Let me know if you recognize this drill:
JCPS employee witnesses white coworker do something harmful to Black and/or Brown students in their care. Employee finds the appropriate time to raise concerns to their administrator about non-white students being discriminated against, denied services, physically, mentally or emotionally harmed, or worse. Administrator takes the information and says they will look into it, but the problems continue.
Employee continues to bring concern to appropriate authority, but is told to look the other way. Whispers and strange things start happening around the workplace. Subtle and not-so-subtle hints are dropped. Whistleblower is labeled as a “bad seed,” someone you can’t trust, and the well-known games to remove the unwanted employee begin.
From my perspective, I’d even go so far as to speculate that raises and promotions go to those who know how to best manipulate the system, and who cover for their white peers and a handful of non-white people who toe the line. Cheaters are rewarded. Whistleblowers are retaliated and discriminated against. Retaliation can consist of, but is not limited to, intimidation, demotion, manufactured evidence (falsified documents or allegations), grievances, write ups, set-ups, and the constant, endless moving goal post of due process denied.
These problems are not unique to JCPS. Metro Parks recently paid a $1 Million settlement for something that sounds very similar. Watch the video of the interview with their spokesperson below.
If you’ve experienced it or witnessed it, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Victims eventually run out of money, time or energy fighting a bureaucratic system full of intentionally vague hurdles and run-arounds, or are bullied into taking a low-ball settlement that comes with a gag order so the problems can continue to be swept under the rug. The patterns and practices resume!
Meanwhile, taxpayers foot the bill, without being privy to the amounts, accusations, demographics or other relevant data that might permit opportunities to make improvements and begin to break down the institutionalized racism that is entrenched in a city with our history. I know this information is elusive, because I’ve done several open records requests trying to get at this information, to no avail. In fact, it’s one of the reasons my current board member went on the attack against me instead of hearing our concerns and helping us get to the bottom of it. He’s a lawyer, so he knows how the games are played. It makes you wonder what records he and those who benefit from keeping him in that seat are so desperately trying to hide.
If we knew what these recurring patterns and practices in these lawsuits were, our leaders could start to make improvements that would likely not only get at some of the root cause issues, but also keep more of those hard-earned tax dollars in our school system. These are the kinds of improvements that would finally narrow the achievement gap and get Frankfort politicians off our backs. Our new student assignment plan presents a real opportunity to do just that, but we must act now.
That’s why I’ve decided to run for JCPS School Board. I’ve been advocating for JCPS Parents/Guardians, Teachers and Students, especially our most vulnerable students and families as well as schools that serve high populations of these students, since 2012. I’m the co-founder of two non-profits that I’ve been working as a full-time volunteer to support. I have spoken at dozens of JCPS School Board meetings and testified in Frankfort on numerous occasions. We’ve spearheaded efforts that removed Dr. Hargens and David Jones, Jr. stopped a state takeover, stopped or slowed charter schools, vouchers. But the war against public education is now on our doorstep.
As a “district of choice,” people living in District 3 attend school all over the county. Our responsibility is to protect and support students, educators and schools across the entire district. My son graduated from the Academy @ Shawnee, and I know what a great opportunity authentic magnet programs present to the students who are drawn to them. That’s why one of my campaign proposals is “dual resides for all” so that all students, not just those who live in West Louisville, have both a school close to home assigned to them, but also a newly renovated and immensely supported school in West Louisville.
I support ALL public dollars that are earmarked for public schools to remain in public schools. I am fiercely opposed to charter schools, vouchers, state takeovers, high-stakes standardized tests, censorship of facts, science and history, and other tactics used by privatizers and the lawmakers who grant them access. In addition to continuing to have some of the best public schools in the state, I envision a JCPS where our Black and Brown children can be finally lifted out of generational poverty and oppression through equitable and convenient access to free, quality public education. We’re moving in the right direction. I promise to not only be a good steward of the public’s tax dollars, but I promise to be a “momma bear” for our children while we are charting our next course.
Racism and retaliation against whistleblowers who report it still hasn’t stopped. Even with everyone watching, documentation, records exposed, video evidence produced, it still doesn’t seem to matter. They sweep it under the rug and keep doing the same things over and over again. What will it take to hold accountable leaders who perpetuate structural racism in JCPS? Let’s find out. I’m up for the challenge.
If would like to share your experiences publicly or anonymously, or you are interested in pursuing possible legal action, please complete the JCPS Pattern or Practice Survey.
More information about my campaign for JCPS School Board, District 3, can be found at www.AdelmannForKY.com. Thank you.