Wednesday, August 6, 2014 Website Needs to Include School Administrators!

Last night I found the following website called It's a website created by the federal government to help parents and schools deal with bullying of students and young adults. Checking out the website reminded me of the first Public Comment made the other night at the Fox C-6 School Board meeting by Jim Osia. Jim made an excellent point when he asked the Fox C-6 School Board when they planned to put a Zero Tolerance clause for bullying into school employee contracts.

Last year, I made a similar comment when the district adopted their new Anti-Bullying policy. I said that the new Anti-Bullying policy needs to apply to school district administrators and board members as well. I consider it bullying when your school board members ignore your concerns regarding bullying that's being made by school administrators.

When I stated that the Anti-Bullying policy needed to apply to school administrators or leaders, I knew that some of the online harassment and bullying that's been made against me dating back to 2010 could only have been made by school district administrators due to the information contained in their remarks.  It took filing a lawsuit to confirm that the IP addresses from those comments were indeed linked to district administrators.

How did I know? Well, very few individuals had any knowledge of what was stated in some of the online comments. When one of the comments made by "Troop" referenced sparks would be flying soon for some which was in reference to the sending out of Cease and Desist Letters in early 2013, even the school board wasn't aware that those letters had been sent. Since they were sent by Superintendent Critchlow, that information could only have been given to "Troop" by her or possibly another administrator who Dianne confided with.

Former Fox C-6 school board member Ruth Ann Newman and former Fox C-6 school district superintendent Jim Chellew knew about the Cease and Desist letter that Dianne Critchlow sent to me in August 2012 because she copied both of them on my letter. So they were aware of what was going on.

Dan Baker "Apologizes" at School Board Meeting
At the August 4, 2014 school board meeting, Mr. Dan Baker was asked to make a statement at the start of the school board meeting by Fox C-6 School Board President John Laughlin. Mr. Baker read a prepared statement regarding his household being associated with posts linked to the recent internet scandal. I have to say that I was not impressed by his apology. But I admit I'm biased since I am the target of that post.

Dan Baker was mostly likely the person posting the comments. I don't know his wife at all and have never met her. But, Mr. Baker has been "working" with me and my wife on Section 504 issues in the district for more than 6 years now. So, he had a lot of knowledge of the issues and a lot of reasons to want to make the posts.

Mr. Baker is the reason that the National Director of the USDA's Office for Civil Rights began working on removing federal funding from the Fox C-6 School District last year for the National School Lunch Program.

Mr. Baker tried to pull a fast one on the USDA OCR National Director by changing documentation after it had been submitted it to USDA OCR to close a complaint. Of course Mr. Baker denied any wrongdoing. In an email, Mr. Baker clarified that he "accidentally" sent the wrong version of the document.

Luckily the National Director of USDA OCR FNS didn't believe Mr. Baker's story. But, it was a good try!

(Don't worry too much about Fox C-6 losing its federal funding for the National School Lunch Program. Removing federal funding is a very long and drawn out process. It takes an act of Congress for it to happen. Plus, it has never happened in the past since school districts typically comply with federal law when asked to do so. But that's not how Fox operates. They've been fighting USDA OCR for years.)

But back to Baker's online comment.  Dan may believe that his comments weren't that bad compared to those made by "Troop" and many others posted on the Topix website over the past 4 years. But, posting the comments that were made from the Baker's household while holding the position of Section 504 Coordinator for the Fox C-6 School District is extremely problematic for both Mr. Baker and the school district. Let me be clear on one very important point: Even if the comment traced to the Baker household were the ONLY comment made by a Fox school district administrator, it would be scandalous.

If our school board members were more knowledgeable about Section 504 Law, perhaps they would have terminated Mr. Baker and/or Angela Burns Baker for cause immediately after an admission was made to posting the comments that were made. But, that didn't happen. As I stated the other night at the school board meeting during my Public Comments, allowing the Bakers to keep their jobs, definitely sent the wrong message to our community. As I stated to the Board at Monday night's meeting, "Being the person who was attacked, definitely doesn't sit too well with me." since I was the person being called out in one of the comments made from the Baker's household.

Not only was I the one being targeted, but the comments were posted within hours of the January 2013 Fox C-6 school board meeting. I had just mentioned during Public Comment at the 2013 board meeting that I hoped that speaking that night would not lead to more online defamatory comments being made about myself and others for speaking that night by anonymous posters. But, someone in the Baker household took it upon themselves right after that meeting to post a comment that contained lies as well as libelous comments about me. Yes, that should be outside of Mr. Baker's "personal and professional standards" as he stated in his apology the other night. However, someone in their household did make the comments and should be held accountable and I don't mean just a "slap on the wrist".

Does posting comments such as those linked to the Baker's household violate Fox C-6's Policies and Regulations and Professional Code of Conduct?

I certainly think so. Of course I am biased. But, based on comments from others, I don't think I am alone in my opinion. Even the panelists on Donnybrook thought the Bakers should have been fired

The actions of Dan and/or Angela Burns Baker easily violate any employment contract that they may have had with the Fox C-6 School District. But, for those comments to come from the Fox C-6 School District's Section 504 Coordinator's home violates federal Section 504 Law. I believe that they may have also violated Missouri DESE's code of conduct for educators holding a teaching certificate in the state of Missouri.

The website has a page covering Federal Laws that apply to Bullying. The Federal Laws page instructs you to contact your school district's Section 504 Coordinator to file a complaint when bullying occurs.

So, what are you supposed to do when your school district's Section 504 Coordinator is the one doing the bullying?

Should your school board give them a slap on the wrist by docking them 2 weeks of pay and spreading the amount being docked over the next 24 pay periods?

I recommend reading about the Federal Laws that apply to Bullying at the website using the link below.

Certainly I'm biased in my opinions that Dan Baker should have been terminated for cause because I was the one that he was personally attacking online. But, I also know a lot about Section 504 Law. I have been dealing with it on a regular basis with Mr. Baker for the past 6 years. I also know that what he did by posting online comments directed at me violates Section 504 Law. It is considered retaliation due to the fact that we filed complaints with ED OCR and USDA OCR and those complaints were open at the time that his comments were made.

Dan Baker's newest contract states that, "Administrator agrees to comply with all federal, state and local laws." So, if he violated Section 504 Law, would that not be cause for termination? 

Previous contracts may not have stated this directly, but they were supposed to according to district policies and since district policies also states this, it should have been covered anyway.

Fox is Looking to Reduce the Budget
Fox's 2014-2015 budget was discussed again at the August 4, 2014 Fox C-6 School Board meeting. Leah Thorsen of the Post Dispatch wrote an article about what was discussed at the August 4th board meeting and even quoted me in the article. The article said that Fox is still looking to cut another $1.1 Million dollars from the 2014-2015 budget. Terminating the Bakers would save the district more than $300,000 in salary and benefits. The district contributes an amount equal to 14.5% of their salary to the Public School Retirement System which is roughly $38,000 per year on top of their combined salary of roughly $260,000. So cutting $300,000 from the budget by terminating the Bakers would be nearly one third of what the district still needs to cut.

I've had several people ask me what the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction does for the district. I don't know the answer to that. But, perhaps our school board knows. They recently moved Mr. Baker from the position of Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education over to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. 

Since very few people seem to know what the position entails, it might be a position that can easily be eliminated!