Hillhouse Principal “Not Backing Down”
by Melissa Bailey | Sep 26, 2012 1:42 pm
Posted to: Schools
(Updated: 7:20 p.m.) From the steps of City Hall Wednesday, Principal Kermit Carolina decried an “abuse of power” and vowed to fight a three-day suspension for allegedly overseeing transcript-tampering and rule-bending at Hillhouse High.
“This is political vindictiveness,” Carolina declared at a 5:30 p.m. press conference, in which he maintained his innocence and sought to shift the blame to the superintendent and mayor for casting his school in a negative light.
Click on the play arrow to watch his remarks.
Carolina was reacting to a meeting midday Wednesday at the Board of Education headquarters at 54 Meadow St., in which schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo issued him a three-day, unpaid suspension in connection with a grade-changing probe at Hillhouse. The discipline came as a result of a 28-page report accusing Hillhouse staff of participating in transcript-tampering and preferential treatment for student athletes.
On Tuesday, Mayo issued unpaid, two-day suspensions to three Hillhouse staffers—part-time administrator Ed Scarpa, Hillhouse Assistant Principal John Nguyen, and football coach Tom Dyer—as well as Riverside Principal Wanda Gibbs, for their roles in the case.
Carolina on Wednesday said no one deserved even a day’s punishment. He continued to maintain his innocence; he said he was the victim of a “witch hunt” because he refused to support Mayor John DeStefano’s 2011 reelection bid.
“I did nothing wrong,” he said. “All my staff members who were suspended did nothing wrong.”
In a press statement distributed Wednesday afternoon by Carolina and his attorney, Michael Jefferson, Carolina lashed out at his boss, calling Mayo “a political hack” who should be “fired.” He said he plans to file a grievance to fight the discipline. Click here to read the statement.
“They’ve got a recourse” if they want to contest the discipline, Mayo said earlier Wednesday. “But the superintendent is through” with his role in the probe.
Carolina said despite his objections, he does plan to serve his suspension on Thursday, Friday and Monday as directed. Mayo also ordered him to undergo professional development and to “meet with athletic coaches and make it clear in writing that they are not to request grade changes and credit consideration from teachers.”
Mayo refrained from disciplining Carolina Tuesday because he couldn’t find him, according to schools spokeswoman Abbe Smith. Smith said the school system didn’t want to announce what the discipline would be until Mayo could meet with Carolina. Carolina “could not be located at school” and “failed to return calls to his cell phone” Tuesday, Smith said. He “told his director he planned to leave early Tuesday,” she said.
They met Wednesday instead. The meeting was apparently very quick: Carolina signed into the front desk at Board of Ed headquarters at 11:56 a.m. and signed out at 11:59.
“I just did what I think I needed to do,” Mayo said outside his office after the meeting. “We’ve got to move on and educate these kids.”
Carolina gathered a few dozen supporters Wednesday evening on the steps of City Hall. He accused Mayo of distracting kids by announcing the probe publicly on the Friday before Christmas break, before any allegations were checked out; by taking eight months to drag out the investigation; and finally by dropping the report two days before school started.
“You can’t drop a stink bomb on our school, and then tell us to focus on kids with the bad stench in our building,” Carolina said. He said he is “disappointed” in Mayo for carrying DeStefano’s water.
“The school district now is governed by a philosophy of mayor first, kids second.”
“The fact that Principal Carolina does not appear to take the investigation and the problems at his school seriously is very troubling,” schools spokeswoman Smith responded in an emailed statement Wednesday evening.
“The investigation has nothing to do with politics,” Smith said. “It grew out of a whistleblower complaint by an assistant principal at Hillhouse. It would have been irresponsible not to fully investigate the allegations and not to discipline staff who played a role in the wrongdoing. Dr. Mayo believes the discipline he, and he alone, decided on is more than fair.”
“Political attacks are nothing more than an attempt to distract from the real issues here,” added mayoral spokeswoman Elizabeth Benton Wednesday.
After reading the report, Mayo met individually with Carolina and the rest of the staff who were cited for misconduct and heard their sides of the story.
The discipline centers on a handful of students at Hillhouse, most of whom were athletes. The alleged wrongdoing did not concern standardized tests.
Case 1: Transcripts Altered
The report found that two Hillhouse football players, referred to as Student #1 and Student #2, were sent to Riverside to earn credits for summer English classes instead of taking more advanced classes at Hillhouse. The students were awarded twice as many credits for the summer courses as other students were, according to the investigation, performed by outside attorney Floyd Dugas.
Dugas said Wanda Gibbs, Riverside’s longtime principal, “misled” him as to the length of the summer program. She was suspended “for misleading the investigator about the length of day for the Riverside summer school program and for allowing two student athletes to be granted double the amount of credit usually granted for summer school classes.”
Several Hillhouse staffers were accused of tampering with the two students’ transcripts, allegedly in order to make them look more desirable for the NCAA.
The classes the two students took had been listed as “Summer School 2010 English I” and “Summer School 2010 English II” on the students’ transcripts. Hillhouse football coach Tom Dyer became aware that the transcripts had the words “summer school” on them and was concerned “it would not look right or be given appropriate weight by the NCAA,” Dyer told Dugas in an interview.
Dyer (pictured) brought the matter to Carolina, who brought Dyer to the office of Ed Scarpa, a retired teacher who had returned to Hillhouse to work part-time, to discuss the matter. Assistant Principal Nguyen was also present for the discussion, according to the report. Scarpa upgraded the description from “basic” English to “college” English, giving the false impression that the classes were different from the ones the students had already taken at Hillhouse. He deleted the reference to “summer school.”
Scarpa confessed to changing the course description and appeared to know what he was doing was wrong, Dugas found: Before making the confession, Scarpa prefaced his remarks by, “I know I will probably get fired, but,” according to Dugas.
Scarpa was punished “for his role in deleting a reference to summer school for classes taken by two student athletes and adjusting school records regarding grades, credits and courses.”
Dugas charged that Carolina knew about the grade change. In his defense, Carolina admitted he brought Dyer to Scarpa’s office to address Dyer’s concern, but claimed he did not stay “more than 30 seconds” and left the two to sort out the problem. He claimed he was unaware of any wrongdoing. And he argued that there is no distinction between a “basic” and a “college-level” course in the New Haven Public Schools; all courses are considered “college-level” on transcripts; therefore the change in course description was not substantive, he said.
In addition to asking for the course description change, Dyer further asked a guidance secretary to replace the D and D- the students had received in English at Hillhouse with the A and A+ they received at the easier summer school courses, according to the report; the guidance counselor refused that request.
Coach Dyer was disciplined “for his role in course descriptions changes and granting enhanced credits for student athletes.”
Case 2: Missed Days Of School
The report also accused Carolina of bending an attendance rule to enable one of those two same student athletes to advance to the 12th grade. The “160 day rule” specified that a student who skipped more than 20 days of school would not be allowed to move up to the next grade, according to Dugas.
Student #1 missed 45 days of school, and was nonetheless promoted to the 12th grade. In his own defense, Carolina said Hillhouse had stopped following the attendance rule during his tenure; however, Dugas produced an email that he said contradicted Carolina’s claim.
Case 3: A Missing Signature
Dugas accused Carolina of bypassing the rules for a third student, who was not a student athlete. The student, who was in danger of not passing junior year due to lack of credit, requested permission to receive three credits for work experience. Dugas accused Carolina of signing off on a form to grant the credits before the student’s work supervisor had verified that the student did the work—a violation of protocol.
Carolina argued that he directed an assistant principal, Shirley Love-Joyner, to corroborate the hours and complete the form. Love-Joyner claimed Carolina ordered her to grant the credits without verification.
It turned out the student had performed the hours needed to get the credits. Dugas charged Carolina had bent the rules for the student by skipping proper procedure.
Case 4: Grade Deleted
Mayo himself investigated the case of a fourth student, Student #4, a student-athlete seeking to play Division 1 sports in college. Mayo concluded that Carolina and others bent the rules to help the student scrape by in school.
After the student flunked Intermediate Algebra at Hillhouse, Carolina and girls basketball Coach Catrina Hawley approached math teacher Fred Redeaux and asked him to take the student in an “independent study,” according to the report. Redeaux initially declined. School staff came up with a plan to help the student make it through the year, including giving the student extra time to take tests. Redeaux eventually was “persuaded” to take on the student in his college Algebra I course at Gateway Community College.
After the student passed Redeaux’s course, Hillhouse staff later deleted the student’s failing mark in Intermediate Algebra from the transcript, “including any reference to the student ever having taken the course.” The deletion had the effect of inflating that student’s GPA, the report notes.
The report is unclear as to who deleted the grade: In one place it says Scarpa did it; in another place the report alleges Assistant Principal Nguyen (pictured) made the deletion.
Nguyen was disciplined “for his role in adjusting school records regarding grades, credits and courses.”
In these four cases, Carolina and other Hillhouse administrators “allowed a process whereby coaches and other staff influenced grades, course selection and credits for certain students. The lack of oversight over coaches and the extraordinary efforts to adjust courses mid-year for certain students created to a culture of special treatment for certain student athletes,” the school district’s press release read.
Gibbs, Scarpa and Nguyen will serve their suspensions on Thursday and Friday; Dyer will serve his on Monday and Tuesday of next week, according to Smith. They could not be reached for this story.
“The bottom line is that administrators and staff at Hillhouse and Riverside engaged in grade and credit tampering and preferential treatment of certain students,” a statement from Mayo’s office read. It noted that the problem was not “widespread” and “seemed to focus on student athletes.”
In the press release, Mayo outlined steps the school system will take “to ensure all students are afforded the same opportunities for courses and credits and that no one set of students ever receives preferential treatment.” That includes reviewing policies about credits, courses and grading; clarifying summer school protocols “to confirm that academic rigor and course credit remains consistent”; and notifying coaches that “that they are not to request grade changes, course changes or credit consideration from teachers for any student.”
Superintendent Mayo, who initially called an “emergency” school board meeting last December to publicly announce the investigation before any allegations were checked out, on Tuesday called on the district to move forward and “bring our focus back to what matter most, educating our children.”
“Mistakes were made and lessons learned from this unfortunate incident. It is time to move on,” he said.
In a statement issued Wednesday by Carolina and Jefferson, Carolina stood his ground.
They said the investigator, Dugas, was biased against him because he donated to the mayor’s reelection campaign. Superintendent Mayo “once again has proven his willingness to follow orders from his political master,” they said.
“Not one person should have been disciplined based on this sham investigation,” Carolina and Jefferson maintained. “The discipline imposed was done for one reason and one reason only – to ensure that the Mayor’s blunder in going after Principal Carolina for political reasons was not exposed.”
In his statement, Carolina questioned why the investigation took eight months to investigate.
Carolina further accused Mayo and DeStefano of using the school system as a “patronage system” and “coercing” school employees to contribute to DeStefano’s campaigns.
“If Dr. Mayo was held accountable for all that is wrong with this District he should have been fired as superintendent a long time ago. But because he’s useful as a political hack for the Mayor’s political ambitions he conveniently remains as the Mayor’s faithful servant in the Black community,” Carolina and Jefferson wrote.
“If the Mayor and Dr. Mayo want a fight they will get one. We are not backing down one iota,” their statement reads.
“The Mayor has played bully ball for far too long and someone has to stand up to him. They have intimidated individuals to the point where there hardly any political dissent whatsoever in this city. We are tired of this and we will fight to the bitter end to clear Principal Carolina’s good name.”
• Principal Calls For NAACP Probe
• Report: Hillhouse Has Rule-Bending “Culture”
• Hillhouse Probe Stretches Out, Tops $26K
• Asst. Principal Sues Ed Board In Hillhouse Case
• Jefferson: School Official Shouldn’t Be In Room
• Hillhouse Rallies For Carolina
• New Suspect Named In Grade-Changing Probe
• Jefferson Calls For “Conflict”-Free Investigator
• He Was Where?
• A Standoff In Grade Probe
• Investigation Formally Revealed At “Emergency” School Board Meeting
• Out Of Public View, Schools Rush “Emergency” Pre-Xmas Meeting On Grade-Altering Charges
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Honesty. Integrity. Character. Truth. Fairness. Justice. Fair play. Academic integrity.
These are principles we teach our young people at home. We send our children to the New Haven public schools to have those same principles taught there.
We tell our kids to study and work hard and it will pay off in the long run. Most of our students who excel and do well do just that: they work and learn and EARN their grades by their own diligence and intellect and are able to succeed beyond high school, graduate with degrees from college, and become successful in their chosen careers.
Now such principles have been subverted and publicly exposed in New Haven. Now like in the adult world, students learn its not what you know but who you know. The Hillhouse lesson is that rules are meaningless, cheating is not taken as a really serious offense, and that nice administrators will help you out if you are missing a credit or two, or if you need a higher grade. It is NOT a level playing field in school. If you are an athlete, school administrators will lie and cheat for you to help you graduate, help you get an athletic scholarship, and help you get into college to play a sport even though the likelihood that you will ever graduate from college with a degree is almost nil. You can be absent from school 30, 40, 50, 60 days and school administrators will retroactively rescind decades-old absentee rules designed to discourage high absenteeism in order for you to receive credit and graduate. A nice message to children who come to school every day or most days. Student athletes can receive double the credits for half the required work time for summer school courses. Yes, scholars, school administrators look out for student athletes in strange and unethical ways, and give them unfair advantages over other students.
Those liars and cheaters who really harm our students by their actions and who are such horrible role models are unfit to remain educators. Nevertheless, they will be suspended for two days and will be back on the job next week to mold the hearts and minds of our youth! Some of us thought that the Superintendent needed to clean house at Hillhouse and provide fresh new leadership. Now we seriously question the judgment of the Superintendent and the Board of Education.
Are you kidding?!? 2 days suspended pay for enabling a grade/transcript fixing conspiracy?
How about dismissal and if not, how about a new super?
What surprises me is John. He is actually smart. In fact, he received a Milliken Education award not too many years ago. The fact that he was working as an “assistant” principal to Carolina is ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is the fact that he was sucked in by Carolina.
Last night listening to those coaches talk about how much Carolina has done made me want to throw up. he has been there no more than 3 years. Educators have been there much longer who actually teach and help students get an education. Carolina is all smoke and mirrors. When that one guy said “he’s from the “hood”. And he knows “the hood”. Well that says it all. Is that what we are going for here?
Ed Scarpa is a retired Assistant Principal. He’s collecting a pension and a per diem rate. How is this guy allowed in the school. This is a gross assault on taxpayer’s money. The independent should do a separate story just on this.
John Nguyen is a 3rd year administrator with many years to go before retirement. Send him back to the classroom with a teacher’s salary.
2 days without pay?? Falsification of documents that’s the penalty? The way to prevent corruption is with stiffer penalities. How about making them perform unpaid community service for an entire summer related to promoting/fostering the education of the students the passed and others in the school system. They lost two days of pay while the students they ‘passed’ lose a lifetime of benefit. Not sure the penalty fits the crime here.
I want to make sure I understand this. Although we all know that the Mayor controls the superintendent, and that educators have a pay for play requirement in New Haven, readers are willing to believe the results of an investigation done by a financial contributor to the Mayor’s campaign? Incredible. Let’s start with this fact: 7 of Joyner’s 8 claims were found by Dugas to be unsubstantiated. The one that was substantiated is easily dismissed because to believe it, you have to believe that Riverside is not a high school. Let me explain. There is an allegation that a so-called basic course became a college English course. The problem is, there is no such thing as a basic English course in the New Haven Public Schools. To make matters worse, riverside is identified by the district as a Tier II school, making it a better school than Hillhouse, which is Tier III. So, if a student takes a class at a tier II school, it is less rigorous than the one at the tier III School? It makes no sense. The Mayor and Superintendent would like to think it’s over now. I can assure you, this is no where near the end.
posted by: True that on September 26, 2012 10:43am
I want to make sure I understand this. Although we all know that the Mayor controls the superintendent, and that educators have a pay for play requirement in New Haven, readers are willing to believe the results of an investigation done by a financial contributor to the Mayor’s campaign? Incredible. Let’s start with this fact: 7 of Joyner’s 8 claims were found by Dugas to be unsubstantiated
You speak the truth.In fact wait until this gets to court.The real deal is comming out.
Read this.This is not the teachers Cheating.
Stuyvesant Students Describe the How and the Why of Cheating.
I agree with most everyone else here. These are light penalties for grade-fixing.
To anyone who thinks these kids needed the break, think about this: what about the other kids applying to these same schools and programs who actually EARNED their grades? Letting these kids cheat to help them out is cheating the kids who did the work out of what they have rightfully EARNED.
I have no direct knowledge of the case, and I don’t even have an opinion about the guilt or innocence of any of the administrators involved, but I do have a major concern, as should all who are interested in this school system. Why would the board of education and the superintendent:
1. make themselves seem devious? Think about it. The initial charges last year were made at a so-called emergency meeting of the board of eduction, on the day that schools dismissed for the Christmas vacation. Not only was Mr. Carolina not invited, but he wasn’t even informed about the meeting. He learned about it from an outside source.
2. make themselves seem devious? Why would they employ an attorney who has direct ties to the mayor, who was also implicated by virtue of Mr. Carolina’s assertion that this case was prompted by the mayor’s being upset with Mr. Carolina for reasons in no way related to Mr. Carolina’s professional responsibilities?
3. not first speak to Mr. Carolina, who had been accused of a serious offense by his assistant principal?
My hope is that Mr. Carolina and the others are innocent because I want to believe in the integrity of the system. I will assume that they have been wrongly convicted because of the way this case was handled. In a court of law, I would be asking for a mistrial. New Haven deserves better judgment by its board of education and its superintendent.
Here, here @Cleveland!!!!
It seems that nobody is saying that Mr. Carolina is not a “nice guy”. I agree, all I hear is how he is all about helping the kids. I find that admirable. You can still be a nice guy and be a liar. I have an uncle like that. Awesome guy, great to go to a ball game with, fun to sit around and shoot the breeze with, very generous with the children - but still is a sneak.
Threefifths/Truth - This will never hit a court of law and you both know it. It will be settled out at a great cost and disservice to the taxpayers. The noise about campaign contribution is just noise and you also know that. Pull the campaign contribution records for any elected official in any community (including the New Haven Board of Alderman) - there are boodles of people who do business with communities on the lists - it does not equal nefarious behavior.
For the few of you left with an open mind on this, the other side of this story will now get to be told. Joyner, as reported in NHI, has filed a lawsuit against Carolina and Jefferson.
NOW the facts will be made public, Joyner will have to answer to her so-called allegations, and Dugas’ report will be seen for it is- a shabby, conjecture filled document with no supporting evidence. Be patient, those of you are witholding judgment and you will see. The rest of you who already made up your minds based upon 1 side of the story, there’s no convincing you anyway.
Did I read that right? Carolina is referring to his boss, Mayo, as a “political hack”??? He is vowing to fight the 3 day suspension???? I am a New Haven Teacher and I am astounded by this. He is calling a press conference on the steps of City Hall???
This makes no sense. A man who was given a job he did not deserve and was not qualified for in the first place is calling his benefactor a “political hack” and he is getting away with this conduct? Maybe Carolina should have been forced into therapy because he has clearly lost all reason.
posted by: just my view on September 26, 2012 1:34pm
Threefifths/Truth - This will never hit a court of law and you both know it. It will be settled out at a great cost and disservice to the taxpayers
Read what westville man wrote.For the few of you left with an open mind on this, the other side of this story will now get to be told. Joyner, as reported in NHI, has filed a lawsuit against Carolina and Jefferson.
NOW the facts will be made public.This is already in court.
Read what True that on wrote. Let’s start with this fact: 7 of Joyner’s 8 claims were found by Dugas to be unsubstantiated.
I can not wait to get my front row seat in court.
Read Jefferson’s statement and you will see who is really politicizing this.. The sound and fury is a calculated setup to keep this alive and then run Jefferson, Highsmith or another African American power player for mayor, and they are using this as an excuse to try and build a power base… Watch them run, then promise to put in Highsmith as education superintendent, or at least assistant, mark my words… and 3/5 is playing right into their hands…
Using kids to play politics doesn’t work no matter which side you are on…
Threefifths… just because a lawsuit was filed DOES NOT mean it will go to court.
Three days suspension without pay… should just cut his losses and move on. This is now all about Carolina - not the students.
Who says crime doesn’t pay???
And the beat goes on…. hope lots of people get $20 tix for parking violations… we need the money to subsidize this incompetent, corrupt regime…
Shame on you NH… children are watching…
@ Solsbury. Carolina’s reputation is at stake and has been compromised. There is no backing down when one’s reputation has been tarnished falsely.
“African American power player”? What the heck does that even mean? Is Destefano a “white power player?”
Like i said, all of you with your minds made up are a lost cause anyway. The rest of the public will finally hear the truth.
No one ever stands up to King John. Well now that is going to change.
I don’t have a dog in this fight per se, but I will say two things: I don’t know Kermit Carolina, but I have seen him in action when he was a basketball coach and he always struck me as someone who wanted to do better for the kids he was around. That he would engage in grade tampering, while possible, in my sense it is unlikely because he would have been all over them to work harder in the classroom. Second, what these administrators are being accused of is very serious stuff—certainly worthy of termination. If that is true, then why such lax punishment for something no school system should tolerate?? The inconsequential nature of their punishment tells me Mayo knows if he really pushes this further it will backfire on him. My guess is he is thinking that a brief suspension that is no more than couple of days off will make all this go away. I think someone forgot to tell Mr. Carolina those were the new rules!
@Solsbury and just my view.Are you saying that a person does not have the right to clear there name if they feel that the charges are false?You dont find it fuuny that as true that said The investigation was done by a financial contributor to the Mayor’s campaign.Again this is what courts are for.@ Solsbury.And the only hands I will be playing is when I clap my hands for Mr.Carolina victory when he clears his name.
I started posting about NHPS and education because of my experience as a minority educator in this city (and others).
I don’t know Mr. Carolina but I have relatives on Hazel Street who have sent their kids to Hillhouse. (all college grads now by the way) I remember when Hillhouse was a war zone. I hope the school has improved its culture.
I know that the mayor uses the schools as a jobs program for his political supporters. I don’t know how he gets away with it but no matter how the achievement numbers point south or how many of our young men lay dying in the streets, he manages to get elected term after term.
Many say that his appointed superintendent of schools guarantees the black vote along with the support of some influential black clergy. I don’t know for sure about that.
But I do know for sure that patronage politics in our schools has deteriorated the chances for NHPS to make a true turnaround that would make headlines. The irony is that the very road the mayor takes to office negates the results he claims to want in our schools.
Every time a patronage hire or appointment takes place in NHPS, a chance for an unknown effective contributor to our community is taken by someone who really should be somewhere else but for their or their family’s political contributions. Multiply this times hundreds of examples, such as Barnard School, and you have the situation we now find ourselves.
Given what I know about NHPS, I applaud Mr. Carolina and Mr. Jefferson for taking a public stand and speaking to power.
I also applaud Mr. Carolina for standing up to this administration. Let’s be clear here. Until (if ever) New Haven has an elected BOE, whoever sits in the superintendent’s seat is subservient to the Mayor. And in this instance it’s pretty damn clear that New Haven’s Mayor held a grudge against Carolina for not supporting him. That’s obvious from the “Kermit, you were there” message. Does anyone in NH really think this was a reference to a road race? Absurd, and I have to feel that even the Mayor regrets his decision to send it. I hope, anyway. But, the bigger picture is that our Mayor sought revenge and Mayo had no recourse but to comply. Just another reason for the BOE to be elected by NH voters.
Mr. Carolina, I wish you well and hope that you continue the fight against this nonsense. I know you will.
The problem is that Principal Carolina can’t be both a recipient of political patronage and then complain about it when the system doesn’t work to his liking.
I agree with SOLSBURY that this has all the markings of a political campaign, and oh hey, isn’t that former mayoral challenger Clifton Graves in the photo right behind Pricipal Carolina and his attorney? Hmmmm?
The reality is (see the article on the mayor in Yale Daily News), that there are three main political power bases in the city: Yale/Elite/East Rock, traditional AfricanAmerican, FairHaven/Hispanic… Westville aligns with the Yale/East Rock crowd, as does MorrisCove sometimes, and the Hill is fragmented. The EastRock crowd is the one that treats Cross as a private school, and is more than happy to have Hillhouse in a mess (it justifies why the Westville students don’t go to Hillhouse as they should)..
This is a play to split the AfricanAmerican community apart, pitting Mayo (the old school/church crowd) that have played nice with the Mayor vs the upstarts (Jefferson etc..) that aligned with the anyone but DeStefano crowd (Kerkes).. Read Jefferson’s statement (and is that really how a lawyer writes??) and you will see it has nothing to do with administrators or kids…
Brutus, your limited experience with one principal must have been tough… but both Jefferson and Brutus are very misguided if they think the mayor cares or even knows that much about which one of the 130 administrators writes what piddly campaign check.. he has much more influential power bases and people to work with.
Delusions of grandeur all around..
Robn- that would make sense if Attorney Jefferson hadn’t endorsed Kerekes when Graves was running last year. So there are no “dots” to connect.
If you think defending one’s professional reputation against false and trumped up charges smacks of politicking, then I understand your posts.
A slap on the wrist. Unless and until the school administration and those in city hall turn a blind eye to this type of behavior by school authorities we should not expect our children to take responsibility and be accountable for any unacceptable activities. The City of New Haven’s legacy is not one to admire under this leadership.
One more very important point about this sordid situation- Solsbury’s parenthetical remark about “how a lawyer writes” reminded me of this:
Attorney Garrison, a long-standing member of the CT bar, filed a LAWSUIT against Attorney Jefferson in his capacity as Carolina’s ATTORNEY for defamation!! This almost NEVER occurs and when it does, it brought by out of district attorneys, not local v local attorneys. And, when has that happened to Diane Polan, Norm Pattis, Hugh Keefe, et al when they publicly comment on their adversary’s client? Never. Why? Because attorneys have qualified immunity from defamation claims in the course of their representation of a client. Something stinks in all of this and it will come out. This will NOT play out according to plan for Joyner & Destefano.
Nice try. Clifton Graves did poorly in the primary and was long gone by the time Attorney Jefferson endorsed Kerekes (only a couple of weeks before the general election.)
As to “defending ones reputation”, if Principal Carolina doesn’t like being reprimanded by his boss, he should either quit or file a lawsuit to prove that he didn’t do anything wrong. Good luck with that. In my opinion, there’s enough evidence to dismiss everyone involved and I’m shocked that the super didn’t.
Robn. Better than a nice try, it’s true. Attorney Jefferson was working for kerekes long before the public endorsement, choosing him over Graves.
I wouldnt advise anyone who is wrongfully, publicly reprimanded and whose reputation has been tarnished, to simply quit. Maybe you would, though. As for the lawsuit, it’s not over yet. Stay tuned.
And the “evidence” you think you think is there will turn out to be mere speculation, opinion and ignorance.
Atty Jefferson publicly endorsed Kerekes on Sept 21, 8 days after Clifton Graves lost the Sept 13th primary and only 19 days before the Nov 8 general election.
“If you are early, you are on time, if you are on time, you are late.” Consider the dots connected.
Keep speaking the truth to power.Like I said.Can’t wait for this to get to court.
in the army - court martial
in the church - excommunication
in the school system - 3 day reprimand
How can you maintain discipline and accountability in such a system?
Robn, while i know this might be getting tiresome for other readers (and perhaps to you and me as well), my point was that Attorney jefferson did not support Graves. And i know, by way of personal knowledge, he supported Kerekes very early on. i understand you are going on his date of public endorsement, but my point is that he never supported Graves, even when given the chance, so there’s no “coincidence” that Graves at the press conference, other than his support of Carolina. But i guess next year’s election will prove that to you.
Robyn, there is a great deal you either misunderstand, or deliberately obfuscate. Carolina was not the beneficiary of patronage. He served as a teacher and as an assistant principal at Hillhouse before he became principal. He is a certified and highly qualified educator with deep roots in New Haven. To suggest that Carolina was somehow a beneficiary of patronage suggests that he was unqualified for the position. I am curious as to your evidence in drawing such a conclusion.
As to Graves’ presence at the press conference, I can say with certainty that he was not formally invited to attend, nor was he asked to position himself next to Attorney Jefferson. Graves attended the press conference in the same way that 90 others did. Jefferson never endorsed Graves, and did endorse KEREKES. So, for your line of thinking to be taken seriously, KEREKES, and not Graves, would have to be next to Jefferson.
If politics were not the basis of this farce, then provide a reasonable explanation as to why Matt Smith, the Mayor’s aldermanic liaison, called aldermen to give them a “heads up” about the action taken by the superintendent?
Westville Man, your thinking is too logical and rational for most to understand. You should try adding some untruths and half-truths so that certain bloggers will be more amenable to listening.
To perspective, perhaps the punishment doesn’t fit the crime because there was not a crime committed. To Cleveland, I know it must have been difficult for you to hear that Carolina has done outstanding work. Just because no one has recognized your work does not mean that you should belittle the work of others. Carolina has a long history of inspiring, supporting and mentoring young men in this city that is, perhaps, unrivaled among his peers. Don’t forget that he worked as a teacher ( a certified teacher) and as an assistant principal (a certified assistant principal). He is an educated man who has a track record of effective leadership. The Mayor bullies almost everyone; this time the one being bullied stood up and fought back. We should admire Carolina, not vilify him.
posted by: DavidK on September 27, 2012 12:01pm
in the army - court martial
in the church - excommunication
in the school system - 3 day reprimand
How can you maintain discipline and accountability in such a system?
And in this system we have a Appeals Process and Mr.Carolina has not exhaust the entire appeals process.
posted by: DavidK on September 27, 2012 12:13pm
I would like to add - Mayo should fire Carolina!
And if the appeals process or court system finds that Mr.Carolina is innocent of all charges,Them should Mayo be fired and king John step down.
@Truth/Threefifths - so are you saying that while the grades and class descriptions were changed, Carolina was not involved in any way, shape or form and that there were rogue employees responsible for the falsifications?
The smoking gun in this fiasco is the
“Kermit- You were there. -John” note. As they used to say, if you think this was sent to Carolina because of a road race then I have some swamp land to sell you in Florida.
Sure. 20 year veteran mayors always pick out upstart penny ante donors and then send them threats in the form of hand written notes with a signature. That makes perfect sense.
posted by: just my view on September 27, 2012 9:22pm
@Truth/Threefifths - so are you saying that while the grades and class descriptions were changed, Carolina was not involved in any way, shape or form and that there were rogue employees responsible for the falsifications
The question that should be asked is why was the investigation done by a financial contributor to the Mayor’s campaign?As far as Mr.Carolina not involved in any way, shape or form.I believe him.
How about a investigation to see if Administers are forced to be financial contributors to the Mayor’s campaign.
i guess only in politically driven new haven can people get away with anything. This whole thing disgust me. Only in New Haven can you evidence be found, have admission from teacher of wrong doing, insult your boss and the mayor but still able to keep your job!! Any other school district all parties would have been fired! if 3 days was all the punishment was going to be they should not have waste time and money on a investigation. Also, all this hoopla Kermit and Mike speak about the mayor this and that have we forgot if the mayor really didnt like him at the end of the day he is Mayo boss and if he really wanted him fired he could make it happen. Someone anyone needs to fight the fact that this is the freakin punishment!
True that and Three Fifths, why do you keep insisting that only 7 of the 8 were substantiated? Anyone who reads the report can see that your statement is untrue and also see that Dugas did not even comment in his conclusions on students 5,6, and 7. You are whistling in the dark if you cannot see how the weight of this evidence will not be a key factor at the next level where you cannot misrepresent facts. You are asking people to believe you and not their “lying eyes.” You are also counting on people not checking things out for themselves and believing that the “Man” is out to get Kermit. The same man that hired him and his wife, and has allowed him a great level of autonomy to imprint his vision on Hillhouse. For three brothers who claim to love Black people they are giving the kids in New Haven a great lesson on how to attempt to destroy the reputation of two people who have done a lot for children. Their time will come. Just because the other side is not chirping, you should not interpret silence as fear. The arc of the universe bends towards justice.
I thought the polarizing issues of our times were abortion and gun control.
In the interests of offering a middle view, let me say that while I thought the investigation was politically motivated and over priced, I also found it to be thorough and fair.
Two and three day suspensions? Sounds about right to me. In education, firing people is a complete carrier ender. I don’t think that was called for. albeit, Dr. HhE would have suspended Principal Carolina for five days.
I have been called “naive” before, and on my first day of teaching I am sure I was. By the end of the second day, not so much. I can tell you that this sort of thing happens all the time in secondary schools. Usually, no one notices or at least complains.