We have grave concerns that the JCPS internal investigations department lacks the ability to police itself, much less the entire district. We also feel that more should be done to intervene when harmful, potentially discriminatory behaviors are first reported, potentially avoiding the need for grievances, lawsuits and settlements, not to mention loss of quality educators and staff of color. In addition, we feel the internal investigations department should be fully investigated are held accountable for these complicit acts of furthering the harm.
Until the district can create intermediate solutions that provide opportunities for restorative justice for those harmed by racism, discrimination, retaliation, harassment and more, we decided to create the Dear JCPS Teachable Moments Facebook group. It was in the creation and fulfillment of this effort, that we uncovered these concerning behaviors. It appears JCPS may be in need of a Teachable Moment of its own.
Below are some of the experiences we had that led to our concerns and subsequent allegations:
On 8/5/20, Gay Adelmann met with Ms. Jodell Renn, JCPS Investigations, to discuss our new “Teachable Moments” Facebook group and a protocol we were attempting to create for sending screenshots and other pertinent information when educators were witnessed exhibiting culturally inappropriate or harmful behaviors, in the hopes that early interventions could be provided and harm to all parties could be mitigated. While on the call, I expressed concern to Ms. Renn that critical information was not reaching Dr. Pollio’s desk, and requested she investigate a specific instance where I felt employees may have covered up information in order to protect each other.
On 8/7/20, just two days later, we received our first “Teachable Moment” message, and as promised, I forwarded an unredacted version of it to Ms. Renn, along with the name of the teacher using racist and threatening language, along with the names of her victims in the message, as well as the school where they taught, which was Maupin.