Letter to the Editor: Blackwell School Administration has a problem

April 23, 2019

Dear Editor,

What is going on within the Blackwell School Administration?

We have a Middle School Principal who actively bullies both students and teachers which is clearly against School District Policy #8.32 “ It is the policy of this school district that bullying of students by other students, personnel, or the public will not be tolerated.”

We have a Middle School Principal who decided as a special gift, she would take several senior girls to a Casino after a basketball tournament, to gamble and she gave them the money to gamble with. Unfortunately several of the girls were underage, which is technically “contributing to the delinquency of a minor! It is also against School Board Policy: #7.8 “Pupils under the supervision of teachers and with proper evidence of PARENTAL PERMISSION may make reasonable direct community contacts as part of the educational experience. Field trips are to be undertaken only after approval of the principal has been given, PARENTAL PERMISSION obtained, proper arrangements with the community agency have been finalized and arrangements for supervision and transportation of pupils completed. The procedure is:

1. The principal is responsible for clearing all trips before plans are made for such trips. Clearance is obtained by the following procedure:

2. A teacher, coach or sponsor first presents a proposal for a trip to the principal on the form provided.

3. If the principal approves of the experience, he or she presents a request for the trip to the appropriate authority.

4. All requests should be approved at least 2 weeks before the event.

5. If approval is given, the principal must obtain parental permission for trips involving students.

If a line teacher had pulled this stunt, he or she would have been fired immediately!

We have a School Superintendent who is well aware of the above and has apparently decided to ignore it, for various reasons.

Todays youth are faced with many decisions regarding morality and ethics and should never be faced with either when in school. Educators are tasked with teaching our youth, not contributing to their delinquency. One of the biggest problems however is many parents are afraid to speak up and voice their disgust with what is going on. Many parents have seen or heard first hand the extent of the Middle School Principals bullying of the basketball girls she coaches and yet they will not speak up. Teachers who have first hand knowledge of her actions are afraid to speak up, not for the fear of being fired but the fear of the subtle ways the Superintendent can make their teaching careers miserable.
At one time the Blackwell Public Schools was run by one of the sweetest best educators and superintendent ever, the late Lesa Ward. I guarantee this type of behavior would never have been allowed to happen, because the first time she received a complaint, she would have taken action. Do you ever wonder why Blackwell keeps losing good qualitied teachers to other districts? It is because of our superintendent, plain and simple. Perhaps if the parents of all Blackwell Public School students took notice and banded together, we could solve the problem by firing the Superintendent and the Middle School principal.

Katherine Reilly

Blackwell, OK