Thursday, June 12, 2008

The clever Mr. Billings undermines the demonstrators he claims to support at Castle Park Elementary

CVESD superintendent Lowell Billings has clearly failed to get the staff at Castle Park Elementary to work as a team. But it appears that this was never his goal.

Mr. Billings seems to think that Castle Park Elementary must be run with an iron hand. His constant refrain on the evening of June 4, 2008 was that Alicia Moreno, his new choice for principal at the school, will be very "strict" and will make big changes if necessary.

But that was the precise assignment that Billings gave to Carlos Ulloa, and Ulloa did it so well that the staff refused to do any work beyond the contracted hours.

Billings apparently doesn't remember that a work slowdown is also what the staff did three years earlier to get rid of principal Ollie Matos.

Billings seems to be stuck on a merry-go-round and he can't get off. He keeps hiring principals to clamp down on Castle Park teachers, and when that fails, he gets rid of the principal.

Maybe "strict" isn't the answer.

Maybe "honesty" is the answer.


Let's face it, Mr. Billings: you have no control over Castle Park Elementary because you have lost your authority. Castle Park teachers (particularly the one writing this) know better than anyone else exactly what your unprofessional and illegal actions have been.

Why can't you come up with a plan other than another cycle of brute force and clever lies?

One of those lies occurred on June 4, 2008. You announced to the families at the Castle Park Elementary parent awards ceremony that you supported the rally that started at 5:30 p.m.on June 4, 2008. At around 7 p.m. you welcomed the group of demonstrators, which included me, into the auditorium. You promised to meet with parents.

But first, you decided to undermine them. You wanted to eliminate the person in the group who knew the most about the problems at Castle Park Elementary. After you shook my hand, you told me to leave. I asked why, and you refused to say. I left immediately.

Then you set out to divide and conquer.

The demonstrators were asking for an investigation into why there have been 11 principals at the school in 11 years. Since an investigation at Castle Park would result in the exposure of illegal actions by you and the district's expenditure of $100,000s of taxpayer funds to lawyers hired to cover up wrongful actions, you were determined to snuff out that possibility at the very start.

You tried to break the strongest link in the demonstrators' chain. You told the parents that I was a bad influence on kids. That smear was clear.

I've been getting confusing feedback about the rest of what you said.

I gather that you indicated that I was trying to get money from the district. What I want, Mr. Billings, is this: (1) Reverse the damage done to Castle Park Elementary since Feb. 12, 2001; (2) Stop the corruption that persists in the CVESD school board and their allies in the administration and the union; (3) Replace the corrupt culture at CVESD with a culture that values honesty, the rule of law, and the education of children.

For years you allowed Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz to basically write its own checks, squandering $100,000s of taxpayer dollars. Isn't it time this stopped?

There's a way for you to win, Mr. Billings.

You don't have to give me a dime, Mr. Billings, even though you've committed and covered up crimes against me.

All you have to do is to tell the truth.

That costs ZERO dollars.

Spill the beans, admit the facts, and say you're sorry. The statute of limitations has passed, so there would be no prosecutions. Wait, what am I saying? I reporting this case to Bonnie Dumanis years ago, and she refused to investigate. There was never any danger of criminal prosecution.

If you come clean, obviously, you won't have to pay anyone to be silent.

This is exactly what Hollywood stars do when they find out the media is about to expose one of their secrets: they go to a media outlet they prefer, and tell the story. It's a perfect trick to keep profits away from the outlet that was about to expose them. Why don't you try it?

And then you and the teachers at Castle Park Elementary can get off the merry-go-round of lies, attacks, and dysfunction that you have been riding for the past seven years.

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