Thursday, June 02, 2011

APS serves red herring on student molestation

Apparently, a student on an APS field trip via city bus, was
allegedly molested by an adult bus passenger unassociated
with the field trip. The Journal could hardly have hidden the
story more deeply, made it harder to link to, or left APS out
of the story more completely.

APS' Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta
did appear on KOB TV, her old stomping grounds, to answer a
few questions for them, link.

Armenta's response to one of the questions illustrates the
difference between ethical and legal and the associated
problems in the senior-most leadership of the APS.

She was asked if there are protocols that must be followed
when students ride on public transportation. The question
was a legitimate one. Armenta's immediate response was to
represent that she didn't understand the question. If you
followed the link and watched the video, you know the
question wasn't that hard to understand. If she truly didn't
understand it, her competence and her worthiness of a salary
three times as great as a teacher come into question.

If she was just stalling; her character is called into question.

Everything she said, she said instead of just telling the truth,
a truth which, might include admitting she didn't know the
answer off the top of her head.

What she did do was to represent that APS policies and
procedures are as tight as they can be. The foundation for
her argument, that perfect policy is impossible, is a red
herring, wikilink.

There is an immediately obvious policy improvement;

Chaperones have to sit in the back of the bus, where
they can see every kid every second.
This idea didn't come after 24 hours of reflection; it was my
knee jerk response. It is obvious to anyone who has been
a chaperone on a bus and taken that responsibility seriously.

This young girl's parents, and her community, expect her to
be protected from molesters whether at school or on a field
trip. They expect APS to have the requisite policies in place
and in practice.

Armenta dodged that concern and any examination of APS'
policies and procedures. She sought instead to "... create a
belief, or leave an "impression that is untrue or misleading",
an act explicitly and expressly prohibited according to the
Student Standards of Conduct.

When I was trying to help students understand truth telling;
an essential element of their character, I had considerable
difficulty helping them understand that just because you are
telling the truth, it doesn't mean you are being honest. If the
intent is to deceive or mislead, the truth is a lie.

Armenta's statement; perfect policy is impossible to write, is
absolutely true. But her intention was not to point out the
impossibility of writing a policy that applies in every instance,
but rather, to inject a deliberate distraction. She wanted to
take the focus off district policy and its apparent inadequacy.

What she did was "legal", is just wasn't "ethical". And there in
lies the rub; there are two standards of conduct in the APS;
one for adults and another for students.

Students and their role models used to have the same standards
of conduct; adults had inescapable obligations as role models of
the standards they established and enforced upon students.

Then they removed the role modeling clause from their own
standards of conduct. The code of conduct that applies to
administrators and board members used to read;
"In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students."
It doesn't anymore.

Now administrators and board members are accountable only
to the lowest standard of conduct recognized by civilized people;
the law. And the case of the APS; the least accountability that
loopholes, technicalities and the legal weaselry of their Modrall
lawyers will allow.

In start contrast, students are still expected to "model and
promote" a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of
ethical conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!, link.

You really want to see Armenta
do some shuck and jive? Ask her
why the leadership of the APS
are no longer accountable as role
models of the Pillars of Character

Or ask her why the leadership
of the APS are suppressing the
Caswell Report on felony criminal
misconduct by senior administrators;
not how but why?

Ask her why hundreds of APS' whistleblowers are being denied due process for their complaints.

Ask her why the leadership of the APS will "never agree to any audit that individually identifies corrupt or incompetent administrators or board members".

You want to see Kent Walz and the Journal do some shuck and jive; or TV News Directors Sue Stephens at KOAT, Laurie (Spurry) Passman at KOB, or Iain Munro at KRQE? Ask them why they won't investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

photo Mark Bralley

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