A school district official denied that bullying and retaliation was a widespread problem in the Fort Worth school district. That same official denied that another trustee wasn’t being allowed to get her issues onto the board’s agenda.
Board president Norman Robbins didn’t respond to Fort Worth Weekly in time for print, but did so this morning.
“I’m not aware of instances of the school district not responding to agenda requests, although some requests require vetting which can delay their being placed on the agenda.,” he said. ” Regarding bullying, that is absolutely not tolerated and needs to always be reported for further investigation.”
During the whistle-blower trial of Joe Palazzolo, numerous teachers and district officials testified that there was indeed widespread bullying and retaliation throughout the Fort Worth school district. Robbins, who testified on behalf of the district, denied that bullying and retaliation was a problem.
This week’s metro story is about board trustee Ann Sutherland, who is having a tough time getting some of the issues she cares about on the board’s agenda. In the story, she accuses interim superintendent Patricia Linares of violating board policy and Robbins of allowing Linares to get away with it. One of the issues Sutherland has been trying to add to the board’s agenda involves the district’s use of short-cycle assessment tests — benchmark tests that occur every three weels designed to prepare students for the STAAR test. The other issues Sutherland claims Linares and Robbins are ignoring centers around a district employee who was allegedly demoted with a pay cut for reporting workplace bullying. Sutherland is trying to get that employee a grievance hearing.