Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ohlone principal suddenly resigns (letter to President Kronenberg)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Giorgio Cosentino <>
Date: Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Subject: Ohlone principal resigns
To: Madeline Kronenberg <>
Cc: Charles Ramsey <>, Todd Groves <>, "Enos, Randall" <>, Elaine Merriweather <>, "Harter, Bruce" <>, "Harrington, Theresa" <>, "Taylor, Adam" <>, Bill Kelly <>, Sherry McCoy <>, Ohlone PTA <>, "" <>, Bayside CouncilOfPTAs <>, Myrna de Vera <>

Dear President Kronenberg,

I have just been informed that Ohlone Principal, Mickie Giacomini, has just resigned after one year of employment with the WCCUSD to take a job closer to her home in Rockin, just weeks before school begins.  I repeatedly communicated to you and Director Taylor that your hiring of someone living in Rocklin made no sense, that I predicted this happening.   And it has. With short notice.  Like some sort of sick joke.

I am requesting a complete investigation into this hiring decision.  I want to know how the job position was advertised, where it was advertised, when it was advertised, how many applicants, the qualifications of each applicant, who sat on the review panel, what feedback was received from the review panel, etc.  I want to see copies of all primary documentation.  Dr. Harter made this hiring decision at the same time all other Hercules principal positions were changed.  He even replaced the Hercules Middle-High School principal with a first-timer.  For their first stint at the helm, they are responsible for two schools and a WASC survey this coming school year.  I am now questioning that decision, too.

I'll be honest and say I can't tell the difference between just making do with what you have at your disposal, incompetence, or retaliation as a result of the Measure K fallout, which included then President Ramsey's negative comments directed at Hercules.  If Mr. Ramsey never made those comments, then I might be able to accept this as par for the course with the WCCUSD.  I hope that is the case, that Dr. Harter was simply forced to make do with a lousy deck of cards.  Is that what happened?

Please investigate this not just for me, but as part of the WCCUSD quality improvement process.  What is the corrective action to this incident?  I hate to say I told you so, but I did, and still have the emails to prove it.  I told you she would leave for a job closer to home. As the liaison to the Hercules schools, I ask that you please provide a summary of your investigation to the citizens of Hercules.  

Thank you, President Kronenberg.

Giorgio Cosentino

Thursday, August 8, 2013

No Accountability for Richmond High School Tragedy?

As the trial for those responsible for the horrific, two-plus hour vicious, unrelenting gang rape comes to a close, I have to ask, where's the accountability for those who failed to protect this 16 year old girl from harm in 2009?  Did anyone resign?  Was anyone terminated from employment?  I just came across the following quote recently posted on the Richmond Confidential blog by Mr. Don Gosney, a co-organzier of the WCCUSD's Ivy League Connection. 
Mr. Gosney writes 
"This young woman got her settlement ($4 million) because the school district failed her in so many ways. She got a settlement because there was inadequate security at the homecoming dance. She got her settlement because the area where the crime was committed was blocked off from the view of anyone who might have been able to stop the crime (keep in mind that this was right in front of 23rd street). She got her settlement because the District failed to properly illuminate this area. And she got this settlement because had it gone to a jury they would have given her everything the District owned. Mistakes were made by a lot of people–the kinds of mistakes that were easily preventable and this is one of the reasons why she got this settlement."
I agree with his assessment 100%.  Yes, the “district” (Superintendent, Associate Superintendent responsible for safety, the Principal, the Board, and district police) failed her. The Superintendent as Chief Safety Officer failed her.  I taught at Richmond High School for three years.  Bad things happened on that campus because the campus was not an island, that it was not isolated or immune from the violence of the surrounding community.  Hardly a day went by without some sort of act of violence.  Beatings, threats of bodily harm or worse, lock-downs, loaded guns in lockers.  So school staff remained in a constant state of vigilance.  Every day we taught, we had to protect our children from harm.  It was part of our job description.

The brutality of Richmond does not recognize boundaries.  It is continuous.  Yet the security that night was not continuous.   Police patrolled the streets.  Security watched over the kids in the gym.  But nothing in between.  When I worked as a security guard for such events, there was always someone responsible for patrolling the perimeter.  And where there was little to no lighting, you paid extra attention to those areas, not less.  I would have expected the same protocols from those responsible for ensuring the safety of our children, but to my knowledge, it didn’t happen.

Where there were no watchful eyes, a crowd of approximately 20 individuals participated in the most barbaric acts against this child for a period of no less than two hours on the school campus.  So again I ask, where is the accountability?  A payment of $4 million dollars is not accountability.  It is an admission of guilt.