FACT FINDER: WCSD won't say if a person works for them

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Updated: 3/23/2013 9:07 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - More secrecy from the Washoe County School District.  Now Washoe County won't even tell the public if someone is still an employee.

For two days the Fact Finder Team has asked by phone and e-mail if a Lemon Valley Elementary principal who had been placed on leave still had a job.  A district spokesperson said she had to check with the legal department, but never got back to us.


This comes after weeks of wanting to know why the principal was placed on leave in the first place, but the district won't give any details saying its policy not to. So now News 4's going straight to those policy makers to find out why they would want to hide this information.

Normally all media requests or communications with the schools go through a district spokesperson.  But after not getting a response,  News 4 reached out directly yesterday morning to all the board members and the leadership team with an e-mail.  So far no one in the non-elected leadership has gotten back to us.  And only one of your elected board members has contacted us.

Reading from the e-mail directly it says: "We at News 4 are simply asking: why are the Washoe County School District actions it's policy? We want to know: Why? The answer that we have received is essentially "because it is - now stop asking."

For weeks now News 4 has questioned the legal reasons the district will not say why an elementary school principal was placed on administrative leave.  But instead of getting an explanation, the school attorney only says "that's the way we interpret the case law."  Repeatedly we've also been denied on-camera interviews.

Here's why this is so important - as the school is not turning over a reason for the principal being placed on administrative leave, rumors keep flying around with questions about your children's safety or tax dollars are at risk.  And at this point, we're really much more interested in the actions of the school district than what that principal did or did not do.

We here at News 4 understand there are sometimes reasons for keeping the information secret. The Fact Finder Team would just like the district to explain - as they are required to do by a 2011 Nevada Supreme Court decision - what their interest in non-disclosure is, and why it outweighs the public's right to know.

And now, the school district will not even say if this person works for them.

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tonysam - 5/1/2013 4:21 PM
0 Votes
While the station has told me they are still on this story, here is the latest of what I know: This link to WCSD's administrative needs list won't be up for long, but people should know that the Lemmon Valley principal who was put on administrative leave will NOT be returning to that school and probably not any other school in the district. Her job is up for bid for transfer in the district. My guess is either she was fired (doubtful), resigned in lieu of a dismissal, demoted, or else will get a make-work job in the central office. Note all of the make-work jobs that are there for failed administrators. Link: https://jobs.washoe.k12.nv.us/ats/job_board_frame?COMPANY_ID=00004845&APPLICANT_TYPE_ID=00000003&POSTING_TYPE_ID=00000002

tonysam - 4/9/2013 9:01 PM
0 Votes
Email from March 23 from a staff member at KRNV: "Thank you for writing. We have the court documents and will be reporting on them next week. I believe one of the biggest reasons for the district's silence is the laws that you mentioned. The problem is that when pressed to specifically site the laws, they can't. That is because these laws do not exist. The school district has only sited two court cases to us for justification of their actions, in both of those cases the governmental agency lost and was forced to turn over all documents requested. The actions of Kara White are important, but the secrecy of the WCSD is even more important than the actions of a single person."---So far, three weeks later, nothing but silence. Ten cents says there will be NO follow-up to the story, and ten cents says this principal will be brought back to the district in a make-work desk job in the central office and never be heard from again. I can't imagine she took a severance deal or was fired outright. The district just doesn't get rid of administrators they should get rid of.

tonysam - 4/1/2013 7:54 PM
0 Votes
The station was supposed to do a follow-up last week on this story and had uploaded the court documents, but apparently the channel must have been told by the school district to stop snooping around.

angelmourland - 3/24/2013 3:34 PM
0 Votes
AMEN.

tonysam - 3/23/2013 11:27 AM
0 Votes
They cite privacy laws for not revealing information in disciplinary cases, and, in this district's defense, this is SOP for every public entity in the U.S. not to mention private businesses. The only time they will reveal information is if an employee or former employee has been charged of a crime although the personnel files are not for public consumption.

maddyo says so - 3/23/2013 11:17 AM
0 Votes
The WCSD will never disclose this information. So much for transparency. Perhaps that's why the WCSD ranks near the bottom in all school districts in the 50 US states and territories under the US Government umbrella. Just like the almost invisible WCSD superintendent, Pedro Martinez, the top of the WCSD is very shady indeed. That why I vote for no more bonds and tax increases for schools in this lousy district.

tonysam - 3/22/2013 9:40 PM
0 Votes
Or, you can add, why the principal at Sparks Middle School was removed in 2011, but nobody dared report he was having sex with subordinates, but instead of firing the man and stripping him of his license, which would be done in other states, Heath Morrison merely demoted him to teacher. WCSD has a massive problem with lousy principals, unfit principals, and this stems for the good ol' boy network which has been around for years. If you are part of the "in-crowd," you have a job for life, no matter how lousy you are.

concernedmom - 3/22/2013 8:00 PM
0 Votes
Surprise surprise- the government is corrupt. This is one of the most corrupt school districts in the US. Try some real investigative journalism for a change. I told all 3 news stations why the principal at MCQueen was kicked out of Douglas County but nobody will report on that. (He should not be around children) or find out the real reason why the teacher at Reed High is dead. If people knew the truth they would pull their kids out of schools so fast it would be a great change for this county, but the news is bought and sold like every other commodity, so nothing will change and you will all still be left in your blissful ignorance.

tonysam - 3/22/2013 7:44 PM
0 Votes
I've been there. This principal and others in the district are treated with kid gloves, while teachers who do nothing to deserve such horrible treatment are kicked to curb. I was illegally fired in 2008, and the people responsible are still employed in the district making over 100k a year when they both should have been fired for this misconduct, which was even worse than what White was alleged to have done in the lawsuit. Those people weren't even suspended, just given a slap on the wrist or eventually demoted.

tikidianne - 3/22/2013 6:52 PM
0 Votes
This doesn't surprise me... my husband, a former WCSD teacher, has been black-balled, and he did nothing to deserve it... the district is corrupt to the core!!
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