District 81 BOE Meeting video 11/19/14 can be found here
I did the best I can in the transcription of this video for those who do not want to watch it or can not hear it. It is sad, and disgusting how some people act, and simply don’t care, or think they are doing anything wrong! Patricia is up for reelection. I wonder how many people will vote for her after seeing such contempt, and ignorance?
The School Board Vice President was visibly uncomfortable with the situation that started after the 32 minutes and 30 second mark of the video. The Board secretary Tina Ewanio moved forward with the board agenda, and mentioned that the discussion of a letter was next. The School superintendent briefly explained that the letter
Dr Boryszewski “So there was a letter that was sent to Darcy from two board members, from Dave and Pat and I had a request to add this item to the agenda for discussion”.
As the superintendent start talking, Patricia turned to look at her, and right as she said Darcy, Patricia started to nod giving the impression that she knows what Dr Boryszewski is talking about, and then again when the superintendent mention she was asked to add this to the agenda for discussion. Mary Ann Desecki continues
Mary Ann “After thinking about this I was wondering if it would be a violation of F.O.I.A or something sensitive as we have discussed, so at this time I would like to go ahead and make a motion that we wave attorney client privilege on this letter.
Rich Flanagan seconded it as Patricia G gave an odd motion with her hands sort of like whatever, or I guess. The Board secretary then called the roll.
Tina Ewanio “Stachura? absent, Downs? Yes, Ewanio? Yes, Flanagan? Yes, Godzisewski? “abstain, I don’t know what you are talking about”. Kowalski? abstain, and Deseki? Yes.
Mary Ann “So what I wanted to talk about here was a letter dated November 4th that, pat I believe you wrote to Darcy?”
Patricia “Dave and I wrote that letter.”
Mary Ann “So again something we were not given prior to its writing but we will go through it piece by piece” pat raised her hand in a gesture of sure why not or something similar.
Mary Ann “And just to make sure I have a better understanding of what was meant here, and um Darcy, oh Darcy is here sorry. This is a letter that was dated December 4th and was written to our new legal firm, actually our new lawyer Darcy. Again we had no knowledge of this letter going out, and I’m sure we will get charged for it. Again we didn’t know about it till we got the response, and it was disheartening to me because, well we will go through it”
Mary Ann “So I have a couple questions pat that maybe you might recall, lets start at the back. You wrote on this that
This note is sent as a confidential document to you from the President and Vice-President. It is not intended to serve as a discussion between you and the Superintendent or other members of the District. Please do not share, but call if we have any significant part of this wrong.
Mary Ann “Can you explain writing something like that? Why would you write something like that?”
Patricia “I choose not to answer you tonight because Dave is not here”
Mary Ann “You wrote it!”
Patricia “Dave and I wrote it”
Mary Ann “Ok So these are things you might want to think about”
Patricia “Thank you”
Mary Ann “Oh no we are not done, do you want a copy of the letter?”
Patricia “I have it here”
Mary Ann “Ok Good. So there is pieces in here that you wrote that I just want to go over, I want to find out were you got your information, and why you would put this in a letter? One of the things you have in last sentence of paragraph three
Others have been “investigated” under the guidance of the Uniform Grievance policy
Mary Ann “Now I can read the entire paragraph, but I wanted to know what you meant by “Investigated””
Mary Ann ” I would like to know what you meant”
Patricia ” I Choose not to respond because this letter came from both Dave and myself and he is not here, I’m not going to discuss on my half or his behalf So I’m not going to answer you (Shaking her head in a very condescending childish manner)
Mary Ann “Your not going to answer for your half?”
Patricia ” CORRECT” (With detailed pronouncement closely into the microphone)
Mary Ann “That’s crazy, are you kidding?”
Patricia (shakes head mockingly)
Mary Ann “Ok so Just so everybody here knows what this letter states” She goes on to read the letter
The purpose of this letter is to gain a better understanding of the actions you are apparently advising the Board to approve. Both Dave and I have discussed the situation and do not agree with your viewpoint or your recommendation.
Mary Ann “Is this open?” I can read every part of this? Every bit of this letter?
Mary Ann “Ok stop me if I cant” This is the good part”
The McCampbells are long-standing taxpaying members of the community. They are parents of children who are educated through the D81 system and are apparently in large part very satisfied with the level of care and schooling both of their children receive. The parents are actively engaged in and publicly supportive of the rich experiences provided their children as well as the school parent community at large (ABC Parent Group, Band, Chorus, field trips, etc.). They have publicly praised the District teachers and programs offered through the school under the leadership of Dr. Boryszewski and her Administrative team. In short, by their actions they represent what all school districts hope for in terms of parent engagement. Where is the huge and overwhelming problem that you think rises to the level of banning these parents from district events and properties and limits their contact with their children’s teachers—which represents the most serious act of isolation a school district can impose on any individual?
As it would seem, although the family is 95% satisfied, there have arisen several issues within the past 7 years to which they take exception. Since our time on the Board, we have read complaints and have been forwarded posts from social media that describe their perception of poor decisions and actions of various school personnel or their agents. Some have been addressed by other oversight entities including ISBE
Mary Ann “None of them have come back founded”
and other professional licensing agencies. Others have been “investigated” under the guidance of the Uniform Grievance policy.
Mary Ann “I still would like you to tell me what you mean by that?”
Patricia “What part don’t you understand?”
Mary Ann “Investigated”
Patricia “Its an investigation. Investigated”
What has been the impact of these complaints? In some cases, nothing. In others, there have been adjustments to processes (please refer to the decision by the FOIA officer who released 700+pages of documents pertaining to the McCampbell family to a community member inappropriately). The changes that were prompted by the issues raised by Mr. McCampbell have served to protect other families from similar sub-standard practices.
Mary Ann “you want to tell me what you meant by that?”
Patricia “What don’t you get?”
Mary Ann “What sub standard practices?”
Patricia “When Dave gets here we can talk about it”
In our view, Mr. McCampbell provided a service to the District by directly causing these practices to be scrutinized for their integrity. If all was well, they dropped the matter. If not, then they were supportive of the changes.
Were there any repercussions to members of the Administrative team or employees under their supervision? NO
Mary Ann “Want to talk about it?”
Patricia “Do you have a question?”
Mary Ann “Do you want to tell me what you meant by that?”
Patricia “When Dave gets here”
No one suffered professionally.
Mary Ann repeats “Nobody suffered professionally” while audience murmers
Allison “Like our district maybe”
There are —as far as we know—no letters in anyone’s file, no one lost their job, and all licenses remain intact. No one suffered personally either unless they hold that being ‘outed’ by Mr. McCampbell for a poor decision or action caused them psychological harm.
Long pause by Mary Ann followed by an “ok…”
Have there been any threats from the family toward anyone? NO. To the contrary, Mr. McCampbell and his wife Mary Jane continue to be law-abiding community members who simply want the best educational experiences for their children. They have, however, been the targets of bullying from Board members
Mary Ann “Do you know what board members?”
Patricia ” I think ill wait till Dave gets here”
Someone in the audience “Is Dave coming?”
and community members at meetings, in public and in their neighborhood.
Has anyone provided evidence or even raised the idea that Mr. McCampbell lied about anything he wrote either publicly or through emails/letters to the District? NO. The discomfort that has apparently resulted on the part of the Superintendent is based on….who knows? Perhaps she doesn’t like to feel that she didn’t handle certain situations as well as someone with more professional experience might have;
Mary Ann straitens up in obvious disgust, and stacks her papers hard on the desk with a sigh. She looks at pat and asks “Do you want to wait for Dave?”
Patricia Mumbles yes and something else.
perhaps she’s paving the way for another buyout suggestion;
Mary Ann “I didn’t get the first ones”
perhaps she holds a long-standing personal animosity toward members of the McCampbell family; perhaps she’s subject to paranoia and responds defensively at any perceived attack….It’s certainly beyond the scope of anyone’s—including your — professional expertise to ascertain why the Superintendent is feeling “bullied” or “unsafe.”
Mary Ann “Well I’m going to tell you right now she feels bullied and unsafe!”
This brings us to the matter at hand: your email dated October 31, 2014 and attached letter.
So here’s the way this situation seems to have evolved—
Your firm was hired several weeks ago to represent the District. You were responsive (em dated 10/22/14) to Mr. McCampbell’s request to clear the air with the Superintendent and move forward on a positive path of cooperation and communication. Your email dated 10/28/14 outlines the events of that meeting with Mr. McCampbell and you. You provided a mechanism in this email for managing any future concerns that would buffer the interaction between Mr. McCampbell from the Superintendent. Everything in the email (again, dated 10/28/14 7:42 PM) sounded like a true understanding had been reached and agreed to by all concerned. You characterized the meeting as “positive” and indicated that you would be sending a summary email to the McCampbells highlighting the agreements.
As we read this communication from you, I agreed with Dave that it was a good decision to hire your firm …
Mary Ann “It really was!”
we were finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and the situation was moving from negative to positive with your help. However, with this dramatic turn of events we are concerned about the emotional toll this will take on the children
Mary Ann “Now you are going to worry about the emotional toll”
as well as the predictable billable hours for your firm….All for what?
This whole situation took a big turn for the worse the following day (10/29/14). At some point, Mr. McCampbell alleges that certain community members called his wife resulting in details of the meeting being related to her that could only have been provided by someone in the room at the time. He characterized this situation as a ‘betrayal of trust’ and seems to believe that you (Darcy) will ‘look into the matter.’ He also provided you with a copy of request for mediation through ISBE in deference to his perception of the time commitments you have with other clients in an effort to avoid a time delay in resolving this breach of trust. So far, he has said or written nothing that could be construed as harassing in nature—he simply objects to the attack his wife endured when he hadn’t even received your promised summary so he could review the information with her.
We find it extremely significant that Mr. McCampbell (who through inference in his tone and language) addressed a few additional emails to you—not the Superintendent and not the Board—with a clear plea for support and direction on what to do next. He was abiding by one of the terms of the agreement in that you were one of the contact people he could trust to manage his concerns.
Mary Ann “Were not paying you for Mr McCampbells Concerns” Looking at Darcy
You promptly forwarded these emails to the Superintendent who then forwarded them to the Board. Why did you do that?
Mary Ann “She is our lawyer”
You established a rapport with Mr. McCampbell, and up to this very moment it would appear that he’s still trusting you to follow through on the promise to look into matters to determine where and how the breach of confidentiality occurred. Instead, you have developed a document and course of action that serves only one person, and that person has her own counsel to advise her.
Mr. McCampbell has been very clear that the focus of his concerns is the well-being of his family, not anything else. However, it appears to be his belief that the cause of his frustration and his family’s anxiety stems from the top. He trusted you to look into the matter of his concerns, and instead you have escalated this to result in his and his wife’s immediate banishment from the District. Who do you work for?
Mary Ann “Obviously, you know, us.”
The Board majority?
Mary Ann “There is no such thing. There is no board leadership, and there is no board majority. We are all here as one person.”
The Superintendent? By whose authority did you prepare the “No Trespass and Communication Directive?”
Mary Ann “It was a long time to get here, but I want you to understand we had a meeting. We did what we did, and it was our board decision. I just want to make sure everybody understands that.
By whose authority is the Special Meeting being called? The President didn’t call for it, and you have provided no email that suggests this was the idea of the required 3 Board members.
May Ann “It was absolutely the idea of the required three board members”
Your letter to the Board dated Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 at 4:02 pm is full of assumptions and innuendo. We believe you may have the wrong person when you accuse Mr. McCampbell of bullying and harassment. That doesn’t seem to be his style
Crowd laughs and clears their throats.
—his blogposts bear his name and his ideas, which is not the case with the ‘tool’ calling him/herself “Jim Tompson.” Those in the community who continue to attack the McCampbell family are beneath contempt.
We take strong exception to your actions. As I said a few days ago, I am unable to attend a Wednesday night meeting due to a prior commitment to my students. John and Dave will also be unable to attend due to work and family matters. We find it interesting that you consider it good practice to convene a meeting without the President and the Vice-President in lieu of scheduling when it’s convenient for the Secretary and another Board member.
Mary Ann “There were three members that asked for that meeting”
Rich Flanagan ” and that meeting was asked for, I think six days before the meeting”
Mary Ann “Yea”
There is nothing so urgent that rises to the level that you are putting forth.
Mary Ann ” This was extremely urgent!”
Please reconsider this idea and let us move forward as a complete Board to discuss your recommendation.
In closing, the letter you sent to the Board strongly infers by innuendo and your deductions that either Dave or I have been sharing confidential information outside closed session. We have customarily ignored these baseless attacks when they came from other Board members,
Mary Ann “You know the people up here”
their friends in the audience and the sarcastic, bullying and untrue comments from certain members of the Administration.
Mary Ann “In know way does anyone realy believe that there is any bullying or untrue comments from members of the administration, no way do we believe that!”
However, we are not ignoring them coming from you—we resent the implication and would appreciate your support to help us in our role as members of a governing body.
Pat Godziszewski, Board VP
David Stachura, Board President
P.S. This note is sent as a confidential document
Mary Ann “we will be discussing” looking at Patricia
to you from the President and Vice-President. It is not intended to serve as a discussion between you and the Superintendent or other members of the District. Please do not share, but call if we have any significant part of this wrong.
Mary Ann “I understand we cant tak about it at this meeting”
Patricia “You can talk about it all you want, I was not responding on behalf of Dave and Myself because he is not here”
Mary Ann “So we can talk about it at next months meeting”
Patricia mumbles something waving her hands
Mary Ann “So you don’t want to talk about any of this as your part”
Mary Ann “You find nothing that you need to address in this?”
Mary Ann “Wow”
Mary Ann “Alright”
Patricia “But thanks for reading it”
Mary Ann “I wanted to make sure everybody understood what it was”
Patricia “Why don’t you….Make copies or what ever you want to do with it”
Someone “I’m pretty sure it will show up in a blog”
Mary Ann “So this is something we need to discuss, no one person creating expenses”
Patricia “Thank you”
Mary Ann “I’m sure it had to be read and answered, so we need to bring it up in the policy meeting”
Mary Ann “And possibly make sure that this doesn’t happen again”
Some discussion back and forth that I can not understand while pat nods her head some more
Mary Ann “I mean thank god this wasn’t signed as the board, and just Pat and Dave”
Mary Ann “No one board member should be creating expenses or saying this kind of stuff, you never thought Darcy this was from all of us did you?
Patricia “It was clearly signed Dave and I” and spoke something else to softly to understand
Patricia “So we have your perspective on that, and it should be brought up to the policy committee as you suggested, and im sure that when Dave and I are both here, and you want a discussion we will be able to accommodate you.”
Someone “We will bring it up every meeting”
Patricia Sounded like she said “Oh I bet”
Allison “I had some things to say, but she isn’t going to answer any questions so”
And the meeting moves forward.
Share the ignorance of one member of a school board, and her silent partner. Share with everyone how they have and push their own agenda, and work on their own with no regard for the rules of conduct when in a board environment.