Student Safety Meeting in Colville

Board meeting Tomorrow 6:00pm

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Aster Elementary building, 217 S. Hofstetter, Colville

We would like to invite our community to show up at the school board meeting tomorrow, which we are dubbing a Student Safety Meeting while this transgender policy is an issue. When it comes to the school district making policy that affects the safety of our children, we ask that you show up and show your presence.

We are asking for only 30 minutes to an hour of your time once a month. You don’t have to stay for the entire meeting, just show up to let them know we are still here.

If you would like to speak, understand that:

YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SPEAK !

By law the board cannot shut you down for any reason

When you speak DURING PUBLIC COMMENTS.

The catch is that you have to fill in a sheet of paper located at the sign in sheet at the door, and be at the meeting during the public comments section of their agenda.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEAK

But you want to make a statement:

Then show up and let them see your presence.

Just for the record, there was only a very few people from the community at the last board meeting. This is what the school board wants. They have been trying to drive the community away from their meetings. We have seen them use these same tactics for six years when people show up who don’t agree with them. This issue is too important for us to turn our backs.

Talking points:

We need to demand that our school board speak to this community as a whole, not behind closed doors or individually. They need to be open, honest and communicative with the process. They need to answer our questions, explain their actions and be HONEST with the people that they serve.

THE BOARD ANSWERS TO THE PEOPLE

not the other way around!

The board needs to put the transgender policy on their agenda and include the public in this discussion instead of hiding from the issue. They should explain to us what the Nondiscrimination Task Force is working on. They should be updating us every month.

This issue is about the safety and morality of the children in our schools. Do not let the board run you off. We need to keep on this issue and we would really appreciate people showing up and letting the board know that we will not back down. Not this time!

Hope to see you there.

School Board meeting:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:00pm

Aster Elementary building, 217 S. Hofstetter, Colville

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How Well Does Colville Know Superintendent Pete Lewis?

Lewis

It’s important to know the people taking care of the safety and education of our children. That’s why school districts do background checks on their employees. So as parents, we should know as much as we can about the number one person in charge of our children, Superintendent Pete Lewis.

Last Position Held before Colville: Superintendent in Fairbanks, Alaska

June 9, 2014 Lewis was FIRED from Fairbanks North Borough School District

  • “… he exhibited a total failure of leadership leading up to the sexual abuse of a student on school property.” (Link)
  • “demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to perform the duties expected of a superintendent, which has resulted in potential liability to the district …” (Link)

Fairbanks School Board President Haas went on to say Mr. Lewis had knowledge of:

  • 1. significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students
  • 2. failed to ensure others took appropriate action; and
  • 3. took inappropriate action himself.

*****

The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation, Haas said.

Lewis allowed an employee to routinely work mornings and nights without being paid, putting the district out of compliance with federal wage and hour laws, Haas said, and fostered an attitude of disrespect toward the board that has permeated down to other staff members, Haas said. Link

*****

Mr. Fowlkes has been convicted of 3 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and is now serving time in jail. Fowlkes has also been charged with seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor regarding allegations made by a student at Hutchinson High School in 2014. The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has agreed to pay $920,00 to the family of this student.

*****Heidi Haas Video

Here is a video of the Fairbanks School Board Director talking about the Investigation of Claude Fowlkes III and showing her concern that the Colville School Board did not contact them for information about Mr. Lewis before hiring him. Link to Video

*****

June 11, 2014 Pete Lewis was HIRED by Colville School District as their Interim Superintendent (only two days after he was fired from Fairbanks).

December 2014 Pete Lewis was HIRED by Colville School District as their Superintendent. Normally a school district will keep an Interim Superintendent for a full year before hiring them full time. It is a curious thing that our Board chose to hire Mr. Lewis early.

Continue reading

A Slap in the Face, and Another, and Another!!!!

THE FIRST SLAP: The Colville School Board decides to create a policy to allow transgender students access to bathrooms of their gender identity choice.

Let me just say that I am short. Very short. It is uncomfortable for me to sit in chairs where my feet dangle – which is almost always. I do not get on a podium and ask people to only manufacture chairs that I am comfortable to sit in so that everyone else is UN-comfortable. That is patently ridiculous – and I’m sorry, but isn’t that what this policy is doing?

ANOTHER SLAP: The Colville School Board changes the wording of the procedure. Here are the changes with explanation:

Pete

This is the notice from Superintendent Pete Lewis indicating changes have been made to the Transgender procedure. Don’t get your hopes up folks. Continue reading

Superintendent Pete Lewis Fired from Previous Position in Fairbanks

Fired_stamp_commons.wikimedia.orgThis post is informational for the good people of Colville. I believe it is important for this community to understand as much as we can about our new Superintendent. I find it important for people to know that Mr. Pete Lewis was fired from his last position in Fairbanks, Alaska for

“significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”

handcuffs-294516_640To put it more bluntly, an employee named Claude Fowlkes III was arrested for allegedly raping a student multiple times on campus.

Prior to this, Mr. Lewis was made aware of multiple complaints that Mr. Fowlkes was grooming students. The action Mr. Lewis allegedly took was to transfer Mr. Fowlkes to another building without informing the principal of his past behaviors. This action by Mr. Lewis is what allegedly led to the rapes and to Mr. Lewis’ own firing.

Here is an excerpt from a Fairbanks article written on the KSL.com website  http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=29870313

The board cited a “total failure of leadership” by Lewis in the investigation and retention of employees, including Claude Fowlkes III, 34, a tutor at Hutchison High School who was arrested in March and charged with six counts of abusing a student at the school.

“Significant allegations and observations of ‘grooming’ and other alarming behavior with students were either not understood or were not dealt with in a serious manner,” Haas said in a statement signed by all board members.

Problems began at Fowlkes’ previous assignment at another Fairbanks school, Haas said, but the Hutchison principal was not made aware of them, Haas said.

Fowlkes from 2008 to 2014 was the subject of at least three complaints regarding conduct toward male students or minors. He violated district policy and engaged in inappropriate behavior with a male student at Tanana Middle School, the board said, but remained employed.

The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation [by Mr. Lewis], Haas said.

You can find links to more informative articles at the bottom of this page.

5222712198_a24e1ba298_b_flickr.comQUESTIONS

– Do you as a parent feel our school board was honest with us in every way?

– Why did the school board hire Mr. Lewis two days after he was fired from Fairbanks, AK?

– Why did our board feel the need to rush in a superintendent to our district that had been fired for “significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”?

– Should this community have been properly informed of Mr. Lewis’ past mistake before he was hired?

– Did our school board do a thorough hiring process, or was Mr. Lewis rushed in? (See post ‘Questionable Interm Superintendent Hiring’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/questionable-interim-superintendent-hiring/ )

– Did our school board skip the steps in their own policies that require them to inform the public of a superintendent or interim superintendent search? (Once again, see “Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring post). If so, why?

– Did our school board rush Interim Superintendent Pete Lewis into a permanent position without a proper Superintendent search (according to school policies) before the public could be informed of Mr. Lewis’ past? (See post ‘Superintendent Hiring Procedures’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/superintendent-hiring-procedures/ )

– Do you, as a parent, feel comfortable with Mr. Lewis in charge of your children?

Continue reading

11 Inches of Snow and No Bus Delay?

Nature Photography

The decisions by the administration at this school district never stops amazing me. Our community gets 11 inches of snow and the school says there will be no bus delay? Really? What were they thinking?

Does this community feel that 11 inches of snow is a no-brainer keep the same bus schedule or a two hour bus delay situation?

There was only about 3 to 5 inches of snow in Colville with deeper accumulations in the outlying areas. So since the city folk didn’t have any trouble getting to school, did they decide that it wouldn’t matter if the rural areas made it to school safely? Is that what they were thinking? This smells a lot like discrimination against some of the students in our district.

Not everyone has quick snow removal equipment. I have a friend that needs 9 hours to plow from their home to the highway. It takes us 3 hours to plow our driveway. We have to catch the bus at 7 am, so we would have to start plowing at 3:30 am to make the bus on time. We  were up at 5 am to plow which would have been plenty of time to make a 9 am bus.

If the school put in a 2 hour delay for the buses, like they normally do on a deep snow day, we could have made the bus at 9 am. But here’s the catch. They don’t put up the notice for the bus schedule until 7 am, which is long after rural people need to make decisions. So as hard as we worked to catch the bus, it seemed like the school chose to completely ignore the rural families.

Steven’s County Department of Public Works

aka “The Guys who Plow the Roads”

8488922849_50d4cf6a43_flickr.comDon’t take my word for it. We were very upset with having to drive in to town, so we stopped to talk to the Steven’s County Department of Public Works,  here’s their web page http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/publicwrks/

The people we talked to in their office were very upset that nobody from the Colville school district called them to ask about the road conditions. They were so upset that they had already called the school to make sure they had the contact information. The school assured them they did, but the Public Works people weren’t going to take their word for it and were in the middle of writing a letter to make sure the school had a written record of all their contact information.

It is important for the public to know that every other school district called into the Steven’s County Department of Public Works to check road conditions. The only school district that did not contact their office was Colville. Apparently Colville doesn’t seem to care about the safety of our community members. This includes, students, families, staff and teachers.

You see, these guys bust their behinds to clear the roads in time for the buses. As a matter of fact, they make a whole schedule around clearing the roads specifically for the school buses. They don’t just clear the highways, they have to clear up many county roads too. On Monday, January 5, 2015 they could not clear all the roads in time for the standard bus schedule so consequently, many buses made it to school late.

What that means is that there were many many many families who worked extra hard to get their kids to the bus stop only to;

1. Find out they missed the bus and their kids will either miss school or they have to drive them in.

– How would you like to be the family that worked their tail off to make the bus only to find out that you now had to double time it because you have to get ready for work AND drive the kids to school. I wonder how many people were late to work because of our schools decision.

2. Have their kids sitting on the buses for a much longer time before they reached the school.

– There were quite a few buses late to school.

3. Find out that the buses were traveling on dangerous road conditions.

– Un-plowed roads means dangerous conditions for the buses even when the use chains on their tires. I do not want my children riding a bus with dangerous road conditions. But I especially don’t want my children – or any children in this community riding a bus in a dangerous road condition that could have been avoided by a simple two hour delay of the buses.

Continue reading

Documentation for Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring

This post contains additional documentation showing proof of information in previous post.

April 7, 2014 Pete Lewis was put on paid leave in Fairbanks, Alaska.

http://www.k12northstar.org/sites/default/files/14-0407-minspmtg-employmentclaims.pdf

Here is the text of the meeting minutes that is applicable:

Lewis Placed on Leave Fairbanks MinutesMay 13, 2014 Michael Cashion announces resignation to ESD 101

2014-05-13 Cashion resignation email to ESD copy

May 15, 2014 Michael Cashion writes resignation letter

– Letter is placed in the Statesman Examiner and you can view it here http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/files/9KCTP35D6902/$file/Resignation%20Letter.PDF

May 16, 2014 Michael Dunn from ESD 101 sends Sid Green Pete Lewis’ resume and contact information.

2014-05-16 Dunn to Green PL Resume copy

May 16, 2014 Sid Green responds to Michael Dunn saying he went online and read all the information about Pete Lewis.

2014-05-16 Sid response to Dunn PL resumeContinued conversation from Mike Dunn to Sid Green Continue reading

Safety Forum for Gun Incident at Fort Colville

Police-badge-_wcyb.comOn February 7, 2013 two fifth grade students planned to carry out a plot to kill classmates at the Fort Colville Elementary school. Luckily, a fourth grade student saw one of these boys with a knife and reported it to an adult averting the disaster. The school district called the police and the parents of the intended victims, but the rest of the school district remained uninformed for at least 4 more hours.

I found that many parents learned about the incident through the noon report on KCRK-FM 92.1. The school district did send out a recorded message on the school messenger system several hours later.

Why didn’t the school inform every parent immediately? My personal theory is because they wanted to make sure they kept the kids in school until they received a full day’s pay for them before they notified the parents. I believe students needed to be in school until 12:30  for the school to be paid a full day.

Were all the people in charge of making the decision to postpone notifying the parents in agreement? The superintendent, all principals and all school board directors. Any principal has the authority to make the decision on their own.

Did our administrators put their budget before the safety of our children? It’s easier to see the totality of this if we

Kitchenfire_flickr.comput it in more simplistic terms. What if your kitchen had a small fire in it at 8 o’clock in the morning, but the babysitter chose not to tell you until you arrived home in the evening? Even if the disaster was averted, you should have been notified. Am I wrong?

Did the school also make an effort to withhold the details from the public? Most of the relevant information we received was from the media – and much of it was days or weeks later. Would you like to hear from the radio station on your lunch hour that there was an incident at your home hours earlier? And then days later, you find out important details about how it started, again from the media? If the situation is wrong for a babysitter and one child, then it is exponentially wrong for a school district with thousands of children. I believe the school district should have been up front and open with us.

What happened after the incident? They had a “Safety Forum” on February 13, 2013 at the Colville High School Auditorium. This would appear to be open, honest and pro-active in their duties for keeping our children safe, but let’s look at the details to find out. Continue reading

Safety Forum Lists Sorted Highest to Lowest Votes

Abstract_A_by_Havocgb_deviantart.com

THIS POST IS INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE POST TITLED

“SAFETY FORUM FOR GUN INCIDENT AT FORT COLVILLE”

This is a list of votes from the safety forum sorted highest to lowest. My main goal is to provide the raw data so people can come to their own conclusions.

Vote/Listing Number/List Definition

35    9.1       Strengthen character education

30    18.4      No armed teachers

25    7.1       Rachel’s Challenge*

22    9.8        Let school staff who are interested carry a firearm

19    9.2        No armed teachers or volunteers

19    18.1       Metal detectors

17    2.4       Increased mental health

16    8.3       Quicker response to smaller issues to avoid “BIG” ones

16    14.4      Be real with kids about what to look for, what to do, dangers, consequences

13    5.5       Administrators – enforce policies and procedures. Hold families, students and staff/district accountable. 0 tolerance

11    15.5       Rachel’s challenge

Continue reading

Safety Forum Photo’s

THIS POST IS INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE POST TITLED

“SAFETY FORUM FOR GUN INCIDENT AT FORT COLVILLE”

In order for me to give an honest view point of the Safety Forum held February 13, 2013, I need to show you the charts the community created through a brainstorming session. People listed items they thought were important safety items. After a certain amount of time, the brainstorming session closed and every participant was given several dots to use to place their votes. You can see the dots on the charts.

I am including the photo’s and a listing beneath each one because some of them are difficult to read. Each photo is numbered and named with a word or two from the top of the chart to help with discussion specifics. I have listed the votes for each item on the left and I have numbered each item so that it can also be recognized in a discussion. In some cases I have included two photo’s to help you see the text on the charts.

1 Communication

1 Communication

0      1.1       Communication – website – more info

0      1.2       Reality from kidding “I’ll kill him”

1      1.3       Government agencies already being paid doing security

0      1.4     Law enforcement familiar with all schools floor plans in stevens county

4      1.5     Why were specific kids targeted?

1      1.6     Fort Colville – No open house, no come see the school meet the teachers – no security to enter even the incident

2      1.7     All teachers on same level of communication to students across the district in each school.

1      1.8       Mental/social health concerns Continue reading