefore, this allegation lacks legal sufficiency.
Second, you allege that Mr. Davis punished your son, who has ADHD, and is receiving services under a section 504 agreement, for manifestations of his disability. The Code of Conduct for Educators provides that a professional educator may not engage in conduct prohibited by laws relating to schools or education. 22 Pa. Code 235.6(b) (1). However, such violation must be found to exist by any agency of proper jurisdiction in order for the educator to be subject to discipline. 22 Pa. Code 235.(c). There is no indication that any agency of proper jurisdiction found that Mr. Davis' conduct violated any laws relating to education. Therefore, this allegation lacks legal sufficiency.
Third, you allege that Mr. Davis denied the existence of (name)'s section 504 agreement. Once again, Mr. Davis cannot be subject to professional discipline in this regard unless an agency of proper jurisdiction finds that his conduct violated a law relating to schools or education. See 22 Pa. Code 235.6(b)(1);235.6(c). Since there is no indication that any agency has issued finding regarding Mr. Davis' conduct, this allegation lacks legal sufficiency.
Next, you allege that Mr. Davis emotionally abused your son by repeatedly disciplining him. Teachers who emotionally abuse children may be subject to discipline on the basis of cruelty, which is defined as the intentional, malicious and unnecessary infliction of physical or psychological pain upon living creatures, particularly human beings. 22 Pa. Code 237.7. However, the conduct described in your complaint does not indicate that Mr. Davis acted with the malicious intent to cause pain to your son. Therefore, this allegation lacks legal sufficiency.
Finally, you allege that Mr. Davis showed your son's school records to your mother without your permission. Under Chapter 15, a school district must obtain parental consent before releasing personally identifiable information about students and must comply with the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 22Pa. Code 15.9(2); 15.9(4). Again, in order for Mr. Davis to be subject to professional discipline for his actions, an agency of proper jurisdiction must find that he violated either Chapter 15 or FERPA. 22Pa. Code 235.6(b)(1);235.6(c). There is no indication that any agency of proper jurisdiction has issued findings concerning this matter. Therefore, this allegation lacks legal sufficiency.
For all these reasons, this complaint must be dismissed. Please be assured that the
Department takes very seriously allegations of misconduct by educators. This complaint,
however, simply does not contain allegations of conduct that would warrant professional
discipline under state law.
Please note that this letter does not reflect an approval or disapproval of the manner in which the school district addressed your son's situation. It is solely a determination that your allegations against Mr. Davis are not legally sufficient to warrant further investigation or proceedings against him. If you believe that the District has acted inappropriately in regard to your son's educational program, you may contact the Department of Education's Bureau of Special Education at 1-800-870-230l. They may be the appropriate bureau to address such matters.
In closing, I must inform you that the Educator Discipline Law provides that any unauthorized release of confidential information is a misdemeanor of the third degree. See 24. P.S. 20070.10, 2070.17. I have enclosed for your reference a copy of the Educator Discipline Law which sets forth disciplinary procedures and confidentiality requirements.
First Comment: So, is it o.k. for an administrator to say things such as this to a child's parents? It doesn't constitute cruelty?
2nd Comment: I did NOT say in this complaint anywhere that my son was
under a 504. I SAID that he had been denied, and explained all of that. Somebody didn't
READ the Complaint
3rd Comment: Otherwise, if my child is abused verbally, I have to
immediately rush him to a psychologist, to have them write that my son is having problems
due to Mr. Davis?
Who is going to write that, exactly? Everybody works together. This is worse than Mafia. Who are these laws protecting anyway?
4rth Comment: Look at your 5th paragraph vs. 4th paragraph.
Isn't there some contradiction there about the 504?
5th Comment: How much more proof do you want. I guess when my son breaks down totally, hurts himself or somebody, then is that enough to prove anything?
6th Comment: He did show my mom records without my permission. Who do I go to for that? What is the Board of Education for anyway?
So the complaint was dismissed, and my son has one more slam made to him.
So, I am to allow abuse to continue toward my son, as who is going to help here?
They wonder why his grades are going downhill fast?
This page is under construction, so if you are at this part, please check back, as there is a lot more to come & will be daily!
Send mail to ApolloRidge@Hotmail.com with questions or comments about this web site.