Static is working hard on a new filing system. For example, the file marked “Not At All Surprising But Still Disappointing” is filled with news bits relating to Arlington Heights High School.

Though Fort Worth Weekly has spent gallons of ink writing about the embattled AHHS campus over the last three years, scandal, like those fake snakes stuffed in a can, just seems to keep springing out.

After a teacher/coach was accused of indecency with a female student, AHHS Principal Jason Oliver told faculty and staff to keep quiet about the ordeal.


“Basically he called an impromptu meeting in the library, and we were told not to talk to the media,” said one school staffer, who asked not to be named.

Though Oliver didn’t make threats about the consequences of speaking out, the employee said, he didn’t have to.

“I think everyone kind of knows how Fort Worth ISD operates,” the staff member said, recalling the district’s treatment of former Heights assistant principal and whistleblower Joe Palazzolo.

Speaking of Palazzolo, the district is apparently nervous about what dirt might emerge from the trial of his court case on June 11. A judge denied the district’s attempt to delay it until October.

He was fired for exposing the school administration’s falsification of attendance records, widespread sexual harassment of teachers and students, and unfair punishment of minority students. Since Palazzolo blew the whistle, district officials have tried unsuccessfully to force him to keep his mouth shut. Though he hasn’t backed down, his case has put the scare into district employees. He’s become the poster boy for the way the district treats teachers and staff who speak out against it

Also from that file: Heights administrators are following the district’s retaliation script. A few months ago, the Weekly reported on the school’s horrendous treatment of its special education students (“Special Treatment,” Feb. 27). A Heights faculty member, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that afterward, administrators began to subtly retaliate against special education teachers.

The teachers have undergone what the staffer called “a light turning of the screws.” They’ve been asked to attend early-morning meetings with no agendas, their work has received extra scrutiny, and they’ve been given additional time-consuming tasks.

But, the school employee said, the department still isn’t meeting the minimum standards required by law for assessing special education students. The staff member said the department is still deteriorating, because “No one knows what’s going on.”

Perhaps it’s time to create a sub-folder, following the format of the old joke about steps in a project. In this case: “Punishment of the Innocent” and “Promotion of Non-participants.”


  1. Hey, can someone add some more bold and italic type to this article to punch it up a bit? I can hardly tell what I’m supposed to pay attention to.

  2. I personally think this was a good article. Good job Mr. Griffey and thank you for writing about FWISD, AHHS and Mr. Palazzolo. I definitely agree that you need a sub folder, perhaps one on FWISD, which should be labeled: “The school district, which apparently espouses retaliation, discrimination, bullying and a misuse of power!” Maybe you can just call it “The FWISD Norm” for short. Of course, you need to write an ENTIRE article on the upcoming trial and what has transpired in the last 3 years! This article, albeit thought provoking, doesn’t begin to scratch the surface, regarding the ills of FWISD and the lengths they have gone to discredit Palazzolo and “hide the bodies” in the process. Ironically, the worst and best mistake this district made was to fire Joe Palazzolo from AHHS. The worst because it removed a man, who loved his job and was helping his students, as well as his colleagues. The best because people underestimated him and thought he would grow tired of fighting the fight and get bullied to settle for money, like some people have already done or waiting to do. This district will NEVER come across another person like Palazzolo; he is the epitome of class and patience in the name of justice. All of you mean and ugly people will no doubt be wishing you never heard the name “Palazzolo”, after the June 11th court date. No one is stupid here, except for you minions, who have done what you can, unethically of course, to derail his whistleblower trial and continue to bury truths about AHHS and this district. And when I say “unethically”, I’m not only talking about the unethical actions of Vasquez, Rangel, Sutherland, Dansby, et al. I’m also talking about a certain unethical legal man, friend to Vasquez and Rangel and obvious “friend” to the district’s agenda to keep Palazzolo in court for the last 3 years! By the way “legal man”, Vasquez, et al…Karma is a bitch; she has a kick ass GPS and was recently seen at the May elections!

    Joe wants his job back, plain and simple! You heartless goons are keeping him at bay, out of fear. As far as AHHS continuing to be on print; it will keep on, as long as this board and superintendent are at the helm. Maybe Mike Miles needs to come to FWISD if DISD ever lets him go. At least we wouldn’t know what his agenda would be until a few years later, unlike Dansby’s transparent agenda, which incidentally, Vasquez and Rangel were part of, which was to be the first (overpaid and under qualified) Black Superintendent. All this and more, in exchange for support for political (Vasquez) advancement and job security for his district high paid wife (Rangel). Guess your “buddies” will soon be gone, thank God!!! Continued wasted ink on articles on AHHS and FWISD will indeed continue, unless WE ALL get smart and demand the Feds come in and investigate this entire district, like they did in Atlanta and El Paso. Keep going Palazzolo, you’re almost there!

  3. Dansby needs to go. He was a political choice in the first place and is respected by no one. He should be followed by the immediate resignations of Needham, Sutherland, Jackson and Moss. Not one ounce of integrity or moral fiber in all of them put together. Sadly no one ran against Sims or Robbins – they should have gone the way of Vasquez and Rangel. FWISD needs new blood and ethical leadership. Children are at greater risk now than ever before. Dansby bought the silence of so-called “advocates” with jobs and leaving no one to speak for the children. It is a joke that Oliver is still Principal, still attending Superintendent classes on District time, but there are others. Dansby has virtually stopped all discipline for appearance sake. The result is the continuing decline in student success an alarming rise in physical and sexual assaults where administrators are prohibited from involving Police and are expected to lie to parents. Dansby has personally chastised those attempting to discipline students and “make this go away” has become the mantra of his administration. FWISD is spending hundreds of thousands of YOUR $$$ on senseless litigation, intimidation and bullying. He makes even more than MJ did. When is “enough” enough people?

  4. AHHS will be forever known as the school that brought FWISD to its knees! Had it not been for the courageousness of the AHHS teachers and Joe Palazzolo coming forward 3 years ago, this district would continue to think that bullying, retaliation and discrimination is the norm! All the players, and you know who you are, involved in the malevolence at AHHS, will soon know that perseverance is good friends with justice! All the unethical, unprofessional and illegal shenanigans will be disinterred through Palazzolo’s whistleblower trial on Tueday. All you haters, who fabricated lies and bullied the teachers and Palazzolo to quit and/or be fired; you will regret the day you claimed FWISD was transparent! In my opinion, FWISD and “transparency” is an oxymoron in and of itself. You all are far from being transparent, when you make deals to keep former AHHS staff, administrators and current trustees from being charged for their criminal behaviors! You all are far from transparency, while you made, and still make, even bigger deals with trustees to continue the cover-up, by appointing an under-qualified superintendent, who has been in the know and part of said cover-up. SO much has transpired these last 3 years, since the first story on AHHS and the unfair firing of Joe Palazzolo was reported by Betty Brink. And SO much is yet to be reported. The roots of venality are deep; you can bet the TRUE supporters of the teachers and Palazzolo have worked diligently to unearth these roots. This is what you all get for “assuming” these good people would just shut up and go away! The bad luck continues at AHHS, because the bad people are still at the helm, but not for long! Betty started the fight for justice and we are finishing it!

  5. It’s hard to believe that the Arlington HS folks got away with so much during the debacle that shook the ISD to the core. To think that this is just one school of many that were doing whatever it took to graduate students and keep from becoming a low performing school. Ironically, the Heights was congratulated for their improvement at the convocation that August, the same year the story broke up about attendance fraud, missing files, questionable TAKS, etc.

    I remember Johnson called their name with such pride and we know why, because her buddy, Needham was the trustee of that school. What a joke! What was not a joke though was Needham warning the teachers at the Heights that if 18 out of the 21 kids who graduated without credits were NOT graduated, it would put the school on low performing status. Yes, 21 kids graduated and didn’t deserve to so. To add insult to injury, at least two of these students went on to commit murder in our community! Would they have not committed murder, if they would’ve finished school by doing it the old fashioned way? Who knows? One thing is for certain, being awarded credits to graduate by cleaning and dusting offices does have its lasting affects…as in prison! It is clear that people in lower, mid and upper management made these unscrupulous decisions based on collective ideologies of cheating the state!

    After the Heights and Palazzolo news permeated through the walls of every school in the district, the district once known as being the top 3 of districts in Texas rapidly became the bottom. Isn’t it ironic that no one heard of failing schools in our district until the year AFTER the Heights news broke? The Weekly reported it was 22 failing schools to be exact! Unfortunately, the Heights had to be the sacrificial lamb for all others who I am sure were doing the same thing, but never got caught. The district, led by then superintendent Johnson, with Walter Dansby as her right hand person, knew exactly what they did! The board of “Un-trustees” knew too. What a shame that millions have been spent thus far to protect the guilty and keep the innocent out of a job with the district. I continue to be outraged and pray these people will be brought to justice through our court system.

  6. It is unbelievable that the FWISD is lead by unscrupulous leaders. The “mafia style” approach is undermining the children under these administrators who called themselves leaders. Have you heard any information about the preliminary test scores of FWISD?

    Well, Dansby and his team cannot blame anybody else because he kept the same idiots and gave them more power to bring the district to the floor. What it goes around comes around.

    Dallas ISD has a Super who has the courage (cojones) to make the appropriate changes to at least benefit the interest of children and their communities. Dansby has too many strings attached, and he will not be able to make any significant change because he chose to perpetuate the corruption. UEA endorsed him, too many incompetent are untouchable.

    Do you believe that the same leaders who destroyed the system are going to fix it? If your are optimistic, let’s give them 15 more years until these “leaders” retire. That will be fifteen generations of children who will gamble on their future the same way as the ten generations who have been lead by these leaders gambled their future.

    Clarification: Leaders include; board members and central administrators who are in leadership positions.