Enough Nuance – Get to the Truth

There is some disagreement over whether the story of possible agreements between the KCS BOE and the superintendent are something over which constituents should be concerned.  Without a doubt, the story has changed in the last 24 hours. When a reporter says that we will have a more “nuanced” version of the story, I see a red flag, right there. Nuance is part of the problem. We don’t need to see the kinder, gentler version of the truth. Constituents expect the truth – however dirty it my be.  And it still looks pretty dirty to me.

It certainly feels like the “beautify” effect has fuzzed out some of the sharp edges of truth that were in the original. However, much of the “evidence” being used is pretty seriously flawed. “News” reports on those meetings focused on ensuring that BOE members weren’t out in the schools, telling principals how to run things – but those reports completely missed the thing every reporter should have noticed: Taking away every BOE member’s right to free speech.

Though not a “secret” document, it is quite secretive. I don’t see anywhere showing an actual public display of the wording of the agreements, with the exception of a linked version, under the agenda for a 2010 meeting (which is a pain to dig through, for most people).  It is not listed in any of the governing documents on their webpage, unless it is several levels down, where I haven’t found it yet.  What is quite clear, is that it was intended to be written and agreed to, all the way to how it would be “enforced” by the chair.

Whether legally binding or not, whether enforceable or not, and whether it was an “agreement,” an “understanding,” or any other words they want to toss in the mix, it is a document that has the pupose of guiding the Board, and as such, should have been clearly displayed as part of their governing documents for the past 6 years.

The kinds of things that are problematic, aren’t the same as those addressed by board members’ quotes or the KNS stories from the retreats. “Overstepping bounds” is not at all the same as not questioning the superintendent – their ONE employee.

This board has continually failed to do their due diligence – and have repeatedly shown that they are neither trustworthy, nor willing to accept responsibility for their actions – or lack of action.

As a community, it is our responsibility to do OUR due diligence in putting an end to the shenanigans, as well as the excuses.


Mike Donila’s first story is here and his second is  here

Cari Wade Gervin’s first story is here, with the “nuanced” story here

The Knox County Law Department’s opinion is here

The KNS stories that don’t quite cover the same facts are  here and here

Where Board Policies are supposed to be listed can be found here

I thought I could show the link trail to the documents in question, but it seems that the links are a little tricky to find… especially since none of the BOE agendas or minutes are linked on the site in a way that makes navigational sense.

2008 version – attached to the 2010 agenda – is here

2010 version – attached to the Law Director’s opinion – is here




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