Archive for the Documents Category

Middle School Parents Take A Look At Your Opposition

Posted in Board of Education (General), Documents, Emails, School Board Election 2012 with tags , , , , on October 27, 2012 by Joan Graves

Yesterday I posted IP address 65.5.251.78 on my FB page telling her I was tracking her. I tried to ignore her but she is having none of that. So, I want you all to see what is happening behind the scenes.

I have listed her comments below followed by my responses to her. The first comments are in response to the post on the Community Eligibility Option.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 12:22 pm

Please post the attachment explaining the rationale

Joan Graves Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 4:18 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

I’m not certain what you want me to post.If you go to the Winchester Sun’s website you can search the archives for the 2 articles I mentioned.

You can go to the U.S. Dept. of Education & the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to obtain info on the Healthy hunger-free program & the Community Eligibility Option.

Hope that answers your questions, if not let me know. Thanks for reading the blog.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 8:34 pm

The attachment referenced in the emails with the district”s rationale

Joan Graves Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 11:01 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

The rational was the letter Elaine sent to the Winchester Sun on Aug. 2011. This is the link to that letter. http://www.centralkynews.com/winchestersun/news/ws-farris-free-lunch-for-all-isnt-an-option-20110809,0,1281648.story

This exchange left me thinking she wasn’t really interested in truth because the information was before her. All she had to do was a few minutes of research. When she found herself unable to dispute the facts I laid out she moved on to her next target.

When I posted about the middle school merger meeting I said, “Debbie Fatkin didn’t bother to show up.” Though, I didn’t go back to confirm it, I accepted that Debbie was at the meeting and apologized for the mistake.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/23 at 10:24 pm

To clarify a statement above… Debbie Fatkin was in attendance tonight sitting in the front row next to BJ Swope. The room was crowded and it was easy to miss people in attendance.

Joan Graves

Submitted on 2012/10/23 at 11:04 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

My apologies to Debbie. I didn’t see her & asked people that were there that apparently didn’t see her either. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

It’s hard to argue when someone who admits a wrong and apologizes. Since her whole point is to discredit me she now starts grasping at straws.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/24 at 7:12 pm | In reply to Joan Graves.

Winchester’s population is approximately 18,500. 200 people is barely over 1%. That is a far cry from a majority.

Joan Graves

Submitted on 2012/10/24 at 8:30 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

I didn’t say everyone in the majority attended the meeting. How many times has a school board meeting drawn that many community members? That is about 5 times the average board meeting. There is a problem when that many people show up unhappy. This has been the case twice in the last 10 months. And it’s not just the same people voicing the same complaints.

Knowing she had nothing to fight facts with she dropped it and moved on to the candidate forum. Obviously, this is just an attempt to provoke a fight so I didn’t bother responding.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/26 at 8:14 am

Wonderful public forum last night at the extension office. Here are my thoughts on the candidates for the school board.
Mr Graves – He came across to me as “a jokester”, full of negativity and has a personal agenda. Not someone I’d vote for to move our schools forward.
Dr Griffin – She started out a little nervous but came around. Seems to be in the race for “ALL” the kids. Very intelligent lady. Someone I’d vote for.
Mrs Fatkin – Has a lot of experience and has lobbied for “ALL” the kids. She’s someone I’d vote for.
Mr McGowan – Oh my!! What a jerk. Another one with a personal agenda. He must have been called to the principles office many times. No way would he get my vote.
Ms Ritchie – Interesting character. Definitely in over her head. She had to read off McGowan’s paper to answer questions. Did she do that in class too? No way would I vote for her.
Mrs Wolfe – Very nice quiet lady. Seemed to very genuine. She seems like she’d bring some common sense to the board. I’d vote for her.

So, stand up Clark County and continue to move our schools forward. Vote for Griffith, Fatkin and Wolfe.

Since she was having trouble baiting me she stepped up her assault and went after the middle school merger. The gloves are off and the profanity unleashed.

Sit Down Stand Up Clark County
sitdownstandup@gmail.com
95.154.230.191
Submitted on 2012/10/27 at 12:51 am

Slow down? What the hell are you talking about? This has been in the works for years? Slow? The only thing slow around here is your reaction time to the issue.

We (Winchesters natives capable of rational & independent thought) are so sick of you and your self righteous husband and all the bullshit you’re both peddling as facts. Please, just go back to sleep and let the intelligent grown ups deal with these issues. This is all too important to let some sad little housewife with an axe to grind have any say in the matter.

Woohoo – you filed some paperwork and got to look at some random emails. What in the hell makes you think this gives you insight into anything? You take it all out of context, mix it up and vomit back some ridiculous unfounded and unproven claims like you have some special insight. First it was fun to watch you make a fool of yourself, but we can’t take it anymore.

Ok, so to stay on topic. Since apparently BJ Swope’s judgement is valuable enough for you to pick apart this portion of an email conversation and use it for your own personal agenda, then let me ask you this — if BJ Swope is smart enough to not vote for the middle school because of security concern, then why aren’t you pressing him to know what that concern was? I’ll answer for you: because you’re too deep into your own BS to keep sight on the real issue. If BJ Swope hasn’t done something since 2010 to make sure this security concern was fixed, then his opinion shouldn’t be of any value to you.
– and if the security issue hasn’t been addressed yet, then this renovation of the school should be fast tracked so we can make sure our students are safe.

Your arguments are weak.

Sit Down Stand Up Clark County.

This is typical behavior. When they can’t do anything else they lie, curse and name call. They demand evidence but provide none of their own. When they get evidence they discredit it. In order to draw attention from the truth they start making personal attacks and trying to drag everyone else down to their level. It is classic text-book desperation.

Ashley Ritchie, Michael McGowan and Steve Graves articulated their thoughts, priorities and goals for the school board. All three candidates spoke with confidence, proving they have the ability to remain faithful to the change we all want and need. Seeing that displayed before the masses has scared the heck out of our opponents. They were hoping our candidates would fall on their face but when they saw the support they received an attack was in order. Because anytime they are failing they turn to the only tactic they remain true to: bullying.

My refusal to respond to their attack only increased their desperation. Because lets face it, one thing I’ve always been consistent with is my passion. That passion can just as easily work against me as for me. They have been able to provoke me several times in the past but unlike them I’ve admitted my mistakes apologized and moved on. This community and these students are far more important than me giving into my desire to klunk their heads together.

Each day more people come forward and square off with our current board. It can no longer be said that this is all the result of an angry “housewife with a personal vendetta”. We have middle school parents and students able to articulate with controlled passion exactly what is wrong with our current school decisions. The school board’s ship of deception, arrogance and selfishness is sinking and there is no life-preserving in sight.

Stand Up Clark County and say no to childish temper tantrums and yes to change.

 

Tonight’s Middle School Merger Meeting & Why BJ Swope Didn’t Vote For It

Posted in Board Meetings, Board of Education (General), Documents, Elaine Farris, Emails with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2012 by Joan Graves

Tonight's Middle School Merger Meeting & Why BJ Swope Didn't Vote For It

Tonight there was a meeting about the merging of middle schools. Michael McGowan and Steve Graves, candidates for the school board, both eloquently stated their convictions against the merger. Judy Hicks took a hard-nosed approach about not breaking contracts. She fails to remember her contract was first with the community she serves and second to the people we pay.

The theme of the night was parents pleading for the board to slow down and consider all options before blindly plowing ahead. The board was basically listening only because they are required to. The superintendent and boar chair made it clear their minds were made up. Dr. Michael Kuduk voted against the merger. Debbie Fatkin who made a motion for the merger last week didn’t bother to show up. Deanna seconded Debbie’s motion last week be remained silent tonight. That leaves only BJ.

In this email dated September 23, 2010 BJ questions Elaine regarding safety issues of the current GRC building. Two years ago BJ Swope made it clear that his conscience wouldn’t allow for him to place middle schoolers in a building that so many of us already have kids in. The safety violation is never explained. Is it mold? Is it worse?

We don’t know because as BJ clearly states Elaine won’t answer. What we do know is that in the email BJ says he can’t vote to put middle school students in the building and last week he stayed true to his word. Rather than take a stand on it he opted to abstain.

The cry from the parents tonight is clear. What is really behind the rush of this middle school merger? Why is our board so absolutely adamant that this be done right now? Is the rush somehow connected to BJ’s safety concerns? There is more than we know but the great thing is that we have a group of middle school parents able to clearly articulate exactly what’s on their minds. They are willing to invest their time and effort into finding what is truly steering the middle school merger.

Stand Up Clark County and support the middle school parents.

 

Are Clark County Schools Making You Sick – Literally? Toxic Mold In Our Schools

Posted in Deanna Wolfe, Debbie Fatkin, Documents, Dr. Michael Kuduk, Elaine Farris, Emails, Judy Hicks, Point of View with tags , , , , , , on September 10, 2012 by Joan Graves

 

Superintendent Elaine Farris loves to say that if something is important to us we will invest time, effort and money in it. I agree. If we apply Elaine’s self-proclaimed mind-set, priorities and mode of operation to this email we find the driving-force and attitude of the leader of our school system.

Image

Foremost on her mind seems to be appearance. She has invested most of her time and energy and most of our money on cosmetic fixes. As long as things look good she can fool us into thinking they are good. She depends upon visual eye-candy to make her feel successful.

Science has proven that people obsessed with appearances hone in on even the smallest faults and use them as a way to prove weakness. Therefore, everyday  she passed through the slightly flawed central office she saw failure. If she saw it then surely the mass of commuters on Lexington Avenue saw it as well. But if they saw a well-landscaped building they would assume success, she hoped.

I took these pictures in the middle of a scorching hot, dry summer. Notice the greenery?  While the rest of us had grass so dry it could nearly cut and we watched our flowers shrivel up, our taxes paid for the water required to keep central office landscaping looking good.

Image

Meanwhile, a silent potential killer was enveloping our kids. Elaine generated this email and the board approved this spending and work less than a month after I told them there was mold in the preschool. I pleaded for their help and pointed out the possible deadly consequences mold may have on people with compromised immune systems, respiratory conditions and other health impairments. With the exception of Dr. Michael Kuduk, the board sat silent and unemotional. They gave no indication that they cared that every second someone is exposed to a mold spore it increases the likelihood of serious health complications.

They weren’t moved by my pleas because it wasn’t new information to them. They knew about the advancing mold problem long before I addressed it. In fact, one year the preschool had to delay the start of school due to mold. They knew then what I’ve only recently learned. The mold problem is advancing to  epidemic proportions and has spread through multiple schools. Everyday they ignore it the body of our students and school employees are being invaded by this.

Image

Each year teachers remark how the start of school always brings illness to them. It has always been attributed to germs spread between students and staff. Now we know that typical illnesses such as sinus infections, allergic responses, bronchitis, throat infections, headaches, respiratory illnesses or increased asthma attacks may be attributed to mold exposure.

We cannot allow this deliberate assault upon the health of our community to continue. The superintendent has invested time, energy and money in cosmetic issues such as prettying up central office and building a new high school. She dresses to the hilt, travels across the country and drives a celebrity-type SUV, all on our dime because she believes it makes her powerful and successful.

The board of education not only refuses to rein in our superintendent’s gross negligence but they actually support her. Judy Hicks and Debbie Fatkin lavished praise after praise on Elaine during her evaluation. Our kids are inhaling toxins and the board is giving Elaine a raise. Something is terribly, terribly wrong.  The board and superintendent have failed our kids. It’s unacceptable for us to do the same. STAND UP NOW CLARK COUNTY! The child you save may be your own.

 

CCPS Employees Protect Yourself: Know The Law About Election Participation

Posted in Documents, Elaine Farris, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2012 by Joan Graves

Did you know that there are laws that spell out exactly how school employees should conduct themselves with board of education candidates? If an employee breaks one of the laws he or she may be fired and the candidate  removed from the ballot. It’s the responsibility of the superintendent to distribute to employees the specific laws. I do not know if Elaine Farris has done that or not but I don’t want to see an employee fired for something he or she doesn’t know. Therefore, you will find the Kentucky statutes outlining what an employee can and cannot do with a candidate for the school board listed below.

School District Employees’ Participation In School Board Campaigns

The specific law about employee participation in campaigns by school board candidates is KRS 161.164 and it states in full:

1.  No employee of the local school district shall take part in the management of any political campaign for school board.

2. No candidate for school board shall solicit or accept any political assessment, subscription, contribution or service of any employee of the school district.

3.  No person shall use or promise to use, directly or indirectly, any official authority or influence, whether possessed or anticipated, to secure or attempt to secure, for any person an appointment or advantage in appointment to a position as teacher or employee of any district board of education, or an increase in pay or other advantage in employment in any such position, for the purpose of influencing the vote or political action of any person.

4.  No teacher or employee of any district board of education shall be appointed or promoted to, or demoted or dismissed from, any position, or in any way favored or discriminated against with respect to employment because of his political or religious opinions or affiliations or ethnic origin or race or color or sex or age or disabling condition.

5.  The local superintendent shall inform all school employees of the provisions of this section.

Paragraph 1 originally included a prohibition against school district employees taking part in the “activities” of any political campaign for school board. However, in 1992 the Kentucky Supreme Court, in State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education v. Howard, 834 S,W 2nd 657, declared the Prohibition against participation in activities of political campaigns for school board to be unconstitutional.

In 1992, the Attorney General’s Office issued Opinion 92-145 listing specific examples of “permitted conduct and prohibited services.” The following is the quoted text from that opinion:

PERMITTED CONDUCT: The following are permitted pursuant to KRS 161.164(2):

1.  Registration and voting.

2.  Nominating petitions. School district employees may voluntarily sign a school board nominating petition.

3.  Expression of opinion. School district employees may privately and publicly express their personal opinions regarding a school board candidate, either in person, by telephone, or in writing.

4.  Political pictures and signs. School district employees may voluntarily display school board campaign signs and other signs on their property.

5.  Badges, buttons, and bumper stickers. School district employees may voluntarily wear school board campaign badges or buttons. However, no school board candidate badges or buttons may be worn by a school district employee while such employee is on official duty.

6.  Campaign literature distribution. A school board candidates may provide on request campaign literature for the personal use of school district employee.

PROHIBITED SERVICES:  A school board candidate can not solicit or accept the following services if performed by a school district employee:

1.  Campaign literature distribution. A school board candidate may not solicit or accept the distribution of campaign literature or material by a school employee.

2.  Solicitation of political support. A school board candidate may not solicit or accept the services of a school district employee in canvassing a district or soliciting political support for a school board candidate, either in person, by telephone or in writing. However, school district employees may state, in writing or in person, their personal opinions to others.

3.  Providing assistance or working for the school board candidate’s campaign.

The Attorney General’s Office has consistently recognized that school board candidates may not solicit or accept contributions and services from school district employees. This prohibition applies equally to agents of the candidate. Therefore, the school board candidate’s campaign manager and staff are prohibited from solicitation or accepting the services of school employees on behalf of the campaign.

Caveat:  The law places the burden on the candidate not to solicit or “accept” the prohibited conduct. This means that even if you are never asked to do anything this is prohibited, if you voluntarily do so (i.e. contribute money, pass out campaign literature, etc.), you could be jeopardizing the candidacy of the person you support.

      Many of you have asked me why Steve created a Facebook fan page rather than a group. In order to create a group you must include people automatically or send an invitation to join the group. If he did either of those things he would be breaking the law and be disqualified from running.

It’s great to see so many people Standing Up in Clark County. Keep sending us your questions and don’t hesitate to Believe with Steve.

Felony Charges For School Board? Winchester Sun’s Bob Flynn Explains

Posted in Board Meetings, Documents, In The News, Winchester Sun with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by Joan Graves

Activist: District changed Video

Board attorney denies meeting footage altered

By Bob Flynn The Winchester Sun

 

Hostilities between a local activist and the Clark County Board of Education escalated recently when Joan Graves accused the school district of tampering with a recording of one of its meetings and suggested employees had committed a felony in doing so.

Graves’ accusations brought a strong denial from both the Board and its attorney.

Shortly after the Board’s June 19 meeting, Graves, spokesperson for Stand UP Clark County, sent a letter to Board members and the school district complaining about the quality and content of a video of the meeting that was later uploaded on the district’s website.

The school district posts videos following each meeting, and Graves said she watches them each month. When she tried to watch the June video, there were problems with the sound on part of the recording, and there were parts that were blank, leading her to think it had been altered in some way.

“When they first put them up, there was a series of five tapes. One didn’t play at all, another one just went blank. But the first thing I noticed when people started contacting me was the time on the tapes. They weren’t right,” Graves said. “The running times from one tape to the other didn’t match up. There was a lag time of several minutes between tapes when they should have been running together. And there was no video at all of the end of the meeting when they read the superintendent’s evaluation. Clearly, the tape was altered.”

Her letter, titled “Public Record Tampering,” asked Board members to correct the problems with the video and pointed out that the recordings were protected from tampering by Kentucky law.

It reads:

“The videoing of the board meeting is done with equipment purchased with public money. It is a recording of a public event. Therefore, it falls under the protection of the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. Kentucky law states that tampering with a public record is a Class D felony. According to the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, punishment for being found guilty of a Class D felony is 1-5 years of imprisonment; fines of $1,000 to $10,000, or double the gain from the commission of the offense up to $20,000 for corporations. Despite our differences, there is not a single one of you I would want to see in jail. Please do not take it to that level. You need to correct this wrong and put online a video the public can view. In the future, make certain that the camera is always on when the board is in open session and that no one tampers with it.”

Several days after receiving the letter, Board Chairwoman Judy Hicks and Board attorney Henry Rosenthal responded by mail to Graves’ complaint saying that while there were technical issues with the video equipment during the June 19 meeting, the video had not intentionally been altered.

Hicks’ letter stated that the Board is not required to video or livestream the Board meetings; it is done so as a service to the community “as a method of providing transparency in our decisions.”

Her letter also stated, “The board room where the meetings take place is not a professional recording studio, and the videotaping equipment is considerably less expensive than that used in professional studios. While the board could approve the purchase of more expensive video recording equipment, we prefer to continue the priority of using our limited equipment funding in the classrooms of the schools in the district. We apologize for the equipment malfunction that was unforseen and unintentional.”

Rosenthal’s letter explained when the technical difficulties were discovered by school district employees and said the allegations of tampering were baseless. It also reiterated that the district is not required to video the meetings and could discontinue the video posting.

“A technical issue was experienced at the start of the meeting and the technology employee attempted, without success, to determine the problem during the meeting of June 19-20, 2012. The actual problem was discovered during normal working hours on June 20 and the recording has been improved as much as reasonably possible. Accusations of ‘Public Record Tampering’ are without merit,” Rosenthal’s letter stated.

“From time to time, other technical problems beyond the control of employees may occur. Quite, frankly, it is unfair to subject an employee to such accusations absent any basis in fact. Such apparent baseless allegations of tampering may have a stifling effect on future broadcast recordings of meetings. As a matter of law, such broadcasts and recordings are not required. In addition, the Board of Education could establish policies determining what portions of the public meeting can and will be broadcasts and recordings. Be that as it may, the Board of Education initiated in good faith the broadcast and recording of its meetings and, I assume, will continue to do so in the future.”

Graves said that while she wasn’t surprised by the school district’s explanation about the video, she wasn’t satisfied with it and she planned to pursue the matter further. She also warned that it wasn’t a good idea for the Board to discontinue posting the videos.

“I knew this was going to be their response. It was exactly what I thought I would get from them. But to respond with a threat not to do the broadcasting would be a very bad choice for them. No, they don’t have to do them. But it is a good community tool, and if they choose to shut that down just because they can’t get it right, they are really going to have some irate community members on their hands,” Graves said. “I’m not through with this. I am going to request an audiotape of the meeting, and I am going to go to central office to view the tape, then I need to get back in touch with Jerry Carlton at the Library and Archives to see if I can get access through open records or whatever, to their uploads to Ustream.”

When contacted by the Sun this week, Carlton said if Graves wasn’t happy with the school district’s response and wanted to pursue the issue further, she could, but it would have to be done through the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.

“Our office has no standing as far as bringing suit on anything like this. If anyone wants to do that they need to appeal to the attorney general’s office, and it would be up to them to do something,” Carlton said. “On things like this it’s simple. You have to prove that there was criminal intent on tampering with the public document, in this case the video. But proving criminal intent is a hard thing to do. I’ve seen time and again that appeals go to the AG’s office alleging tampering, and nine times out of 10, the AG’s office will come back and say, ‘If they don’t have it, we can’t really do much about it.’ That’s what it boils down to.”

Graves said that she would continue to look at her options concerning the video and would craft a response to Rosenthal’s letter.

She has approached the School Board several times in recent months with other problems she feels need addressing in the district. And though she hasn’t always been successful in her attempts to engage the Board in dialog about those concerns, Graves said, she and the group will continue to closely monitor the Board and the school district.

“One of the reasons I did this was I wanted them to know that we are watching them, and we’re not going to let anything pass,” Graves said. “We are moving toward a point to where something is going to have to give, and it’s not going to be me. The Board is going to have to reach a point where they are going to have to say they are going to do something and change things they are doing or take their chances in November. I wouldn’t advise the latter. But that is their choice.”

Contact Bob Flynn at bflynn@winchestersun.com.

Elaine’s Goals

Posted in Documents with tags , , , on June 21, 2012 by Joan Graves

Elaine's Goals

This is a list of Elaine’s goals that she set for herself.(see other emails on this) If she can’t do the goals she set for herself how could she possibly do ones we set for her, because we have higher expectations?