You won't find the same type of in depth research in our local newspapers or media like you will here. There are just too many problems and too much information to put into a newspaper article or a news cast.
I've pointed out the following paragraph from Fox's school board policies several times before on the district's commitment to Character Education . It states what the community expected from Fox administrators and from our school board over the years but didn't happen.
The district recognizes the home as the primary source of moral, ethical, and religious instruction; the role of the school is to support the family by upholding the highest example of morality, ethics, and integrity. A policy on character development is for the benefit of all students and is written with respect and sensitivity to the diversity of religions, cultures, creeds, and beliefs.
Tim Crutchley and Todd Scott demonstrated their own share of extremely poor decisions in their use of credit cards and hotel and meal choices and the appointment of Dan Baker as interim principal at Seckman Elementary School.
Everyone reaches a point when you just have to say enough is enough and people are shown the door!
It takes an educator 5 years of working in the same school district in order to obtain tenure. Once a teacher or administrator has earned tenure, it's much more difficult for them to be terminated.
For years I've questioned how things being done in our district were allowed to continue as individuals appeared to be violating the "Immoral Conduct" rule. I took my concerns to our school board informing them of what was going on and nothing was done. Their Willful Blindness allowed the behavior to continue for years. Without the board's leadership and willingness to enforce board policies along with state and federal laws, our administration has been able to take advantage of the school board and our community both financially and emotionally.
As the District’s Section 504 Coordinator from June 2008 until he was put on paid administrative leave on June 4, 2014, Dan Baker was the person responsible for ensuring that the District was compliant with the laws regarding non-discrimination, including Section 504.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) investigated Fox and determined that the District was non-compliant with several issues pertaining to Section 504. As a result, ED OCR and the Fox C-6 School District entered into a "Resolution Agreement” to bring the District into compliance.
As the person responsible for the District’s Section 504 compliance, Mr. Baker signed the agreement on May 1, 2009 on behalf of the District. Over the course of the next 5 years as Fox’s Section 504 Coordinator, Mr. Baker never fulfilled all the terms of the Resolution Agreement items to which he agreed.
ED OCR corresponded many times with Mr. Baker regarding the District's progress. Mr. Baker received 4 monitoring letters from ED OCR between December 2009 and May 2013 listing the items that he had still not completed along with new deadlines. Mr. Baker never met all the terms in his agreement with the ED OCR. I believe Mr. Baker has been given enough "chances" to do the right thing. He has proven that he is unable to do so.
Similarly, another federal agency conducted a separate independent investigation and also found the District non-compliant with Section 504. As I’ve shared many times before, USDA's Office for Civil Rights (USDA OCR) notified both the Fox C-6 School District and Missouri DESE in August 2011 that they were found non-compliant with Section 504 and the ADA AA. They were told to correct the problem “immediately”; however, it wasn’t until Dr. Rizzi replaced Mr. Baker as the District’s 504 Coordinator in 2014 that the District corrected their mistakes. I think it’s pretty obvious that Mr. Baker has been given enough "chances" to do the right thing, and that he has proven that he is unable to do so.
USDA OCR Letter to US Senator Roy Blunt
Here is one interesting letter of correspondence from USDA OCR Food Nutrition Services to our U.S. Senator, Roy Blunt, from May 2013 updating him regarding Fox’s “refusal” to come into compliance during the time period when Mr. Baker was our District’s 504 Coordinator.
The letter from USDA OCR to Senator Blunt stated that:
"As a result of the Fox C-6 School refusing to come into compliance, FNS is now discussing options with the Department of Justice for enforcement assistance to resolve this matter."
A derogatory post directed at me only hours after I spoke at the Fox C-6 school board meeting during Public Comments on January 15, 2013 was traced to the Baker household. There were also online comments directed at me earlier that same day that were traced to computers at Fox C-6 as well as to the Critchlows home that night. What an excellent example of Integrity and Respect shown by some of our District's administrators.
You can't ignore the fact that Dan Baker and his wife Angie Baker were caught posting derogatory comments in an online forum while he was the district's Section 504 Coordinator and his wife was the district's Director of Federal Programs, They DID NOT set a good example for our students who are taught not to cyber bully other students.
The Bakers will continue to be a distraction to this district and the community until they are terminated or leave on their own accord.
Knowing the Laws, Policies and Regulations
It certainly doesn't seem our board members got the full story from the Bakers as to how many times they posted on Topix. They were allowed to stay because the community and the board was told that only one post was linked to their home computer which wasn't true. Posts were also linked to the cell phones as well.
I can guarantee you that new school board members aren't going to learn enough about Sunshine Law, Board Policies and Regulations and the numerous state and federal laws in just 16 hours of training to know when their not being told the truth. That's why it was so easy for Fox's former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow to take advantage of our school board for years.
There are relatively few qualifications necessary to run for a position on a local school board of education in most school districts in the state. A candidate must be a citizen of the United States, a resident taxpayer of the district, a resident of Missouri within one year and at least 24 years old.
Successfully elected board members are further required to complete sixteen hours of orientation and training for within one year of their election (RSMo.162.203).
Articles Related to "Immoral Conduct"
After reading the articles below I recommend contacting our school board members to ask them why they haven't been able to fire the Bakers?
Or, why they weren't able to fire Dianne Brown-Critchlow rather than allow her to take $130,000 with her as a parting gift?
Under the Missouri Teacher Tenure Act, Section 168.114 RSMo, there are six enumerated grounds upon which an indefinite contract with a permanent teacher may be terminated. One of these grounds is “immoral conduct.” Although there is no singular definition for what constitutes “immoral conduct” under the law, “immoral conduct” contemplates behavior “sufficiently contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals, or involving baseness, vileness or depravity…” Youngman v. Doerhoff, 890 S.W.2d 330, 341 (Mo. App. E.D. 1994).
The Court noted that, “it is not the amount of money improperly spent that raises concern, it is the act of using taxpayer funds for an improper purpose that is at issue.” The Court declined “to restrict the Board’s authority to act in such a situation carrying serious negative repercussions.”
Accordingly, the Court of Appeals found that the Director’s conduct constituted “immoral conduct” under the Teacher Tenure Act and affirmed the District’s courageous decision to stand up for the citizens of its school community.
Missouri courts have also held that immoral conduct includes theft of school property. In Cochran v. Board of Education of Mexico Sch. Dist. No. 59, 815 S.W. 2d 551 (Mo. App. 1991), the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the termination of a teacher from the Mexico School District for immoral conduct.
Under the Missouri Teacher Tenure Act, an indefinite contract with a permanent teacher may only be terminated for one of six enumerated reasons. Section 168.114 RSMo. One of the six reasons permitting termination is if the teacher engages in “immoral conduct.”