Oakley Union Elementary School Superintendent Rick Rogers denied knowing in advance the potential outcome of the Brentwood Union School Districts $1 million settlement or receiving closed session information from his secretary.
Rumors are floating around that because his secretary, Heather Partida, is on the BUSD Board, he may have known Brentwood was on the verge of a major scandal and a large settlement was coming down the pike when he wrote his November 22nd Letter to the Editor to the Contra Costa Times and Brentwood Press.
Just over a month later, the Brentwood Union School District was hit with a $1 million settlement after a teacher pushed a 5-year old special needs to the floor and by Dina Holder nearly 2-years ago. Superintendent Merrill Grant, Loma Vista Elementary principal Lauri James, and Dina Holder are under major scrutiny and parents want the trio fired—as they should be!
I am not one for conspiracy theories so rather than debate them and add fuel to the fire, I decided to go straight to Superintendent Rogers and ask the question. He denied the accusation.
When asked if he knew in advance, he immediately stated “no”.
“I was as shocked as anyone to read it in the paper,” said Rogers. “It was a total coincidence. I didn’t know anything about it.”
He explained his real issue was Joan Buchanan and SB 1530.
“I am a personal guy; my passion is personnel… the whole idea of teacher dismissal is something that I’ve had a passion about for a really long time. I was very put off by Ms. Buchanan comments and I thought it was an insult to the bill. The goal in all this is to hold her accountable is she makes a statement at the hearing that something that needs to be done, but this is intellectually dishonest. She needs to do something,” explained Rogers.
Rogers stated the Letter was written in November in order to give Buchanan some time to do something. He was disappointed she had not done anything so he wrote the letter.
Rogers emphasized that the Brentwood incident raises awareness and everyone’s sensitivity. While he believes his district understands its roles and expectations, its a teachable moment.
“Is this a teachable moment to emphasis and retool it? Absolutely for sure, but it’s happening a lot of places right now,” said Rogers.
There, it’s been denied. People should be more careful with rumors that they begin to float around and the potential impact this one could have had because its unneeded and dangerous to not only the Brentwood School District, but also Oakley’s as well.
You heard it from the Superintendents mouth and I believe him.
Instead of searching for more blood on speculation, let’s work on ensuring the policies and procedures are in place to prevent these types of incidents from occurring anywhere ever again.