Dec 18, 2020

Investigation Update From PLSD

Investigation Update image

Prior to the start of the 2020/21 school year and early-on this Fall, two separate building administrators made comments or posts on social media that resulted in complaints from our stakeholders. The District conducted separate investigations for each administrator. In both cases, the administrators were found to have violated Board Policy 7540.04, which governs acceptable use of social media by employees. Thereafter, both administrators signed agreements with the PLSD Board of Education whereby they acknowledged their conduct and accepted appropriate disciplinary consequences for their actions. Procedurally, the District handled the two matters the same up to the point where one required the Board of Education to take action on a pending change of assignment that the administrator voluntarily agreed to forego. 

As a District that values diversity, we proudly represent over 10,000 students, their families, and other stakeholders. In these two cases, unacceptable social media use caused the District to take a stance on issues that are seemingly divisive; however, justice demands that each case is considered on its own merits.

We are hopeful that these unfortunate incidents can lead to positive change within our school community. To that end, we have implemented the following:

  • Our administration re-reviewed Board Policy 7540.04, governing use of social media by staff, with all our employees;  
  • Professional development was provided to staff which centered on appropriate use of social media;
  • Via a partnership with a consultant, racial sensitivity, diversity, and inclusion training was provided to our nearly 1,200 employees;
  • The Board of Education created a Citizens’ Advisory Committee to address the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the District. Board Policy 9140 states that “the Board of Education may establish citizen advisory committees when there is a definite function to be performed.” This committee of approximately 80 individuals includes Board of Education members, staff and community members.
  • The District created a Promoting Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (P.R.I.D.E) Committee comprised of staff members; and
  • The District is revamping its procedures to govern future investigations that result from public complaints pertaining to administrators (including inappropriate use of social media).   

Our Board of Education, administration and staff are stewards of a proud District and we remain committed to improving our service to all of our stakeholders. These recent incidents, while disconcerting to many, have allowed us to review our mission and work towards what we believe to be appropriate resolutions. Not everyone will be happy with the decisions that have been made, but we believe the mutually agreed-upon resolutions were fair. Our plan is to move forward in a proactive manner that allows us to learn from our mistakes, while increasing our capacity to lead in a diverse community. 

***Posted Dec. 18 at 8:30 a.m.