LAUSD Robots Only Follow Orders...

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Just when I thought it couldn't get more bizarre... I met with my Principal Janet Seary and Ignacio Garcia of LAUSD Staff Relations today, because it was Seary's intention to issue me another Notice of Unsatisfactory Acts and another 15-day Suspension for alleged acts on my parts that go back as much as 8 months to September 29, 2009. Surprise, this wasn't one Notice of Unsat and one 15-day Suspension, but rather two.

When I asked Ignacio Garcia if he had read the answers to these new charges, he said he had, but that "these were only preliminary finds and not as yet conclusions." So my next question to him was, "Since you've already waited 8 months, why not wait a little longer to see if there is any validity to the charges?" He responded, "The charges and penalties are not being imposed at this time." But this is only true, because I have a right to appeal the charges which tolls their implementation- something I should not have to do if there was not a preponderance of the evidence showing that I had done something wrong, which Garcia admitted there wasn't at this time.

I queried him on whether it wouldn't have been more reasonable to complete the investigation to ascertain whether I was in fact guilt of anything charged, since to hit me with charges with admittedly no reasonable belief on the part of LAUSD at this time that they were in fact valid was abuse of process, harassment, and a violation of my civil rights. Garcia responded, "I don't make the decision, we are not management, and my opinion in these matters is merely advisory. We leave this up to the principal."

My take away from this is that Principal Seary can do whatever she damn well pleases and LAUSD Staff Relations will back her no matter what. Being the social studies teacher that I was, my mind related this to the Russian mobilization plan at the beginning of the First World War. Once they started to mobilize against the Germans (you know Isenberg is a German name), they could not stop without leaving themselves vulnerable to invasion, because the railroad tracks, once occupied with trains pointed in one direction could not easily be backed up. With all the trains carrying troops and supplies the tracks were blocked. To stop the mobilization would have left them open to invasion.

At some point in this mobilization, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II called his cousin the Russian Czar Nicolas II (related through Queen Victoria of England) to apprise him of the fact that he didn't want war. Czar Nicolas II immediately got on the phone and called his chief general at the front to tell him to stop the mobilization. The general pulled the phone from the wall and later swore that he never received the phone call.

LAUSD's top/down model functions in the same unidirectional siege mode that L.A. Times Reporter Michell Landsberg analogized to a MASH triage unit during the Korean War. They don't know how to think or negotiate, only blindly defend the miscreants within LAUSD no matter what they do. Independent of my own personal problems with LAUSD, this is not a model for successfully running a school district or instituting desperately needed reform and after generations of this failed process, it should be clear that someone needs to intercede to change this clearly way of doing business.

The entropy that leads to totalitarianism and the blind obedience it requires only comes after a long time of allowing the toxicity of ignorance to remain unchallenged. Failed public education has now lasted so long in Los Angeles and elsewhere throughout the United States that it is clear to me that the people like Ignacio Garcia, Janet Seary, Janice Davis, David Vidaurrazaga, Jim Morris, and Ramon Cortines are products themselves of this failed public education system and as such do not have the rational thought processes necessary to understand something as straight forward as what it really takes to educate students or what it means to respect my constitutional rights under law. They must content themselves like Superintendent Ramon Cortines with statements like, "My main concern is that the students of LAUSD get educated," when rational, honest, and dispassionate examination of what LAUSD does would tell him that what he and his acolytes are doing actually precludes this goal.

It is up to teachers, students, and parents to get the cajones to finally make these fools pay for their crimes by making them an offer that they cannot refuse or continue to ignore. This does not require sending Luca Brazi to visit them, but rather for teachers, students, and parents to come to the realization that Cortines and Co. function because the majority that wants better is too cowed to stand up. When all is said and done, I'm still standing and will remain so until these people are gone. Whether I am right or wrong, I have felt a whole lot cleaner in the last year and have recaptured the idealism of my youth, which is a better way to live than the way most of you are living under the continuing reign of terror at LAUSD. If we only get one chance to go around, can you honestly say that this is the way you want to live your lives?

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06 2010

3 Comments

I am going through something that sounds very similar to what i am going through. And my colleagues see this and they are terrified because clearly the principal's power has gone unchecked; as you point out, staff relations is protecting the administration, not the real resources, which are, of course, good teachers. I was also assigned 15 days without a hearing after being put on admin. leave after reporting serious non-complaince concerns in special ed at my school. I have plenty of evidence to clear my name and indict the principal for harassment, wanton mendacity and incompetence, but no one is all that interested in seeing this. I think teachers have to unite and mobilize efforts to take over schools with the parents, which is a viable option for PI schools that has been economical and far more fruitful for the teachers and their students who know that public education is not a "business" as principal Lopez calls it.

Dear Leonard,

Until this website is clearly and presently relayed to all employees of LAUSD and certainly the rank n' file of UTLA, "NO ONE" will identify, sympathize, empathize, connect, share, rebel against the LAUSD machine that you so eloquently expose to the "Smoke and Mirror" system that exists. As I was told, you, me, the others reassigned make-up but a fraction of the system: Roughly 1/20th of less than 1%. Who cares beyond you and the fraction that read your comments and occasionally respond. Though I empathize with your plight having my own Janet & Janice puppet show (like Cukla-Fran & Idiots) revolving through similar doors and hoops, there too is a zero rationale to their behavior but hard as I try, the powers in place could essentially care less. From reading one of your previous articles you need to remember 821.6! They can and will do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want without any accountability ever! How can you win against a stacked deck?

The greatest accomplishment of LAUSD knuckle heads is getting teachers and other rank-and-file District employees who are in the majority to believe they are in the minority. When playing with a stacked deck, you don't play by their rules. What classified and certificated employees know from their daily experiences is more than enough to bring accountability to LAUSD entrenched bureaucracy, but not if they refuse to talk about what they know, come together, learn from each other, and organize. As dishonest as LAUSD bureaucracy is, they have a party line/platform from which they do not deviate- that is how the minority can continue to control the majority of us that want change. A clearly defined platform with specifically defined planks to that platform would leave these fools no place to spout their meaningless platitudes of everybody is going to college. PTSD teachers sit around in what resembles group therapy sessions talking to each other and nobody else about an LAUSD entity that has clearly shown it is not listening. It often takes less than a 2000 vote plurality to elect an LAUSD Board Member. Control the Board and you can dismantle LAUSD or at the very least restructure it into an entity subject to independent accountability and consequences. We presently fail with our students because there are no consequences and we fail with LAUSD as you rightfully point out, because their are no consequences. It is worth pointing out to you that Government Code Section 821.6 makes LAUSD administration teflon when it comes to actions within the scope of their employment, as for willful and maybe even criminal actions on their part, I think the jury is still out on this one. Has doing nothing saved teachers from their greatest fears?

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