Thursday, July 10, 2008

Inquiring minds want to know.

Hi Mark –

I’m the education reporter for the Enterprise and am doing a story on your lawsuit against the district.

If you had any time to talk about this on Monday, that would be helpful for my deadline. If you can’t talk about it, or know someone else who can, please let me know.

You can e-mail me about this or call me at 425-673-6526.

Thanks –


Sarah Koenig
Education reporter
Enterprise newspapers
4303 198th St. SW, Lynnwood WA 98036

8 comments: said...

This appears to explain why the District moved their recent audit findings on to the front page of their website.

A rather flimsy badge of honor.

Anonymous said...

Mark, Will you be contacting Sarah, at the Enterprise?

Anonymous said...

Knowing that all cub reporters for small, local, daily newspapers are paid about $12 an hour, this ought to be quite a story!

Anonymous said...

We tried to get the Enterprise interested in our story in '06. After a couple of meetings we were told that it was too much "he said/she said" for them to figure out the truth.

Perhaps now they would like to talk to us again to help them "connect the dots" of the poor management of resources in the District.

You can bet that if there is one person willing to sue, there are a dozen more who are afraid to.

Anonymous said...

Can I jump on board? My resume includes incidents, calendars,HR100s, HR72s,pictures,work orders,Monthly leave statements,infinate# of notes,emails,no responses to emails,phone records,witnesses,therapists,grievances,police incident #,email paper trails,public requisitions,contracts,settlements,promises from Wayne Robertson that were never fullfilled,payroll records, hand written notes,union organizers,death sentence orders from middle management,personal property destruction, investigators,wide range of evaluations,name calling,broken bones,herniated discs in lower lumbar,stitches,L&I records,mandatory drug testing without merrit,and multiple violations of my SEIU contract that nobody will defend. This would be a reasonable beginning. Any takers?

Anonymous said...

To: Have a Nice Weekend,
I could have written the article myself! Glad to know there are more folks other than myself who have been bullied, badgered, and forced to DOCUMENT their every move.
I am not sure if you are still employed, but I wish you well, and feel your pain. I got out while the gettin' was good!

Anonymous said...

This is why the bullies win.

What happens when you give up and leave? Bully, one: subordinates, zero. And the match sets up again with a new target. Who will that target be? People are ducking into their cubicles so that it won't be them. Work is not accomplished to standard in a fearful atmosphere.

The bully tells us that "if you don't like it here, you can go somewhere else." Well, of course, that is true, but it can be turned around on the bully as well: "Hey, if YOU don't like it here, YOU can go someplace else. You are not welcome to stay here and make life miserable for others just so that you can feel powerful and almighty or feed some long-held psychological need you have for control. In fact, why DON'T you go? NOW!!"

Walking away without a fight was not an option for me. If I walk away, I know that someone else will have to endure the same treatment (predictably, the next principal continued the bullying). I could not walk away and set someone else up to endure that; it would make me complicit in whatever happened to them, if I could have done something to stop it. Perhaps the next victim will have to endure the "treatment" for the seven years it will take to get their kids through college or reach full retirement or whatever; perhaps they will not be able to "go someplace else." They will continue to be subjected to the abuse.

I am occasionally criticized for this course of action. "Why don't you just give it up and move on?" That is not the point; it is about staying engaged in the struggle for the justice that is due the employees of Edmonds. Civil rights were not won by people walking away from the struggle; they were won by staying in there. We fail if we do nothing; we succeed if we try. "Winning" is not necessarily part of the rubric right now. In one sense, we will never "win" as our principled stand has cost us $800,000, not to mention the sleepless nights.

In the book "Black Hole in the Blueprint," documenting the San Diego schools' purging of senior staff, the author notes the suicide of a school volunteer because, as his wife put it, he couldn't stand to watch the way the teachers were being treated. A VOLUNTEER.

The last time I mentioned the psychological effects of bullying in this manner, Limon issued the "no trespass" order against us. The truth will not be changed by such tactics, Mr. Limon. Bullying puts people at risk of mental and psychological problems; you cannot deny it. Banning us from speaking to our former colleagues about it will not change that fact. And remember, Ken, it was that faculty member who first came to me saying, "I see how you are being treated.." I didn't start the conversation, but rather was trying to follow it up by expressing my appreciation for their concern and supplying some factual information about depression and risk. YOU are the one who badly overreacted, not me.

What is reported to us here on the blog and through personal conversations is that the administration of the Edmonds Schools has a large problem with abuse of power. Whether it's pianos or contaminated property or bullying staff or ignoring school board policies or pornography on computers or workers not putting in a full day's work for a full day's pay, they all boil down to "abuse of power." There is no one watching the candy jar and those in power are taking advantage. If all you do is give up and walk away, the candy will continue to be taken.

It's gotta stop somewhere. There is a poster that hangs on the wall of many classrooms in the District: "Stand up for what is right even if you are standing alone." Do we want to show our students and children what that really means or will we show them by our inaction that it's just so much BS?

Anonymous said...

The rag published their story at