IMPORTANT UPDATE: The initial version of this post was inaccurate. Although Capital Prep is part of the Hartford School System it is not on the same academic schedule as Hartford’s other schools. My original comments were based on my impression that Capital Prep, like all Hartford Schools, were dealing with an early dismissal today.
I took Steve Perry to task for Tweeting instead of handling the early closing situation. I stand corrected thanks to information provided by “HartfordTruth,” a reader who is or is close to Mr. Perry. I was clearly in error since it turns out that Capital Prep was closed today and I apologize for providing inaccurate information.
That said, the underlying issue remains unchanged.
Perry’s constant use of his Twitter account on public time remains a serious breach of ethics and his approach to social media completely fails to meet the ethical standards required by a principal.
Although Capital Prep was not in session today, Steve Perry, as we know, spends an inordinate amount of time Tweeting and engaged in self promotion, even on days when school is in session.
Steve Perry is the principal of Capital Prep. With the help of Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, and Hartford Superintendent of Schools, Christina Kishimoto, Perry is trying to get the Hartford Board of Education (and the state of Connecticut) to turn Capital Prep and one other school over to Perry’s private charter school management company.
But the truth is that the role of a school principal is probably the single most important administrative position in public education.
Today’s weather-related closing situation is a prime example. The administrative responsibility principals are significant. This is especially true for principals at magnet schools that must deal with complex bus schedules that need to get children home to multiple communities and principals who oversee schools with younger children since they have a particularly fundamental, even legal, obligation to ensure that no young child goes home to an empty house.
This morning, principals throughout Connecticut were working with their staff to call parents to ensure “pick-ups” were made on time and someone would be home to meet younger children. In my town it is not uncommon for the local principal to be waiting with a couple of students long after all the other children and staff has safety gotten home.
As parents, teachers and school administrators know, early closing days are busy days for Connecticut’s school principals
But if his social media record is any indication, Dr. Steve Perry is rarely so busy with his administrative duties that he doesn’t have time to engage in meaningless Tweeting or media interviews to promote himself and his private business activities.
As we now know, Capital Prep was not in session today so we don’t really know how Perry would have handled the problem, but Perry’s approach to serving as a principal is certainly very different from that of his colleagues.
Steve Perry may have been “off-duty” but at 9:34 am this morning Steve Perry was Tweeting, “The Perfect Bacon Bowl… Really!”
His Tweet was a reference to a national advertising campaign selling “The Perfect Bacon Bowl is the newest, tastiest way to cook bacon.”
Maybe Steve Perry was watching TV instead of catching up on work. It turns out the Perfect Bacon Bowl ad aired on Morning Joe just a few minutes before he tweeted about it. Other national stations also aired the ad this morning according to an industry publication.
Or maybe he was surfing the web and found the ad on YouTube: http://youtu.be/5kjujVnwZEs
Of perhaps he was just yucking it up with staff or ordering himself some of the “As Seen On TV” bacon bowls for himself at: https://www.buyperfectbacon.com/default.aspx?utm_source=Google_Non_TM&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=CPD
We may never know why Steve Perry was Tweeting about bacon bowls, but he certainly wasn’t “away” on vacation. In fact, a bit later in the day he turned his attention to his work, Tweeting
But as Steve Perry’s Twitter-feed reflects, once again, he can’t seem to refrain from the self-promotion. When not Tweeting about Bacon Bowls or employees getting “an attitude”, he moved on to his never-ending self-promotion. This time Tweeting,
“I’m on live w Angelo Henderson in Radio WCHB radio Detroit!”
It turns out Perry was doing PR for his January 25, 2014 speech at the MGM Grand Detroit Casino Hotel where he’ll be the luncheon speaker for Delta Sigma Theta. (PS Tickets are only $65 per person)
Of course, Steve Perry’s obsessive compulsive Twitter habits are hardly new…
When Steve Perry used his Twitter account to threaten his political opponents, Matt Poland, the Chairman of the Hartford Board of Education called for an investigation. But no investigation or action was ever taken.
And when it became clear that Steve Perry had spent hundreds of hours Tweeting rather than working and thereby wasted tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds as he promoted himself and his businesses enterprises…all we heard from the Hartford Superintendent and the Hartford Board of Education was silence.
What will it take for the leadership in Hartford and the Malloy administration to hold Steve Perry accountable for his actions?
By now, any other public official or public employee would have been escorted to the door.
Running an 800 student school requires real leadership, running more than one school even more.
But Steve Perry spends hours and hours Tweeting about things like bacon bowls and his many interviews aimed at publicizing the private speeches that he will be giving in the weeks ahead.
It turns out that one of Steve Perry’s books is called “Man Up!” He claims it is autobiographical in nature.
Watching his Twitter performance today leaves one with the distinct impression that if you wanted to buy the book you’d best start by looking for it in satire or comedy section of the bookstore.