Back to Court

A failed settlement of Joe Palazzolo’s lawsuit may shine more light on school district problems.
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Posted July 17, 2013 by Eric Griffey | Photos By Lee Chastain in News
Vidhya NagarajanVidhya Nagarajan

A look of excited relief washed over Joe Palazzolo’s face as he stood in the hallway of the Wise County courthouse. His attorney had just informed him that Fort Worth school district lawyers had tentatively agreed to a settlement agreement in his whistleblower case.

As he shared hugs and handshakes with his former co-workers at Arlington Heights High School, who were there to testify on his behalf, he told reporters that he was ready to move on with his life and career. On that June morning, it looked as though he was on his way to putting the long struggle behind him.

The settlement appeared to give Palazzolo everything he wanted: $300,000 in damages, retirement credits for the time he’d missed, and a job as an administrator for the district.

The only thing that stood in the way of the former assistant principal at Heights resuming his career was the school board’s approval of the settlement.

“When I thought we had reached a resolution at the courthouse, I was glad for my family that this three-year ordeal seemed at an end.” Palazzolo said. “I miss working with the people I had worked with at Heights. I have a lot of friends in Fort Worth ISD, and I was anxious to get back to my career and continue to make a positive difference in the lives of kids.”

Now that morning in Decatur seems like a lifetime ago to Palazzolo. The school board demanded changes that Palazzolo would not agree to. And today his case is right back where it started. The embattled whistleblower is once again waiting for his day in court.

His saga has taken more left turns than a NASCAR race. The drama started in 2010 when Palazzolo, acting in his role as the school’s diversity program officer, went to administrators with teacher complaints about attendance fraud, disparate treatment of minority students, misappropriation of funds, and the inappropriate behavior of some faculty members. When the administrators chose to cover up the wrongdoings instead of acting on them, he said, he took his grievances to the Texas Education Agency.

Eventually an internal investigation by the district found the majority of Palazzolo’s complaints to be accurate. Additionally, a TEA auditor found that during a six-week period in 2009 the school had reported numerous students present in their classrooms when in fact they were not and fined the district almost $18,000.

Based on the information Palazzolo produced, three administrators and one coach at Heights were pressured into retiring or resigning. But only one person from Heights was fired: Palazzolo.

For blowing the whistle while doing a job the district created for him specifically to report wrongdoing, Palazzolo was punished. He has been demoted, transferred twice, put on administrative leave, then fired, reinstated, fired again, and since then has yo-yoed in and out of courthouses and hearing rooms. The latest turn in the soap opera involves leaked records, busted  agreements, and an inevitable return to court.

Attorneys for the district have said in court that Palazzolo was fired for, among other things, lying, bullying, covering up misdeeds, and violating district policies.

If the trial goes forward as now seems likely, the evidence presented may raise questions about whether school district higher-ups themselves engaged in many of those same activities. Palazzolo and his attorney charge that district officials have lied about Palazzolo, bullied and threatened his potential witnesses, and repeatedly made decisions aimed at protecting themselves rather than doing the right thing.

That’s why many Palazzolo supporters were torn at the idea that his case was going to be settled without a trial. They want Palazzolo to get what is due him, but they also want their day in court. For them, this trial represents the best shot at getting out to the public the details of what they see as widespread, deeply entrenched problems at the school district: intimidation, cronyism, and corruption.

One quote from an April deposition of school board president Judy Needham exemplifies the kind of testimony that the district’s critics want to see come out.

Palazzolo attorney Jason Smith had asked Needham about reports that Palazzolo’s former boss at Arlington Heights had recommended him for a promotion to another campus. Why recommend a promotion for someone she disliked?

The boss just wanted Palazzolo out of the building, Needham told Smith. “That’s the way things are done around here.”

In Decatur, the districts lawyers had told Palazzolo and Smith that they had a settlement after consulting on the phone with Needham and Superintendent Walter Dansby. But six days later, the school board met in executive session and, in effect, blew up the agreement, deciding to ask for changes that Palazzolo has rejected.

A few days after the meeting, an audio recording of that closed session was inexplicably posted on the district’s website. It revealed that during the meeting, the trustees discussed placing Palazzolo in a “warehouse” job, away from children. On the recording, attorneys for the district claimed that Smith had agreed to that kind of job for his client. Smith said later that he would never agree to any provision that kept Palazzolo away from children.

According to board trustee Ann Sutherland, the version of the recording posted online is incomplete.

“A significant part of the deliberation was omitted,” she said.

Her allegation has led some to believe that the audio leak was not an accident. The recording was taken down, but not before it was posted on YouTube.

Palazzolo said he is done negotiating. Listening to the leaked recording was the last straw.

“The release of the audio caused me to cease any further negotiations, with the intent of presenting the audio to the judge,” he said. “When I heard Walter Dansby laughingly say that he’d ‘rather lose in court’ [than put Palazzolo in a job dealing with students], something he had clearly never said before, I instructed my attorney to grant his wish and immediately file for a new trial. That was June 24.”

 ********

 

In the Decatur courthouse on June 11, Smith made his opening remarks. Then the school district lawyer Thomas Brandt did the same.

And that’s all the Wise County jury ever heard. Instead of hearing testimony the next day, jurors cooled their heels while attorneys for the two sides hammered out the settlement. The agreement apparently reached, the jurors were dismissed.

The accounts of what was discussed in that meeting vary. What is certain is that Palazzolo signed a standard two-year administrators’ contract and an agreement with his new job description listed as “educational logistics coordinator.”

On the recording of the executive session, Brandt said that the two sides also had a verbal agreement about the type of job Palazzolo would be given.

“We had an oral representation about what we’d agreed upon,” he said. “One of them was that we said he is not going to be working with children, he’ll be in a warehouse. That was agreed to [by Palazzolo’s lawyer Jason Smith].”

Valerie Carrillo, chief legal counsel for the district, supported Brandt’s assertion.

“When we were in the judge’s chambers, I told Mr. Smith that the plaintiff would not be allowed to work with students, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine, he’ll go work in a warehouse or something,’ ” she said. “Of course when I put it in writing … he didn’t want that language in there. He didn’t feel it necessary.”

On the audio, various trustees and Dansby voiced their intention to place Palazzolo in a job far away from students.

“I would rather lose in court than allow him around children,” Dansby said.

There was never any allegation made public or shared with Palazzolo about any substantive misconduct with students. In the meeting, trustees and lawyers even discussed softening the language of “keeping him away from children,” so as not to suggest inappropriate behavior. It is still unclear why district officials wanted Palazzolo away from students.

On the recording, the lawyers repeatedly stated that Smith agreed that his client would work in a “warehouse job” and that he changed the deal after the agreement was signed.

Smith denied that he or his client ever agreed to such a provision, citing Brandt’s argument in the trial, in which he admitted there was never any misconduct by Palazzolo involving students.

“It sounds like the district wants to change the deal,” he said. “Mr. Palazzolo is willing to honor his word. It is time for the district to set a good example to the children it educates and live up to its word.”

Had Palazzolo agreed to work the “warehouse” job, he might have lost his teaching certificate, according to Chapter 21 of the education code, which mandates teachers and administrators attend continuing education classes. As a non-teaching employee, Palazzolo would have been ineligible for those classes, and the district could have voided his contract at any time.

On the audio, trustee T.A. Sims worried aloud that Palazzolo would be a “lifelong employee” and tough to get rid of.

Brandt also revealed that the district had offered Palazzolo a larger settlement. “He turned down $500,000 in favor of $300,000 and two years [contract],” he said. “[The contract] is worth more to him because it’s harder to get rid of him.”

Someone else in the room (the identity of speakers is not always clear) concluded that if Palazzolo were to ever be terminated or his contract not renewed, another lawsuit would be certain.

“There is no doubt that if there is ever reason to not renew his contract for cause, he will sue,” the man said. “That’s a foregone conclusion.”

Brandt called the district’s version a “take-it-or-leave-it” deal and urged the board to “continue the brinksmanship and see if they flinch first.”

The board trustees approved an amended version of the settlement but wouldn’t tell reporters what those amendments were. Then the audiotape went up on the website.

  ********


114 Comments


  1.  
    injustice

    This needs to go to trial. We need to know everything that everyone said so that they can’t go back and hide. The board members who have been there are responsible for supporting that type of environment and now they are trying to cover their tracks. Make no mistake we will remind them in 2015 when some come up for reelection. By then we hope to have the proof in our hands.
    Voters–taxpayers– how much longer will you continue to accept this?




    •  
      TheTownz

      “Voters–taxpayers– how much longer will you continue to accept this?”

      If history is any indication just under 250 years by about now




  2.  
    Bamboozled tax payer

    They plan to ask for a tax rate increase! Say no to this nonsense, we got rid of Vasquez Rangel, Let’s go after the rest including Dansby! What a waste!




  3.  
    Justice

    I’m not sure if the following ISD statement is considered a riddle or hypocrisy or both!

    “The Board of Education conducts the school program in accordance with the state constitution and the standards set by the Texas Education Agency. A policy-making body, the board delegates the day-to-day administration of the schools to the Superintendent and the professional staff.” Board major duties are:

    •to govern and oversee the management of the school district
    •to levy and collect taxes
    •to set the policies for the FWISD
    •to develop and improve the educational system
    •to secure adequate financing
    •to select the superintendent of schools
    •to foster good community relations

    Words sometimes look awe-inspiring on paper, but the actions behind them are what prove to be worthier than the ink used to write them! I read and re-read the ISD statements; I am befuddled as to how erroneous they are, in terms of how our Board and Superintendent have epically failed to uphold their obligations and responsibilities to run our district effectively. They have collectively made a derision of our educational system, policies, procedures, and overall governing of our district in general. One would have to only read the plethora of stories written in this paper for the past 3 years and acknowledge the surreal effects they have had on people like Joe, Chad, Herrera and others, who have mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually lived through this incredulous climate of perpetual retaliation and relentless bullying.

    I have been in disbelief as to how a group of highly educated individuals, such as the Board and administrators, unprofessionally conduct themselves with pure vindictiveness, hatred, and unadulterated malevolence in their hearts. How can a district and its governing Board foster these adverse actions toward people, when these “people” simply believe in improving the educational environment for our kids, as well as establishing a non-threatening bully-free workplace for our employees? This scandal with AHHS and Palazzolo is more than just retaliation; it is about people like Dansby and Needham, who arrogantly champion self-serving deals, in order to control and malign others. Needham, especially, has had this mindset since she came on the board. Her actions have been transparent in the past 3 yrs, as she continues to try to bury unethical and illegal activities on the Board, as well as at AHHS). Dansby was put in his position unethically, by Vasquez, Rangel and Sutherland. Conversely, Needham has also made a lot of back door and “Country Club table” deals and continues to do so; all to seek revenge on the fallen-from grace Trustees, who incidentally, all plotted and succeeded to force out her “Lezzy” buddy Johnson, whom she personally brought into the district!

    One has to wonder if Needham has yet another plot up her evil sleeve, to continue to derail the Palazzolo case and spend more taxpayer money, because her ego is bruised! It would not surprise me, considering all the backhanded deals made thus far, if Needham would beg her Lezzy friend to come back to FWISD, after she plots to get rid of Dansby. This all wouldn’t be far fetched, especially since Vasquez and Rangel are out and they are setting up Sutherland to fail as well. If some of you 3 are wise, you will start singing like canaries…asap! We are still praying that an external entity swoops down to investigate the district and rid it from immoral power hungry people, like Dansby, most of his cabinet, and Needham and the entire board, sans Paz and Ramos. If Needham continues as President and member of the Board, we can continue to see more of the same bullshit we have seen thus far. And God forbid if she even dreams about Johnson returning to the ISD, because I can assure you, this district will see its first REVOLT and MASS EXODUS!

    You see, Needham primarily is the person responsible for this overt retaliatory indignity against Joe, and for spending, in the district’s defense, almost a million dollars of taxpayer money for legal fees. Needham is the reason behind Herrera’s job being eliminated in retaliation for testifying on Joe’s behalf. She (Needham) ordered Reyna , later transferring her to the Student Engagement dept. to intentionally work under another known bully, Dr. Diaz. Needham knew Diaz was known as a major pain in the ass, who has bullied and run off many employees, more than Octo mom has had children (and bad facelifts)! Needham is just a tired old crypt keeper, who needs to go away on some Olivia Cruise somewhere and hope it gets boat jacked by the Pirates of the Caribbean! And she can take the miserable Johnson, Perry and Alexander with her.

    This culture of fear and intimidation is not going to change; it will continue under this delusional regime, unless we take all of the snakes out of the pit at one time. I hope this article, which by the way Eric, was exemplarily written, serves as the catalyst to join forces somehow and remove Dansby on a Vote of No Confidence, and recall Needham’s votes to kick her off the Board. We need to ACT NOW! I am about ready to “Occupy FWISD” and force other media to see what is going on, so the public is made aware of the venality that continues to plague this district. Justice for Joe, means JUSTICE FOR ALL! Take that in your juice box (Dansby and Needham) and suck it!




  4.  

    Is there anyone who knows what the recall procedures are for the school board? There have to be procedures to recall these bad actors.Another question, why hasn’t anyone tried to recall anyone. In Needham’s district are they so out of touch that they don’t know what she’s doing or do they simply not care? I’ve lived here all my life and despite some really bad trustees, I don’t recall one ever being recalled.




    •  
      Justice

      To Fed-up: Based on Needham’s evil flair; I would take an educated guess that her constituents are either bullied, threatened or bought-off, to the point that they have no real choice, but to continue to vote for her.

      There is a reason Needham has been on this board for this long, b/c she has many friends in high places, from the Mayor, D.A., City Council and on down to county and district Judges…and even CERTAIN lawyers! Her dirty money has always had strings attached (ask Carlos Vasquez). Don’t be fooled; the board members may not be paid for their service, but they sure do make up for it in kickbacks, political favors, and so on. Needham (and Sims) struck a deal and rolled over on two others ISD employees (Ingram and Brooks), who were sentenced. Gee, I wonder if she sent them care packages in the pokey and remembered their birthdays! Yes, she is this malicious, calculating and corrupted to the core! Here is the link to this story about Tocco and Needham’s/Sims involvement: If I already posted this in a previous article, excuse the duplication.

      http://parentadvocates.org/nicecontent/dsp_printable.cfm?articleID=4691

      Even after this story broke, Sims and Needham came out unscathed! So tell me she isn’t a Mafiosa in the body of a crypt keeper! Retaliation should be her middle name, although I think it’s already taken by this district’s number one bully, Dansby! Speaking of retaliation, here is a link to another Weekly story about retaliation against Chad Whitt, who is mentioned in this current story.
      http://www.fwweekly.com/2011/02/09/another-fwisd-teacher-is-threatened-with-retaliation/

      This all continues to be a sham and NO one comes forward to blow the lid off of this sinister district. But it has been for the lack of trying! Joe, The Weekly and many of us behind the scenes, have done everything within our power to get the public to take notice. Each time an explosive story is written about the district by The Weekly, we hold our breath that maybe…just maybe; this is the one that will sear their corrupted asses to the justice grill! Here’s another link to a story we thought would surely get people’s attention…but once again, it was buried within the proverbial “Book of Secrets”.

      http://www.fwweekly.com/2012/07/10/palazzolo-files-second-whistleblower-lawsuit/#comments




  5.  
    CoverUp

    Yep. The Leg just addressed the bad apples on school boards and lumped them with other county employees with SB 122.
    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB122
    (cut and paste) Gotta have a district judge to go-forth but still it is a start.




  6.  
    Setting the record straight

    Participants in executive session know when their words are being recorded. Microphones are distributed to all participants. Each one has a light: green for when it’s live, red for when it’s off.




    •  
      Justice

      @ Setting the record straight: You are alluding to the audio being intentional, but I am not that convinced, at least not yet! Who in their right minds would want to intentionally make themselves out to look and sound like mean, condescending, ruthless and moronic individuals on purpose? Oh wait, they “sound and look” like this with or without a leaked audio…my bad…you may have a point!

      Look, either intentional or not, the fact remains that it helped Joe’s case and others to see that we have not been making up this “FWISD espouses a climate of fear and intimidation” campaign! Then you hear crap like what I learned today about Neta Alexander, who should’ve lost her teaching and administrator certificate for defrauding the state; she is allowed to leave with retirement in tact and is now hired as a principal for another nearby district!!! What’s next? Is the foulmouthed psycho Izzy Perry going to be re-hired to teach in elementary school??? Wow, and this AHHS mess for the last 3 years is being dragged on by one evil woman, Needham, b/c her pride and her school’s reputation were bruised by a whistleblower? Yet scum like Alexander get the opportunity to go somewhere else and just pick up where she left off??? Now you see Joe, who has been not only fighting for his old job back, but to clear his name publically, can’t see the light at the end of the legal tunnel, because Needham is so damn arrogant she can’t and won’t stop her vendetta against him!!!! You allowed your friends to get away with illegal behavior, yet you nailed Joe to the cross and continue to hammer at the spikes…because of your golden reputation??? This is the PROBLEM and it just keeps on mutating. Well, I certainly hope it’s all been worth it, because your supposed good rep will take a considerable direct hit, when Joe returns to court…maybe even sooner! You all intentionally botched up the last hearing, but you cannot run and hide this time. You will indeed fall from grace and Dansby will be joining you! Karmic payback IS a bitch!




      •  
        Glad to be gone

        Hold up a second, where is Neta Alexander now the Principal? That is truly disgusting that another district would hire her to lead one of their schools. I know first hand because I worked at AHHS when all of this was happening.

        The corruption has truly spread throughout the entire district. Even if you threw out the board, Dansby and his lackeys, the corruption would flower again. I am definitely glad that I was able to leave FWISD when I did.




  7.  
    wondersnevercease

    Do they have microphones in executive session? Don’t think so.




  8.  
    wondersnevercease

    You David are a rude SOB! I actually have nothing to do with FWISD so I can’t be the reason. Never went to school there – never worked for them and don’t understand the point of executive session not being public IF they are recording the same as regular session. If they each have mics in front of them why was it so difficult to understand part of what was being said? I personally think you are the moron and not a very nice person. Go have another drink Maybe you will feel better.




  9.  
    Taxpayer

    Promotions, pay increases, unresolved litigation getting larger by the day, turning on each other, and plans for a tax hike. Should be an interesting Board Meeting Tuesday.




  10.  
    wondersnevercease

    Hey David, Slept on it and realized I was a rude SOB yesterday – not my style. So, sorry. My energy needs to be spent on the problem at hand, FWISD. Guess my thinking was that the meeting is recorded, obvisously, but there is not need for individual mics because they are in a room talking to just each other. They don’t have an audience. If that makes me a moron, you are correct, I am.




    •  
      Justice

      Wondersnevercease: You are not a moron, you just thought about it in your head and wrote something different down…happens to all of us who are passionate about what is going on! I think maybe “David” was trying to point out that you missed reading the comment posted an hour before yours, by “setting the record straight”. They confirmed that they are all given microphones and how you can tell when the mic is live or off. It was nice for you to apologize to “David”!

      You bring up an interesting point though and I see where you’re coming from! Why would they need to make a recording of the meeting, especially since it was only a special session between them in a room and not a public mtg? Although, if you notice in the middle of the audio, they left and someone asked “Is it time to go upfront?” It sounded as if they were going back to public session, which obviously, was not the case! I know regular sessions are recorded, but are executive/special sessions normally recorded too? Maybe Dr. Sutherland can clarify this for us.




    •  
      David

      No problem. My apologies as well. We all are bound by the same thing: a desire for change. For me the give away that it was intentional is T. A. Sims.




  11.  
    response

    executive session meetings are not supposed to be recorded but general agenda items can be. Meetings related to personnel issues should not be recorded to protect privacy.

    there have been times when you can barely hear talk about agenda items but hard to hear because they don’t speak to the mic necessarily but you can make out some stuff.




    •  
      David

      Don’t know where that comment is coming from or if it is accurate but as I said earlier, the dead give away it was intentionally recorded are not only the editing, but the actions of T.A. Sims who quite obviously ensures he is speaking directly into the microphone. We should all remember this was a Special called Meeting open to the public and thus recorded. The Board made the decision to go into Executive Session in the back leaving the reporters in the Meeting Room to wait and the rest is history. If this were truly by accident, Barbara Griffith should be fired.




  12.  
    wondersnevercease

    If this were truly accidental, someone would have been fired. Dansby hates disloyal employees and goes after them with all he has. Just the fact that FWISD has not commented at all says a lot. Also, the fact that Dansby is standing in front of large groups of employees and talking about how the FW Weekly won’t listen to him because “his comments aren’t a story” is very interesting. He is testy. Employees in the University bldg. say he walks down the halls not speaking when spoken to and being his usual arrogant self.




    •  
      Justice

      @ Wonders never cease: I remember you posted on Dansby’s story that you had heard he tried to speak to the Weekly and that the Weekly’s alleged response was “His comments aren’t a story.” To Mr. Dansby: QUIT LYING!!! The following comment is from Eric Griffey, who replied to “Wonders never cease”.

      From Eric: “He certainly didn’t talk to me, and our editor is out of town, and the other staff writer was cranking out a cover story. So I don’t know who it would be he allegedly spoke to. And I assure you, anything Mr. Dansby wants to tell us would be considered a story.”

      Dansby, as much as you bitch about the Weekly, because they aren’t stopped by your precious Needham and Griffin from reporting the truth; you read this paper, but you obviously can’t keep your information of defense straight! Everyone knows you are a liar…it’s obviously a prerequisite for people in your position! You HAVE NO COMMENTS about much, especially for this paper on anything, because you know your lies will be shot down with the truth! Quit trying to make yourself sound like the poor wounded bird, because NO ONE buys it! Your cabinet members et. al ALL know you are a joke, bully, and a big fat LIAR! And don’t think for minute that just because you went behind most of the board to offer raises to your allies that it will make you keep your job! Your own cabinet is using you for their own glory…money! You mean nothing to them, b/c when you fall, you watch how loyal these “paid allies” will be, as they step back and watch you take a nose dive! YOU AND THE BOARD MEMBERS,PRESENT AND PAST, ARE ALL DEEP IN THE MUCK OF CORRUPTED DEALS! “You will reap what you have sowed!”




  13.  
    Seriously

    State law requires a school board that is meeting in Executive Session to make a certified agenda or a tape-recording of the session. They must keep either for two years. I always understood that FWISD taped their executive sessions.




  14.  
    wondersnevercease

    From Ann’s blog.

    “State law requires that records be kept of all executive sessions. Audio recordings are permitted but not required. Secretaries, who must keep meticulous records, like having meetings recorded so they can be sure their minutes are correct. Where there is an audio of executive session, I believe the audio is the legal record. FWISD exec sessions have, in recent times, featured recording where each participant has a mike. We can turn our mikes off or on by ourselves. After the recent fiasco of the released tape, it was suggested we not tape discussions any more, and our last executive session was not.”




  15.  
    Wondering

    You may notice on the FWISD website that there is no posted agenda for this meeting. Might also recall Needham admitting they are in violation of the Open Meetings Act for that meeting in that they had deviated from the agenda and were specifically detailing plans for retaliation against this guy. Has the new trial date been set? His attorney should be all over this.




    •  
      Justice

      There was no agenda posted as it usually is on regular meetings. When I went on the website to hear the audio, it took me automatically to the audio. I’ve said it before; intentional or not, the audio was good for Joe’s case. Let’s just hope the ISD legal counsel’s don’t find a sneaky loophole to dismiss the audio as evidence. If they do, it will certainly look worst than what was said on the audio itself. Just fess up FWISD…end this charade NOW, before you all run our district further into the ground! Admit you all have retaliated from the beginning, take your medicine and give Joe and his family their lives back!!!!!!!




    •  
      Justice

      If his lawyer “was all over this”, he wouldn’t be still fighting this 3 years and counting!!!




  16.  
    wondersnevercease

    @Justice – I did hear the story about Dansby’s comments and from very good sources. He thinks his employees are loyal – they are not. They all tell everything he says to them and make fun of him. To his face they agree (they have to) and behind his back they talk about how awful he is. Many of them talk to me about how awful he is. I said it was a rumor because I didn’t hear him say it, but several people did and all said the same thing. I know for a fact that he stood in front of the Learning Network Specialist and tried to explain to them how he is persecuted and truth is not told. Of course, these are the people that don ‘t get the raises. If teachers, specialists and employees would stand up – the Board and Dansby would have to stop the insanity. Lots of principals are leaving now. I predict many more of the finest employees will follow suit.




  17.  
    Justice

    Thanks “Wonders” for reporting what you know or you hear! Dansby needs to know that people are watching and listening carefully, so we can dispel his bullshit lies! He is running scared, b/c what he was involved in to get rid of Johnson, is now being done to him! Do you notice how no one else reports the truth except for the Weekly? The district hates this paper, b/c they know WE all know what they are doing and people like us report the truth on comments! Keep sharing whatever you know…they are reading it!!!




  18.  
    Justice

    I’m hearing about how Dallas ISD Super, Miles is under fire for allegedly interfering in a contract proposal investigation. The district will vote tonight to hire Paul Coggins to head investigation and could spend $250K! And here sits Dansby and Needham and other board members, who SHOULD be investigated and aren’t!!! Why? Because NO ONE investigates FWISD and reports it to the public! We have Needham to thank for that…her and her money and power influences cut any and all info to the media! What a joke. I keep praying that people with positive power come forward and hold these idiots accountable!




  19.  
    wondersnevercease

    I think we need to talk to Dallas folks and figure out how they accomplished this. We are obviously doing something wrong.

    So….Dansby agreed to add the Paschal parents to the agenda for tonight but still didn’t have time to address the raises of his “loyal” employees. Interesting. Does he have no shame?

    Justice, Dansby says the Star doesn’t report the “good” happening in FWISD because of him, actually because of the “hue” of his skin. This comment was specifically about Arlington ISD being able to finish construction of buildings ahead of schedule saving money, and the Star and news making a big deal out of it- he says FWISD has done it several times but can’t get in the Star. He actually feels persecuted? What a joke. I guess when you treat people like he does you get a little nervous.




    •  
      Justice

      @Wonders: The Star doesn’t report on the district, except to censure Sutherland, which was Needham’s idea. They reported the BS about the district getting a board president…guess who? Yep, they reported about Needham. The only other time they reported was negative stuff about Carlos and Rangel…why? Because Needham hates them! Dansby continues to feel persecuted, b/c he knows how it feels to persecute right? And as far as the “hue” of his skin…you and I both know he and his supporters (Black, rown, and Tan Coalition, Luther Perry, Robert Ray, etc) ALWAYS think it’s about race! Funny how the “assigned journalist” from the Star for the district, Jessamy Brown, is the same “hue” as he is! He should call her and see if she will do him a favor and write how wonderful he is! I bet it’s not his skin color that would kill the story, but more Needham! Your number is up Dansby…you and your inflated ego need to find a hobby real soon, because you will NOT be the Super for long! Keep reporting “Wonders”!




  20.  
    Glad to be gone

    There really is just so much that I could say about all of this that has been going on. One thing is that for as many people that are our there supporting Palazzolo, there are just as many that had very negative experiences with him. He’s no saint for sure but he is definitely nowhere near the worst that FWISD has crawling around.

    The culture of shady behind closed door deals goes back so far and is so ingrained in the higher ups that you would have to clean out almost the entire house to be able to rebuild the district to run cleanly, efficiently and ethically.

    And as everyone has said, the sad reality of this is that it is the teachers and students who end up suffering throughout all of this. Teachers have to be afraid about what will happen if they don’t play the game or go along with what they are being asked to do. You can’t escape it. Some principals are more like enforcers than they are instructional leaders.

    It makes me really sad. I was student in FWISD when Tocco was there and I taught there under the tenures of Johnson and Dansby. I hope that the right things are brought to light through the new trial that Joe has filed for and that all those responsible are found out and removed from their most undeserved positions.




    •  
      Teacher

      Funny. He was the only administrator who cared enough to take our complaints forward to TEA and the only one who is still fighting the corruption. You may not have cared for him but there in no way were “just as many that had very negative experiences with him” – at least who were teachers. He was the only one at AHHS we could turn to. The only one who did anything in spite of do nothing Board Members like Sutherland. It is because of comments like these that this needs to go to trial.




      •  
        Glad to be gone

        I know many teachers in FWISD who had unfavorable encounters with him. I’m not saying that in any way diminishes or detracts from what he did or has done in exposing the corruption that takes place in FWISD. That needed to be done and I am glad that he did it and that he continues to take the fight to FWISD and expose more of what they have been doing. I would simply assert that everyone painting a picture of him as the ideal administrator etc. should consider the accounts that everyone has to offer.




        •  
          Teacher

          One of those many wouldn’t happen to be you or your husband would it?




          •  
            Glad to be gone

            Nope. But I did have many friends that I worked with while I was working for FWISD that had some disturbing encounters with him.




            •  
              Teacher

              Put a number to “many” or just shut up. There were close to 50 of us at AHHS directly involved in this. he was the ONLY one to go forward with our complaints about Alexander, Perry, Nichols and Cormier. If you were a certified teacher, you had a legal, moral and ethical obligation to report what you claim you saw or heard. You did not. You were a coward. You have no right to spread your swill here.




  21.  

    Thank you for this comment which vividly sums up our situation. I will continue working to improve the system but it is like an old patient with lots of major health problems. Let’s hope Trustees Ashley Paz and Jacinto Ramos will lend a hand.




    •  
      Teacher

      Gee. I thought it was your motion that terminated him without the hearing as ordered by TEA. You are backsliding again. Looking for a reason for doing nothing about this injustice. You remain part of the problem. You could end this at any time but still refuse. Having supported both Cinto and Ashley I hope neither one fall into the bucket of crap you’re slinging which is just as bad as that which “Medusa” Needham does. Do something and stop whining. It starts with you.




    •  
      Glad to be gone

      Radical changes call for radical actions. There is more than enough information to call in for TEA investigation of the whole district and yet that never comes up. The questionable actions are perpetrated on all sides. Look at the appointment of the last principal at SHHS.

      You should know that there is a big difference between words and actions. If you truly want FWISD to change for the better, you have to start stepping up and acting on everything that you can.




    •  
      Justice

      Ann, it’s comments like this that makes me wonder if your brain is firing on all cylinders! But, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. Who were you responding too? What comment made you write what you did? Because to me, you are agreeing that Joe is a problem like a pervious (misguided)commenter alludes. Please correct yourself if you need to; otherwise, those of us who are trying to believe in you again, might just have a change of heart…again!




  22.  
    Taxpayer/Employee/Parent

    I agree there were shading things going on during that time, but nothing is worse than what Joe did– not treating all students equally. I wish I would have been at that court. I bet all the employees he was shaking hands with are all pearly white and yes I am white. He is taking money that should go to the schools and I am tired of it. I was thrilled with Dansby’s comment about him never working with children.

    And as an employee that has worked for other school board members, Needham does care. She visits schools and assists teachers and principals with what they need.

    For the love of GOD, get this worthless man off our payroll.




    •  
      Teacher

      As spoken by the God-less and ignorant.




    •  
      LoneStar

      and obviously illiterate as well…….
      - Another teacher wrote that “Alexander, Chuck Boyd, and Judy Needham have allowed her to ruin the work environment at AHHS. Isabelle Perry controls everything and everyone at Heights. I hope this letter doesn’t ruin my job. I tried to go through the proper chain of command and have not gotten any help or relief. I am tired of the abuse and manipulation.”

      Several other teachers wrote that Perry often bragged about her friendship with Needham and threatened that the school board trustee would retaliate against anyone who spoke against Perry. – From the article




      •  
        Glad to be gone

        A lot of that is very true. While Perry was there, I was told that she was not someone that you wanted to cross and that you wanted to make sure that you stayed on her good side. Alexander allowed several teachers to operate that way but none to the extent that Perry did. It was common knowledge that Perry had several high ranking FWISD people and Needham “in her pocket.”




        •  
          Teacher2

          You are so full of bullshit. You know jack about what was going on with Palazzolo or AHHS so unless you want to identify yourself shut the f*** up and keep your rumors and slander to yourself.




          •  
            Glad to be gone

            I’m not sure why you are getting so upset about this and asking me to identify myself. Why don’t you give your name?

            The whole case broke the year after I left AHHS. I was still in touch with a lot of my colleagues there and that is where I heard the mixed reports about Palazzolo. I experienced how Alexander and Perry did business first hand. If you tried to do something against their plans/wishes they got in your face and told you that you needed to get in line with how they did things.




            •  
              Questioning

              I think that most people who don’t work for the district usually give their names, since they don’t have to worry about retaliation like employees do. Or unless you are like some people, who used to be allies of Joe’s and used their real name, then sided with FWISD and Dansby, then got in their bad graces again, so now they use pseudonyms…like Fed-up!!! Also, if you think, based on what people tell you, Joe has been difficult to work with, they probably weren’t doing their job! If you don’t know Joe or worked with him personally, don’t make comments about his character or “what someone told you”. Why don’t they come on here and give their names too! They won’t, b/c they can’t handle the truth!




              •  
                Glad to be gone

                I’m still in education in the greater Fort Worth area and I know how far things can reach. You can never know who knows who with these things and I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot. Just because I am no longer employed by FWISD doesn’t mean that I want the thing I am saying here to come back to bite me in the future. The people that talked to me about Joe covered a wide spectrum of years of experience and teaching styles. And many of those people still work in FWISD that are on both sides of the Joe case which is why they aren’t talking about it openly/




    •  
      Justice

      Taxpayer: First of all, don’t comment on things you have no idea about or because you are so far up someone’s ass, you feel your support will win you brownie points! You believe what you want to believe! Secondly, you sound like a female…here’s a newsflash…”your Needham” is a Lesbian, of course she is gonna be nice to you and you think she hangs the moon! She visited schools? Hmmm, sounds about right…to visit her pal, like the idiotic Izzy “foulmouthed” Perry! Needham is a snake! Here’s another newsflash for you. She hates Joe and has retaliated against him since, b/c he and the teachers brought out THE TRUTH, about her entitled attitude as a trustee! She knew of all that was going on at AHHS and she turned the other way, because she didn’t want to hurt her other entitled “friends”. Even the ISD Lawyer said in court that “it was a mess” under Alexander! If she was “in schools” as you say, why didn’t she bother cleaning up AHHS of all the crazy, filthy mouthed, fraudulent and corrupt people she had working in HER DISTRICT???

      Your precious Needham IS THE PROBLEM; spending taxpayer money like water on this and many other lawsuits, NOT JOE! Dansby said what he said about Joe on the audio, to appease Needham, b/c his ass is sitting alone without his buddies, Vasquez and Rangel! He knows he is on his way out and wants Needham to save him! So, if you are an avid Needham supporter and believe that Joe has been a menace, PROVE IT…and not by fabricating bullshit documents like Needham and her cronies have done! Joe has proof he is not the problem… REAL proof and has had it for the past 3 years! It was all coming out at trial, but YOUR Needham (along with Dansby) derailed it at the last minute on false pretenses! We’ll see how well you support Needham and Dansby for that matter, when it is all out in the open this next time around. You have NO CLUE what has been said and done by Needham and her cronies, to continue to ruin Joe and his family’s life! And you probably never will, b/c you obviously drink the Needham juice!

      And btw, to address your “White” comment; Needham is White and so were her AHHS/ISD friends she saved and continues to save; Perry, Alexander, Boyd, Nichols, Johnson, Sorum, Jackson, Dickerson, and I could go on! Who’s the racist here? Joe fought for the minority students at AHHS; he reported that White students were being punished less severe, and in some cases, not at all, over minorities. This doesn’t make him a racist; it makes him a human being trying to protect students (and employees), who are treated like second class citizens. There is a report that proved these allegations of discrimination (and more); of course, if you would take YOUR NOSE out of Needham’s ass long enough, you would know about all this and much more!




      •  
        Justice

        Correction: Sorry, but I reported incorrectly that Nichols, former AHHS AP, who was having an affair with Perry, is White. He is Black; however, another teacher at AHHS, whom Perry was also sleeping with, is White. Sorry or the confusion.




  23.  
    wondersnevercease

    Funny that you said Perry often bragged about her friendship with Needham and threatend that that she would retaliate against anyone that aspoke against Perry. There are others in the District that do the same thing. It has been called to the Board and upper administration attention and nothing is done. These people don’t work much – have positions where they can’t be found most of the time and are on extended contracts. Everyone knows – don’t touch. Even Directors, Executive Directors are afraid of these individuals. Talk about free loaders that take aways from real teachers and students. BUT ….. nothing can be done.




  24.  
    Justice

    Btw, my comment was in response to “Taxpayer/Employee/Parent”, It posted two comments after, b/c others responded first.




    •  
      Glad to be gone

      I hope you didn’t take my original post as being against Joe bringing everything to light and blowing the whistle. I absolutely think that needed to happen and I sincerely hope that it this all brings about some drastic changes in FWISD. I just feel like there should be a balanced picture of everything.

      By the way, you mentioned that another district hired Alexander. Just curious, which one?




      •  
        Teacher

        Yeah right. If you are “gone” unlike many of us, why hide your identity? We didn’t see you stand up for us and bust this thing open.




  25.  

    Just watched the board meeting. They tabled any discussion on Joe. Also apparently the board is going to rotate the presidency every 6 months and Needham is out and Moss is now the board president. Another useless person to lead.Justice please refrain from trying to blame Needham’s behavior on her being a lesbian. She does what she does because she’s a bad person not because she’s gay.Needham’s political power comes from her partner Marty Leonard. Her family name still carries some political power here in the city and if it wasn’t for her, Needham probably wouldn’t be where she is now. When you bring up her sexuallity you come across shrill and homophobic and that does not help your often very valid arguements.




  26.  
    wondersnevercease

    I think Needham being gay is an important point in this conversation. Don’t know Justice but if he/she has witnessed how Needham protects the gays then that is why it comes up so often. All people should have equal rights, gays and heterosexuals. Gays in FWISD are not only protected but often have rights that heterosexuals do not. Sad but true . . . . I think it is a hoot how Needham protects those that still haven’t “come out”. Gets them pretty darn good jobs!

    I think this 6 month rotation of Board members is too funny!!! None of the “old” members have enough ethics to be president – it is like watching a bunch of adolescents in a tree house picking officers. How embarrassing for the whole community to see. And . . how about Needham’s comment about everyone going on vacation and coming back so quiet – she has never seen a meeting with so little discussion. Uhhhh . . . Judy you ate one of your own at the last meeting . . . maybe your intimidation worked? Idiots!!!!!!! Bet you went home bragging about that.




  27.  

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of these posts. Many of you are spot on a lot of your comments. If the goal is to show that the district is dysfunctional, then you need to have someone make an open records requests for the report related to the curriculum audit. How can teachers be successful teaching students when the curriculum that they’re supposed to teach them is in such disarray. And post the report in all of its glory for all of us to see. Then we will know how it inadequate the district really is.




  28.  
    wondersnevercease

    Look under the rock, That report is so hidden that they don’t even show it to the people actually working on curriculum. They tell them what they want them to know. Everything written 2 years ago, with strict guidelines from consultants, is now being rewritten with strict guidelines from who knows where. Those poor writers have no ability to do what they know is right. They are given boxes and asked to fill them in and for god’s sake do not go outside of the box!!! Space is limited. Flipping joke.

    Most people that work for FWISD came there with passion but doesn’t take long to have that beaten out and you work for a paycheck.

    Sooooooo glad I have never had to be an employee but my heart goes out to my friends that are there.




  29.  
    The Insurrectionist

    Your points of view are valid, and the knowledge all of you have about the district are 99.9% accurate.

    I would like to congratulate the new president of the board, Ms. Moss, for her election. We know she will bring the best strategies to make sure all schools in the district become equal to the schools she has represented during her tenure. That will be awesome! Also, we would like to congratulate the African Americans; grandma will open the door for all of you, by the way, this is her last term.

    Sorry Connie Smith for your technical demotion. We know they needed you there to stimulate the contributions of the area for the next election. Will you salary remain the same as the head of the math department? The salaries of elementary principals don’t go too high. You will be surprised with your school and changes in the mindset of the new arrivals in our area. Now is when “the rubber will meet the road.” In another note, many people in your department and some of the directors mocked you for your rhetorical nonsense, and they must be celebrating your departure to your old position. This is pathetic but well it is part of culture of the district.

    About the curriculum framework, Michael Sorum and Sherrie Breed have reviewed and approved. The same people will mess up again the teaching and learning. According to them this version is improved, and the effectiveness will depend on teachers and school administrators. The Learning network teams will supervise its implementation. Teachers get ready for visits to your rooms. The new program for grading “Focus” will be an excitement for all of you; half of the semester will be a learning curve for all of you. Big brothers and big sisters are in charge of monitoring. UEA will make it easy for you; that’s what you asked for.

    About Palazzolo, there are going to be a lot of technical delays in court. If his lawyer doesn’t make more arrangements with the Mafias, he will have a chance of getting more $$$$ to secure his life and his family.

    I have a suggestion for the Weekly News. You need to make a special edition about FWISD and distribute it to each house in the area. I tell you what I heard from a top administrator. Needham and his team indicated that the people who could damage them don’t read this “crap newspaper.” At least distribute it to the most influential people in certain areas of the city who need to know about this fiasco. Unfortunately, many Hispanic and African American people don’t know anything about Palazzolo’s case and the FWISD Mafia who are dilapidating the money of their children education. This is only a suggestion. Many employees follow up the posts, but they fear for retaliation if they are discovered. Employees use secret codes to pass updates in the weekly news to their colleagues.

    Where are Vasquez and Rangel?




    •  

      This is not true. The action there was never completed. Please be careful when talking about specific staff: in this venue their capacity to defend themselves is limited.

      Remember that mischief happens elsewhere as well as here in FWISD. I also looked into this situation and am satisfied that we made a sound choice. Thanks.




      •  
        Unbelievable

        Too bad for Palazzolo you will not apply this same “wisdom”. But then that would be an admission that something about your motion and his “termination” was wrong.




    •  
      Glad to be gone

      I would not at all be surprised to find out that Dr. Shaver is an old friend of the current SHHS principal, Dorothy Gomez. Another one who left DISD under curious circumstances only to be taken in by FWISD. Add into that the person who “recruited” Gomez, Dr. Josie Gutierrez, took over the position that Gomez “resigned” from after Gomez was approved by the FWISD board. Nothing shady about that at all….




    •  
      Glad to be gone

      Looks like Dr. Shaver won’t be getting that job after all.

      http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/07/26/5033357/fort-worth-schools-backs-out-of.html




  30.  
    wondersnevercease

    Thanks for the update Straight Arrow. In one of the articles you attached in the replies someone asked, “Who would hire a dishonest principal” Well, FWISD of course! Wonder who she is kin to here????




  31.  
    wondersnevercease

    Ann, how can you support this? She either spent the money and hired family or she didn’t! Looks like she did both. I guess the investigation came out with the wrong info? and why wasn’t the investigation completed. Everyone has the right to question who is being hired to take care of their chldren and how money is being spent. Does any district have money they can afford to repay because of a crooked principal?

    I really don’t understand and how dare you feel like you can dictate what is done on this site. Sounds like a FWISD ploy except you have NO power to stifle people here.




  32.  
    Straight Arrow

    Oh give me a break, Ann – this is publicly reported stuff – it’s not like I was spreading unsubstantiated rumors about someone. The OPR report was final and the accusations were substantiated – did you even read it? Maybe you were too busy reading stuff from California, which you blabber on about in board meetings – maybe you should pay more attention to what is going on in your own backyard.

    Not sure what you mean by “completed”. If you mean they didn’t fire her, it was probably because the end of her contract was nearing and it was much easier to not renew her than to fire her.

    So you have a principal that is not renewed because of misconduct that is substantiated in an investigation, yet you support her hiring? You are like the Jekyll and Hyde of the school board – you talk one minute about holding the FWISD administrators accountable, yet you let them bamboozle you and you roll over on something like this. The staff probably thought it was okay because nepotism and inbreeding is practiced routinely in the district (but they are a little smarter about how they do it) and because grant funds are routinely misused. Even anyone with a little bit of intelligence would not have risked hiring this woman, if for no other reason for how it looks.

    Wake up!!




  33.  
    SHHS Teacher

    I did work with Mr. Palazzolo at South Hills High when he was a teacher here. I will tell you that he was constantly in trouble over one thing or another; So much so that UEA was always on campus helping him. Can’t tell you what the allegations were or if they were true. But in my tenure at the campus, I have never seen someone who had UEA in his classroom as often as he did. Then I hear from a colleague who works downtown that instead of writing him up and terminating Mr. P, administration decides to promote him to Assistant Principal, as a means to settle the many complaints that were before him. But from what I understand, his name has been surfacing among the higher-ups long before the Heights incident. At this campus, he was liked by some; but the majority were glad to see him go.




    •  
      Teacher

      You are an idiot. He was the campus UEA Rep. for South Hills where 50% of the teachers left. Yeah. REAL credible comment. He was the only one we could turn to like when students threw the Science teacher into the showers.




    •  
      Teacher2

      I agree with Teacher. If you are so brave and credible identify yourself as you obviously have your head up Admin’s ass.




    •  
      Justice

      You know, why in the hell does the district put people like Joe in the UEA position and Herrera in the Diversity Trainer position, if they REALLY didn’t want them to make a positive difference on troubled campuses??? Wake the hell up “SHHS”! People in trouble, like the people Joe reported ARE NOT going to like him!!! The district didn’t count on Joe or Herrera being damn good at what they did…what they were asked to do! Yeah, I see, report on the people doing wrong, but if the people doing the “wrong” were favored by the board and/or the Super, then the reporters(Joe and Herrera) were treated like crap for doing their job! What kind of trouble do you think Joe was in that you saw UEA at the campus all the time? Others calling you an Idiot is right! You think he was promoted to AP, because he was in a lot of trouble??? Next time SHHS, think before you speak, b/c us “bloggers” take this shit seriously and will defend who and what we know , especially when it deals with Joe, Herrera and others who have taken the heat from FWISD! We KNOW MORE about this district than you will ever know; what they have done and continue to do still!




    •  
      Teacher

      Not sure your comment even deserves a reply other than to set the record straight. Palazzolo became the UEA campus rep at SHHS after Harris, Daly and Sanderson tried to set up an Econ Teacher they did not like because she was gay. They also expected a first year teacher from Mexico to teach without desks in his room while their buddies sat in the portables (with plenty of desks) and joked through classes. Palazzolo gave that teacher the desks from his classroom. He and his son went to surplus, pulled old cafeteria tables on his hay trailer (I helped load them), rebuilt them, and used them in his classroom. The Science Teacher being thrown in the shower by students is also true. He was not afraid to stand up for those who did not know how to stand up for themselves or were afraid to. He was obviously the same guy at AHHS.




  34.  
    Justice

    Fed-up: WTH are you talking about??? No one, especially me, is blaming sexuality on Needham’s evil behavior! She is evil…period! I was saying that Needham was a liar for saying in her deposition that she “denied having a non-professional relationship with Perry.” Yet, [she] took a pic with Needham in bed and bragged about it saying “I’m in bed with a Lesbian”. My comment about “taxpayer” thinking Needham “hung the moon” and that Needham was nice to her because she was female was a flippant remark. If it sounded like anything but “pissiness” on my part, I apologize. Not that It’s anyone’s business, but I’m gay too!!! And “Wonders”, Needham didn’t defend Perry b/c of her sexuality either, because Perry is more of an opportunistic “try-sexual”, meaning she took advantage of everyone she tried!!! Furthermore, just to be clear, and I’m gonna say this as gently as I can; FWISD doesn’t give a f**k about LGBT in our district! That lame policy they approved was to get gay activists off the district’s ass and to appear that Vasquez was behind LGBT, which he was not! Vasquez championed the policy change to gain LGBT support for his own personal and political gain. Regardless of his own sexuality, his bogus support came back to haunt him! Gays are still being persecuted in our district, especially our LGBT students. Dansby himself is so homophobic!!! He plays along, b/c not to, would land his ass in a lot of hot water with those of us who would nail him to the cross! So “wonders” I must disagree with your comment, only because I have personally lived through it and so do many of my gay friends, who work for this district.

    Back to FWISD being a total disgrace. And speaking of disgrace…why it is we continue to hire these “throwbacks”, especially those who have proven they f-up, is beyond me. I guess it’s only fair right, considering the disgraced Sylvia Reyna left us and landed a job in DISD! It makes sense to hire this principal knowing her indiscretions, b/c our district allows an employee to hire family members and move money around. Tocco espoused this mindset and allowed campuses to “do what it takes” in order to come out looking good after test time. Johnson did it too, but she wasn’t as brazen as Tocco, in that she at least allowed some schools to show their true failing scores, especially after the Atlanta story broke! TEA does nothing, because it seems they allow it to go on. It’s all about Mo’ money, mo’ money!

    And lastly, to Sutherland: Once again, you are proving that you are just as asinine as the rest of the minions on the board! Admit it; you said “yes” to the hiring of this shady Principal, b/c to say “no” would get you even less respect from Needham’s clan than you have already. You come on here and tell people to “watch what they say”??? Really??? How about defending Joe and what he has endured by this district? You have the audacity to say, “Don’t slander”? OMG, you really are something. Go back to your blog and comment there, where some of YOUR supporters care about the crap you say. I’m done with you and trying to get you to do the right thing. The only reason you had the Weekly do a story in your defense about the censure is because you are friends with the editor! And the other reason you had the story about the raises get written too, is b/c you want to save your own ass and fight Needham, Jackson and Moss! You don’t seem to give a damn about anyone, but yourself…not Joe, his family…NO ONE! I think I’m going back to feeling the way about you that I have felt for the last 3 years. You speak from both sides of your mouth. You are no better than these other shameful board members, who “talk the talk”, but only for their benefit. I can understand why Needham hates Joe, b/c he made her corruptness public, but why do you hate him so much??? What in God’s name did he ever do to you? Can you answer that Dr. Sutherland? Can you answer why it appeared you were supporting Joe, when the two other failed board members said Joe’s firing was “a witch hunt” and then turn around and upheld his firing Feb 14th? Just like Vasquez…you forget what you say and then you try to tap dance your way out of it. Betty put your words in a story…quotes from you proving that the “firing” word was never used! I can’t stop the Weekly from publishing your pathetic stories, but what I can do is continue to hold you accountable for what you say, especially when it appears what you say is total crap!




  35.  

    Glad, I just read that article too. I’m wondering what her buy is. She had to have signed a contract so the district is contractually obligated so my questionis did they just give her her years salery to make her go away or what. We’ll probably never know because the district can hide behind personnel confidenciallity. In the end it might be worth the money so we don’t have to deal w/ her misbehaver.




  36.  
    wondersnevercease

    All I have to say is Wonders Never Cease!!! Ann, how are you feeling now about Dr. Shaver not coming to FWISD and your assertion that she has did nothing wrong in Dallas? Too much publicity? Too many questions? Who is she kin to that she was even offered the job? The “stuff” just keepings getting deeper – guess we are in Cowtown, huh?




  37.  
    LoneStar

    An open request to Walter Dansby, Judy Needham, Christene Moss, Tobi Jackson, Ann Sutherland, T.A. Sims, Norm Robbins: Please resign now. Before the next Board Meeting. Before any more embarrassment. Please take with you the proven incompetents like: Sorum, Bond, Ray, Mendoza, Monge, Griffith. Release the internal audit. Let the public see how you have driven this district into the ground – or wait for it to come out in Palazzolo’s trial.




  38.  
    Justice

    Wow, wow, wow! I just love how the Star stepped up and reported on Shaver, inciting a plethora of negative comments about her hiring at FWISD! I feel proud of people for reporting this story before, during and after. I have to think the only reason the Star posted the story, is b/c Needham wants it to look negative on Dansby! All I have to say is, “I told you so”. It’s starting Dansby and you better know you will be out on your ass soon! This district has prevented any negative information to be written about them, which is evident with the Palazzolo case! Then you have this embarrassing story? How convenient don’t you think? And Sutherland; look at how credible it made you look too, all planned I’m sure! You go on the comments in the Weekly defending the hiring and calling statements about Shaver’s work ethics “untrue”. I’m laughing writing this, b/c you will never change and you are on your way out too! Don’t say we didn’t warn you about Needham and her cronies’ intentions. You had the opportunity to make it right for Palazzolo and you failed! Now you have the opportunity to make a positive impact, by coming forward and telling everyone what you, but once again, we still wait! I heard a rumor that Vasquez was contemplating coming forward and telling what he knows to date about the Palazzolo witch hunt. If you are dirty Sutherland, “pay the piper” or get persecuted with the rest of them. We are tired of you waffling back and forth, especially when you come on these comments defending people that don’t deserve it! Last time I checked, Palazzolo didn’t hire his relatives or misused federal funds. If you think those things are bad, then you must condone the venality that plagues this district! Get a backbone and do the right thing!!!




  39.  
    wondersnevercease

    I think a nice list for Ann to provide would be the list of new principals and vps that have a family member as a Director. A lot were just hired – most have only taught a few years and spent one year on the Learning Network. NEPOTISM!!!!!!




    •  
      Insider

      Let’s not forget Jason Oliver is now a Director. Scandal after scandal; first Kirkpatrick then AHHS: including the Special Needs kids using a potty chair in a classroom for 2 years.




  40.  
    Insider

    And in two weeks these same idiots led by “Ladies Man” Dansby will push for a 750 million
    dollar bond program. When will this circus end?




  41.  

    Just read about the bond issue. Will it include money to replace broken desks and tables our students are still being forced to use, really fix our older schools, floors that are so rotten you would fall through them if it wasn’t for the carpet? I doubt it. Since Walter seems to be following Tocco’s playbook, look out for some major theft if this issue is approved. Remember Walter believes Tommy was the best super EVER.




  42.  
    wondersnevercease

    Ann says, Board policy DBE(Local) prohibits hiring anyone within the 3rd degree of the Superintendent or board member: The District shall not employ any person who is related by blood within the third degree, or by marriage within the second degree, to a member of the Board or the Superintendent. [See DBE (EXHIBIT)] This rule does not apply to an employee who has been continuously employed for a period of one year prior to the election or appointment of the officials named.

    What are the rules for Principals and V.Prin. being hired that will be under the direct supervision of Directors that are their mothers or aunts? Seems like nepotism to me. Ann????




    •  
      Look Under the Rocks

      “Wonders” you keep bringing the same things up over and over. You seem to know a lot… will you be running for the board to unseat these misfits in FW? I will vote for you but it does no good to keep repeating the same things on a blog that only a few of us know about. What is the ultimate objective? Dansby? If that is the case, then we need to target the things that he controls. Someone needs to put a list of missteps and errors together and take in to the public forum during the board meeting. What is the ultimate objective? Dansby? Then hit him where it hurts the most. Embarrass him during the public comments and hopefully the Star-Telegram picks up the issue. Keep going to the board meetings repeating the same message during the public forum. Eventually it will sink in to the other board members and they will have to save face by responding. The objective should be Dansby… cut off the head of the snake and bring in a strong outsider who will clean up the mess that is in FWISD. Maybe then… student achievement will start to increase.




      •  
        Observer

        But Dansby is not the problem. He is a major symptom but not the catalyst. The problem is the BOARD. It starts with Needham and her long time minions: Sims, Moss, Robbins, and now protege’ Jackson. Just consider how the district maps were manipulated to allow Robbins to retain his seat. First he ran AGAINST Needham. Then he was suddenly a few homes inside his own district. These people have no ethics. It is sickening. Do you think it is coincidence that they want to push for a new Bond issue with Moss’ election around the corner?




  43.  
    wondersnevercease

    Look Under the Rocks, The ultimate objective is not Dansby, Needham, Sutherland or any of those people. The ultimate objective is for the students of FWISD to get a good education and be successful in society. I keep bringing up the same things because I view those things as the reasons why it is not possible. When you have adults that are more interested in lining the pockets of their kin folks, that couldn’t possibly get the jobs in another district that they get in FWISD because of their lack of education experience or knowledge. that affects students!!!! Kids need superintendents, directors, principals, vice principals, specialists and teachers that are experts in their fields. They need people that are interested in them. not in making money. In FWISD it is all about politics, not kids. It is about how can I get my daughter, son in law, uncle, aunt or whoever a job making good money – doesn’t matter if they are clueless. Dansby does it, Directors do it and the Board approves it. That is why nepotism is a big deal to me!!!! FWISD has been incestuous long enough. FWISD kids deserve better. If Dansby, directors, board cared about kids, I wouldn’t care if they stayed there forever. If they will do the right thing they are ok with me. If they can’t seem to put kids first then they need to go home and get some new blood in the house.




  44.  
    Observer

    Don’t you get it yet? That is the whole point of what people are trying to tell you. Dansby and this Board are INCAPABLE of doing the right thing. How many more children need suffer and fail before people like you STOP making excuses for these morons?




  45.  
    wondersnevercease

    This blog is starting to sound like a board meeting. Bloggers biting each other. WTF! ALL people are capable of making right choice. I am not making excuses – I have a history with these people and trust me, I have seen far more than I have put in this blog.If anyone should have a reason to raise hell about these people it would be me. I agree they are bad, evil people. BUT again, my objective is for the students of FWISD to be successful. I don’t care how that happens. Does it sound like I am making excuses when I say nepotism is a big part of the problem and they are all guilty. READ!!!!!!




    •  
      Lome Star

      If Dansby and the current Board WERE “capable of making the right choice”, FWISD would not have scandal after scandal; lawsuit after lawsuit. My God what is wrong with you? If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it an eagle?




  46.  

    Just got a phone call for a poll about the FWISD’s proposed bond that now has grown to $785 million. Out of all of the questions that I was asked not one involved buying replacement furniture for classrooms, We have students sitting in desks that are bent so much that they slide out of the desk, that have desk tops that have so many gouges and deep scratcthes in them that students tear holes in their papers trying to write on them and the idiots downtown, despite originally stating that repacement furniture was part of the bond, will not borrow the money to replace them. I have seen desks in schools that were new when I was in high school 40 years ago still being used because the district won’t replace them. What they did include in the questionaire was would I support a bond issue that included replacing the practice soccer and football fields at all of the high schools with astro turf. They don’t want to buy new desks but want us to pay for astro turf. Our kids can sit in desks that are barely functional but we need astro turf. What a bunch of jackasses. They also asked approval ratings of all the board members and Dansby. If you are asked to respond to this poll, please reject it and let the board members know how you really feel about them. The young man, Doug, that asked me questions now knows far more about our school board and it’s members than anyone else in Idaho where he’s from.




  47.  
    Teacher

    You bring up a very good point. Before any other Bond is proposed or voted on, someone needs to audit the last Bond issue which Dansby himself supervised. There were hundreds of thousands of dollars in promised renovations which did not happen. They were cut by Dansby and his buddies at AECOM. Where did the money go? I can also tell you first hand that Palazzolo came to my classroom (and every other classroom at AHHS) and pulled broken desks; convinced Alexander to replace hundreds of them and then repaired them himself when Alexander claimed she had no more money to replace them. No Bond money was used then. This is another scam plain and simple. They need to audit the last Bond!!




  48.  
    TruthorDare

    Asking the following:
    1.When did the board members become aware of a bond?
    2.How many of the board members support it?
    3.Why is it so rushed?
    4.How do employees feel about it?
    5.Were they asked for input?




    •  
      Justice

      @ Truth or Dare:

      1.When did the board members become aware of a bond?
      I think they knew of this bond, before they were set to go to trial with the Palazzolo case. They wanted to settle, so negative stuff wouldn’t come out and ruin their chances to pass the bond.

      2.How many of the board members support it?
      As many as Needham has instructed to support it!

      3.Why is it so rushed?
      They want to make sure it passes before the Palazzolo trial resumes (see #1)

      4.How do employees feel about it?
      This bond was never brought up to employees. Coincidence they bring it out in the summer? I don’t think so.

      5.Were they asked for input?
      Are you kidding? We are rarely asked for any input on things they have already decided on. I think b/c they know what we will say is not what they want to hear, not just on the bond package!




  49.  

    Something else puzzles me. I thought Dansby was cutting fine arts but the poll asked about money for a new fine arts bldg, new band uniforms, and instruments. Did I hear wrong? Teacher, I’ve repaired desks too because I couldn’t get new ones. The district used to repair them at the warehouse but somewhere along the line they stopped. Many of the desks just need to have the top refinished. and it doesn’t cost much.




  50.  
    Teacher

    But it was in the Bond just like now. Before we go any further they NEED to audit the last Bond program. Have to remember the guys AECOM make BIG $$$$ going around setting up Bond issues. Absolutely no control. Audit will open your eyes.




  51.  

    Here’s a link to the bond proposal. http://media.star-telegram.com/smedia/2013/08/04/18/04/1fYi7O.So.58.pdf . copy and paste if you need to.




  52.  
    Justice

    This is what I’ve been saying for the last 3 years since the AHHS/Palazzolo scandal was uncovered! AHHS was the catalysts to uncovering so much more than just wrongdoing at the campus level. This scandal opened our eyes about bad politics, corruption, misuse of power, scandalous trustees, etc. This district has condoned utilizing earmarked money for other things than what it was intended for! Principals did this all the time, b/c Tocco, Johnson and now Dansby, promote this mindset! Who was in charge of the bond package of 2009? Dansby! Who is rushing this bond now? Dansby! Easy money for him and his cronies to mismanage, considering they know exactly how to twist and turn the numbers around! People, this has been happening for years and years, more noticeably by Tocco, who got away with mismanaging millions! And not to mention how Needham and Sims escaped jail time, by throwing the other two under the legal bus. Do you think that people spend hundreds of thousands in campaign money to become a trustee just for the title? They do it for the damn kickbacks! It’s done everywhere you have an organization that manages millions of dollars and contracts with specific companies. Look at the failed Connects System that Johnson and Dickerson championed! Millions of dollars wasted on that crap, but I am sure they received some compensation for using Tyler and cranking it out as fast and furious as they did! Yes, someone needs to audit the last bond and see where ALL the money went to. I bet a month’s salary that, like they treat other federal and state monies, it didn’t ALL go for what it was intended. And this new bogus bond package they are going to try to pass is going to be the same! If they had spent the last bond wisely, we wouldn’t have to be shelling out AGAIN for the same thing! I believe this is one damn good reason why the district doesn’t want Joe back, b/c they know he and many others are now aware of all the shenanigans and who is behind them! Something is going to give…soon!




  53.  
    JohnT

    And now the FWISD propaganda machine aka: Star Telegram kicks into gear to help Dansby sell the bond. How? By buying off white west side with the promise of a new high school. ““Fort Worth ISD, unlike most urban school districts, continues to grow, and we must provide the resources to be competitive in a global society,” Superintendent Walter Dansby told the Star-Telegram. To better prepare our children we need to run womanizing scum like this off. I agree, No more Bond issues until the last one is audited by an outside Firm.

    Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/04/5055675/benbrook-high-school-tech-academy.html#storylink=cpy




  54.  
    Justice

    It’s interesting how this bond package thing is creating such a stir, and it should! This district continues to think it can sneak things in unnoticed and people will be okay with it. This is my issue with this district; it thinks their way is always the best, regardless of what we, the taxpayers, employees, and parents think! Such arrogance! And speaking of arrogance; I was told today that the “catalyst” behind the push to hire Dallas Principal, Dr. Shaver, was none other than, Assistant Superintendent, Sherry Breed! Y’all know Sherry don’t you? Dansby’s known mistress, who was promoted to her current position after Dansby became permanent super? My, oh my, this certainly does prove, “It’s who you know.” Now, no one has questioned the board or Dansby about the “reversal to hire” decision, and no one will, b/c it would embarrass someone, kinda like it already did for Sutherland!

    So we fast forward to this bond package thing, yet another thing to divert the attention away from one of the biggest lawsuits against the district in the last 3 yrs…Palazzolo case. Y’all keep trying to divert it all you want, b/c from where I sit, your diversions are making you all look even more incredibly stupid than you have looked! Make no mistake FWISD, we are holding you accountable this time, b/c many are sick and tired of how you are bringing our district down with your shenanigans. You will not receive a dime in bond money from taxpayers this time around, until you can prove where the 90 million in surplus went to in the last bond. Asking for the things you are asking now is ridiculous and fiscally irresponsible.




  55.  
    Tom

    The new Board Members need to demand an audit of the last Bond issue. Where did the 90 million reported by the Star Telegram as “savings” go? Teachers and employees will tell you the “savings” were intentionally (and falsely) generated by Dansby simply by NOT doing all of the improvements and work specified to taxpayers during the Bond election. Several of the SAME improvements will now have to be addressed AGAIN. And the AHHS and Paschal football field resurfacing WILL NOT be repaid by so-called parent groups as claimed a year ago by Needham: they will be covered by the Bond with the other schools. Wake up people. The Palazzolo audio; the Bond and now Sherry Breed and the Shaver hiring – what more proof do you need about the COMPLETE lack of integrity in Walter Dansby. Why are Sutherland and other “embarrassed” Board Members not DEMANDING Breed’s resignation? Easy. Dansby’s mistress was the first person he appointed to Assist. Super after his appointment. And now that accountability ratings are out – joke that the new measures are – how ironic the only “needs improvement” high school is Dunbar. Home of the Nipple Pinching Principal who Dansby and Ray protected for over three years – covering up student/parent complaints AND high school of our new Board President Christene Moss.




    •  
      Justice

      You all need to take a look at the latest article in the Startlegram about the Tanglewood ES debacle. http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/08/5067654/dansby-says-fort-worth-school.html#my-headlines-default
      I can’t believe that the Star and Ch 5 actually reported something on the district that may possibly be viewed as negative on FWISD! I want to think that the public is hopefully getting sick and tired of all the non-transparency in this district. So far, we have heard about so much about Mike Miles at DISD, but only heard about Tanglewood, b/c this is in Needham’s area. Don’t think for one minute that Needham is allowing this info to go public, so that Dansby can look bad, thus giving them a reason to fire his ass! The more known embarrassments, the more ammunition usedto make the firing stick! We didn’t hear anything about the unauthorized raises, except in the Weekly and on Sutherland’s blog. We didn’t hear anything about Shaver in the news, except for the articles in the Star. We heard about Sutherland’s censure on Ch5 (and the Star), b/c Needham allowed it to be heard, again, b/c she has her personal motives and that is to get rid of Sutherland. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the board and district only allow certain information to be released; this “certain information” is surely aimed at making someone look bad! Then you have the Palazzolo/AHHS case and neither the Star nor Ch 5 or any other major news media, has yet to report what has transpired in the last 3 yrs! This isn’t a coincidence, but more intentional. I feel a little relieved that the public, although they might not know the whole truth about the district, is finally standing up and demanding answers and explanations. We need to keep putting on the pressure no matter what transpires!




  56.  

    I’m disappointed the weekly hasn’t written about the bond and the mess going on w/it. In an article about another district looking at a bond issue, their consultant recomended they wait until May to hold the election because there were too mamy items on the Nov. ticket and a bond issue was to important to get lost in the crowd so to speak. Gee, could that be exactly what Dansby and the board want so they can push thru an unnecessary and bloated bond?




  57.  
    Circus Watch

    And now the latest insult to our intelligence by these self-centered ego maniacs as reported in the StarT: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/12/5072175/fort-worth-school-trustees-will.html
    This from the idiot who though responsible for Dunbar, did absolutely NOTHING about the nipple pinching principal for four years. Why not start renaming schools that these fools named for themselves? Christene Moss Elementary; T. A. Sims Elementary; Jean McClung Elementary – this is disgusting!




  58.  

    The John T. White name change is another example of this boards arrogance. Beyond putting it on the agenda, no announcement is made until 2 days before a vote, so little public debate amd little criticism until after the fact. The FWISD board has a long history of using this tactic then afterwards it’s we’re so sorry, we won’t do it again. 1st the bond now this what next?




  59.  
    Justice

    FWISD continues to give itself a black eye after repeatedly making bad decisions with disheartening outcomes. And the “oopsies” are usually ex-post facto! I keep thinking about Mike Miles being in hot water for interfering with an investigation; I say this is child’s play, in comparison to all the crap FWISD has done and gotten away with thus far! Everything we’ve heard throughout the summer, beginning with the failed Palazzolo settlement, the leaked audio, censure, unfair pay raises, hiring of the former DISD misfit, down to this new bond package thing, is a HUGE farce. And yet, now the Star writes about re-naming a school to appease African Americans? The statement by trustee Moss was by far the most idiotic statement I’ve heard come from the mouth of a Board President…or human being! She contends she didn’t know why they named John T. White ES, other than it was the name of the street and not named after a person!? Are you kidding me? I had to re-read the paragraph to make sure it was a real quote and not some asinine remark from Jessamy Brown, which is not farfetched! So they spend more tax dollars renaming a school, b/c they don’t like that the school is name after it was just named 2 yrs ago and the name doesn’t fit the majority of the student populous race? There are many schools in our midst, which do not go with the majority of the student race population. This ridiculous attempt to rename the school is just another form of continued segregation, to quietly inform the public where they should or shouldn’t put their kids in school. When is our community going to get real about getting these idiots off the board and fire the superintendent, who seems to be behind a lot of these stupid decisions?

    There is SO much negativity, which continues to plague this district, because of all the botched up plans, frivolous lawsuits, corruption and so forth. And still, no one does a damn thing about it. Here’s a thought; since you all are so eager to change a name, let’s rename the Board of Education, to “Senility R’ Us”. You people are idiots! The only hope we have is that Palazzolo’s trial begins soon and all the dirt comes out about this district and the taxpayers recall trustees (Moss, Sims, Sutherland, Needham, Jackson, and Robbins). Something has to happen, b/c I fear the longer we wait, the more outlandish these last minute decisions will become and our district will implode as a result.




  60.  

    Now Walter has the bond divided into 3 options. He’s broken it down so that now it’s like buying a car. Economy, some extras or luxury bond. If they’re going to offer us options like that, break it down in smaller blocks and let us decide what we want. Lump the classrooms together, the practice fields in another and so on. That way we the people can get a chance to really have some input on this bond. More of a buffet than a set menu. Of course that way, it’s harder for Walter and the board to get any guarenteed kickbacks.




  61.  
    Justice

    So they decided to retract their decision to rename JTW ES! This is almost getting too comical! In the span of a month, they have “taken back” 4 outlandish decisions (salaries, Shaver, renaming JTW and the original bond package). This smells like a plot to me by Dansby and the board to try to make it appear they are listening to the public, in order to gain sympathy to pass their ridiculous bond proposal. AUDIT PREVIOUS BOND AND SURPLUS! And the “burying of bodies” continues! FWISD continues to be the biggest burden on taxpayers.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/13/5078468/fort-worth-school-board-backs.html





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