January 13, 2011

Teachers unhappy with Glendale investigation

A report that dismissed 17 allegations of harassment by a Madison principal towards teachers and other staff failed to actually address charges of bullying, according to a response issued late Friday through Madison Teachers Inc.

The response says that the district's management "has elected to do nothing to support those Glendale staff who have been bullied by Principal (Mickey) Buhl." It also states that some staff members "have been living in fear of Mr. Buhl for 5+ years." In additional comments in the responsde, teachers say that Buhl's behavior towards some staff members "fostered fear and anxiety in the workplace. We finally came forward, even at the risk of exposing ouselves to further vindictive and very hurtful behavior."

I wrote about the release of the report and some background information surrounding the investigation last week, including a link to the full report. The full text of the teachers' response to that report accompanies this story.

In the MTI response, staff members note they were "extremely disappointed with the outcome of the investigation by the attorney retained by the District."

The original report, completed on Nov. 19, was released through an open records request by The Capital Times and others last week, and covered the results of a two-month long investigation by attorney Shana Lewis of local law firm, Ross and Clark. The firm had been hired by the Madison school district to independently assess alleged issues of workplace harassment and bullying by Buhl.

Basically, the Lewis report exonerates Buhl of any formal harassment. But what clearly emerges from detailed comments and interviews in the report, and from the teacher response, is a portrait of a school with a divided staff and a troubled work environment.

Staff members allege they have gotten little to no response regarding their concerns from administration or the Board of Education, but have requested a private meeting with school board members to address what they say are inaccuracies and ommissions in Lewis' report.

"People who were affected (by the report) didn't feel it brought out the full picture of what's been going on at Glendale," said Eve Degen, assistant director of Madison Teachers Inc. in a short phone interview on Monday.

"It's been a very difficult time for the staff at Glendale. This is not something that started two weeks ago, or two months ago or two years ago," she added.

Matt Bell, an attorney for the district, said there would be no comments beyond the release of the report because it has to do with personnel issues.

From: http://host.madison.com

1 comment:

Nitesh said...


It is also common knowledge that she forced senior staff (several now departed and silenced with compromise agreements) to arrange jobs (sinecures) for a number of her old friends and at least one close family member, in spite of desperate financial circumstances.