Brent McKim

Kooky Manual science teacher turned JCTA “President for Life,”  who has been promising to run “just one more time” since he eradicated term limits two decades ago, sits at the top of the food chain, and therefore, also at the top of the list of suspects. He and his merry band of gaslighters, apologists and white supremacists take up as many seats at as many tables as their gluttonous overcompensated, extra-planning-perioded, deeper-learning-tasked appetites can muster.

Kindof reminds me of this skit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, where the man just eats and eats until something tiny (a thin mint wafer) causes his entire body to explode, sliming his guts and their contents all over everyone nearby.

That’s what these union fat cats, who no doubt rub elbows with the rich and powerful at secret, invitation-only events, remind me of. You have to be one of the teacher’s pets to get added to the list. And in order to be added to the list, you have to do exactly as he wishes of you. Maybe it’s something seemingly harmless, like spreading a rumor. Maybe it’s something a bit more compromising, like spreading your legs. Everyone’s doing it. It’s not like anyone is making you. Sometimes there’s access to powerful people, lots of alcohol, lots of sex. Sometimes there’s drugs that you don’t even remember taking. And acts in which you may or may not remember partaking. You’re always free to leave, but once you betray his trust, you know you won’t get invited back.

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Honestly, I have no idea if and when parties I just described are happening. I’d be naive to assume that teachers were any different than any other group of close-knit, trauma-bonded people I’ve been in a multi-year, toxic relationship with. And boy were there sex, drugs and drama involved. The stories I’ve heard about Brent and the cause of the end of his first marriage makes everything else I just said seem even more plausible. Look, I’m not here to destroy this man’s image because of his alleged promiscuity or closeted behaviors. I absolutely support his right to privacy and protection from any kind of discrimination, should what has happened in the shadows become public, as long as it wasn’t criminal. But that’s the part where I’m just not convinced, which is why the above information is relevant.

I have recorded interviews with a respected Manual history teacher (and Brent’s former co-worker), Dr. Randy Wieck, who described some of the stories he heard from Brent’s now-ex-wife who would come into his classroom and cry about challenges in their relationship and his repeated indiscretions. These stories were shared publicly several times when Randy was a candidate for JCTA treasurer in 2021.

I also sat down and talked for three hours with Stephen Neal, who was the union’s Executive Director for 27 years until he retired in 2009, following an embarrassing and controversial incident. He told me about the paranoia Brent would experience and concern he would share with him during their drives to and from Frankfort, during the legislative session. One of Brent’s closetst friends, Alan Young, and his wife, Noreen, lives across the street from Brent and his wife, Jo Bell McKim, who he met during union-sponsored trips to and from Arizona. Steve said Brent would become noticeably uncomfortable when Alan or any other men in his circles would show any public displays of affection toward him. He recounted a time when a colleague named Tony came into a meeting space and kissed Brent on top of his head, sending him into a meltdown.

Jo’s entry into the JCPS/JCTA scene aligns with the stories Randy told us he heard about from Brent’s beleaguered, soon-to-be-ex-wife. Again, not to overshare personal information that is none of the public’s business, but Randy said Brent would tell his wife that “the pensions were going up in smoke.” It was a threat he tried to hold over her when he was caught in a compromised position. It’s relevant to the story’s plotline, because at a minimum, it shows a weak, cowardly leader, but it could even show premeditation of a criminal act, because during his tenure, teachers saw their pensions fleeced beyond recognition. As Steve tells us, the crime was perpetrated by lawmakers in both parties, but the coverup is where teachers

Both gentlemen shared stories about Brent going out of his way to prevent rumors about his continued sexual indiscretions from being spread. In other words, making up stories to distract people’s attention away from what they were suspecting, planting seeds of doubt so no one was really sure what they saw or heard, were common, noteworthy behaviors. I am aware of some specific examples and people involved, but I will save that for a later date because I’m not trying to add to the embarrassment. I only wish to demonstrate that these ongoing patterns of gaslighting and pathologically lying were established decades ago.

Another story that Randy and Steve shared was how there were term limits on the top offices when they joined the union, and leadership was strong. After Brent won his first election, he made changes to the bylaws to make elections every three years instead of every two. After he won his second election, he made additional changes to the bylaws to end term limits. Steve suggested he may have made some of these changes quietly, without a vote from the membership. Randy remembered how he campaigned for reelection after removing term limits, on the promise that he wasn’t going to run another term, but people forgot, or didn’t notice, and before we knew it, two decades passed. Members’ voices and votes were suppressed, pensions were fleeced, campaign contributions and endorsements were made (often against members’ best interests and expressed wishes), dark money super PACs reigned, and the fat cats and their loyalists couldn’t be removed.

And, unless teachers wake up and exercise their vote during this January’s election, and say NO to more of the same self-dealing, gaslighting, baseless attacks and cover-ups, this will continue until there is nothing left of JCPS or JCTA to salvage, if that hasn’t already happened. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Sources:

True People Search

Brent’s personnel file

brent mckim file

 

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