Before this week’s snow storm hit, the Hartford Board of Education was scheduled to use their regular meeting to go into “executive session” to discuss Capital Preparatory Magnet School Principal Steve Perry.
The storm forced a postponement of the meeting until Monday, January 27th. The initial agenda for Monday’s meeting fails to state whether there will or will not be a closed-door meeting about Perry, but regardless, the Hartford Board of Education’s Perry problem is not going away. If they don’t hold an executive session on Monday one would certainly expect that the Board would take the matter up at the February meeting on February 18th or potentially add it to their February 4th workshop meeting.
Of course, as the Board of Education’s rules require, the public can address the Hartford Board of Education at either its January 27th rescheduled meeting or its February 18th meeting.
Over the course of the past few months a number of serious accusations have been made about by Perry and his job performance by former and present Capital Prep parents and teachers, as well as from members of the public.
- Perry using his Twitter account to make threats that would have gotten a student or teacher arrested, suspended or fired, yet no action was taken by Hartford Superintendent Christina Kishimoto or the Board of Education to date.
- Although Perry is responsible for an 800 student school, he has missed approximately 20% of the school days during this academic year qualifying him as “excessively absent” and a “truant” under the State Department of Education’s policies concerning school attendance. If he was a student, the school would have been required to institute special efforts to try and get Perry back into the school.
- To date, Perry has sent out more than 32,200 Tweets from his Twitter account, many during school hours. A conservative estimate is that Perry’s obsessive Tweeting while working (Tworking) has cost Hartford and Connecticut taxpayers in excess of $12,500 in wasted salary payments and benefits to Perry.
- When Perry is at school and not Tweeting, he is often conducting media interviews to promote his private speaking business. The use of school time and resources to further his private company is a violation of Hartford ethics policies and state law.
- Allegations continue to mount that Perry and Capital Prep are utterly failing to provide their special education students with the services required in each student’s IEPs (Individualized Education Plans). The reports suggest that Perry and the school are in gross violation of federal and state law. An independent investigation by the State of Connecticut and the Federal Government is needed, although there are new reports that such an investigation has already begun.
- Parents and teachers report that abusive discipline policies continue at Capital Prep. Perry’s policies lead to students being forced to stand during entire class periods, forcing students to stand during lunch, forcing students to sit at the “Table of Shame” and even more serious allegations of abusive discipline policies.
- Parents and teachers also report that bullying continues to run rampant at Capital Prep and that Perry’s failure to fulfill his legal duties under Federal and State bullying laws is only the tip of the iceberg. Direct reports and dozens of Tweets on the subject reveal that Perry has created an unhealthy workplace in which teachers and school staff are regularly bullied by Perry and his fellow school administrators.
- And the list goes on… including allegations of telling selected parents to fill out applications in such a way as to ensure acceptance to the school or urging parents to falsify demographic information so that Capital Prep can collect extra public funds under the Sheff racial desegregation case and laws.
Undoubtedly many of these concerns will be raised in public testimony at next Monday’s Board of Education meeting and at every Hartford Board of Education meeting until the Superintendent and members of the Board of Education move to hold Steve Perry and Capital Prep responsible for its actions.