8/9/2022 0 Comments
Where do we start with the latest developments from the Park City School District? A few days ago we were processing news of a far-reaching lawsuit. Among the allegations in that lawsuit was a claim of sexual abuse, which was far from the only allegation, but understandably the one that got most attention given the well-publicized failure at multiple levels of the District to report suspected abuse.
The County Attorney now says they investigated those unreported allegations and couldn’t substantiate them. Well that’s ok then, they weren’t able to substantiate suspected sexual abuse and rape years after the fact so no harm, no foul, I guess. The tragedy is nobody wins here. There is still a possibility that one or more people sexually abused children, and if they didn’t, nobody was truly able to clear their name. With claims unreported and no consequences for anyone who failed to report, this will surely serve to disincentivize victims from reporting abuse in future.
The lawsuit in its entirety remains deeply troubling. Were the School District not so soaked in controversy perhaps reactions would be different, but after the mask mandate debacle, the failure to report, the obfuscating over class sizes while experienced educators abandon the district, the rampant cronyism, and so on, that’s not where we are. Many people reasonably found the lawsuit’s allegations easy to believe, and the family clearly feels sufficiently aggrieved to seek remedy through federal court.
At some point perhaps we’ll hit the bottom for the District, but not this week. Their prized building program is on-hold because nobody got the requisite construction permits. Where are the adults in the room to demand some level of operational competence, and some accountability for the constant failures and controversies? Apparently not on the current Board who just quietly renewed the Superintendent’s contract, with a nice increase to her already inflated compensation package, because they are “thrilled” with her performance.
Speaking of the Superintendent, has she ever taken responsibility for anything? It wasn’t her fault staff at Parley’s Park acted on her direct instruction not to enforce the mask mandate, just a misunderstanding that coincided with her stated belief that the mask mandate should not be enforced. It wasn’t her fault nobody reported sexual abuse allegations that came to her office, she didn’t know she had to and anyway she wasn’t even employed here when it happened (she was). Needless to say she accepts no responsibility for the building permits either, they never had to before, you see.
“Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” – George Washington Carver. Indeed, though to be fair the rot runs much deeper than the Superintendent. A Board of Directors who won’t hear dissent and actively belittle concerned public comment, a COO who pursues major construction without permits, a “cabinet” of highly-paid sycophants shielding the Superintendent from accountability; a cabal playing at running a school district with tens of millions of our dollars (hundreds of millions including the facilities plan).
Perhaps it’s some progress that they gave their side of the permit farce. We usually get nothing more than carefully orchestrated self-congratulatory monthly board meetings and an occasional Orwellian statement telling us to reject the evidence of our eyes and ears and believe everything is sunshine and rainbows in the District. Their standard communication strategy appears to be: say nothing and hope the next storm blows in before they have to. Sadly, it never rains but it pours.
On that note, what is the District’s plan for a potential monkeypox outbreak? What have they learned from their chaotic response to COVID? With a new school year just around the corner, that’s surging again too. What generally is the District’s process for capturing learnings from their helpless ricocheting from debacle to farce for ongoing operational improvement? No, I don’t believe they have one either. Grab your umbrellas.
Oh, and please vote in November.