Statement of Charges 6-10 Against Gilbert Public Schools Teacher

Update: GPS withdrew all charges rather than try to prove any of them to be true. Sarah retains all her legal claims against the district.

NEW! Gilbert Public Schools Board Member Apologizes for the District's Retaliation Against Sarah

The following charges date back to the 2010-2011 school year at Meridian Elementary School, Mesa, Arizona under principal Vicki Hester.

6. April 11, 2011: In a letter that Ms. Green sent to Associate Superintendent Blanchard dated April 11, 2011, Ms. Green accused Principal Hester of abusing her authority by assigning Ms. Green a crushing workload over the course of over four months with the assignment to write the school's application for the A+ Schools Award. Ms. Green also alleged that she was ordered out of her class for five half days and one full day to work on the application.

Ms. Green's accusations were not based upon fact and were unfounded. In fact, Ms. Green approached Principal Hester and said she would be willing to write the application and was excited to do it.

Furthermore, it was Ms. Green who requested that Principal Hester provide a substitute teacher so that Ms. Green could work on the application during school time.

  Nikki Blanchard began an investigation; read Denise Green's response. Read Sarah's cover letter for about 1,000 documents Sarah turned over to Nikki Blanchard on demand.

Following her investigation, Nikki Blanchard issued a Non-Disciplinary Letter of Direction to Sarah.

Denise Lowell-Britt's investigation notes reveal that GEA President Diane Drazinski insisted on issuing this letter. The investigator communicated with the AEA lawyer, even though Sarah told the attorney-investigator that Samantha Blevins did not represent her...more betrayals.

Read Sarah's Response to the Letter of Direction; the A+ Schools issue begins on page 13. We'll post more about A+ Schools soon.

7. April 11, 2011: In a letter that Ms. Green sent to Associate Superintendent Blanchard dated April 11, 2011, Ms. Green accused Associate Superintendent Blanchard and Principal Hester of using a ‘non-disciplinary' letter "to make ‘lesbian' [her] only identity in GPS."

Ms. Green further accused them of "repeatedly [trying] to get [her] to say that [her] student was *******." Ms. Green further accused them of "using a ‘non-disciplinary' letter to insinuate that [her] sexual orientation is lesbian." Ms. Green further stated that Associate Superintendent Blanchard's "obvious intent was to put into writing the letters ‘*****' in a way that will define [Ms. Green's] identity within Gilbert Public Schools."

Ms. Green further accused Associate Superintendent Blanchard and Principal Hester of "malicious character assassination." Ms. Green further asserted that Principal Hester "lulled, misled and lied to the parents of [Ms. Green's] students." In fact, neither administrator had expressly or implicitly engaged in such conduct. Further, there is nothing whatsoever in the letter of direction dated April 8, 2011, that implicitly or explicitly references Ms. Green's sexual orientation or otherwise creates innuendo about her sexual orientation.

  Read Sarah's Response to the Letter of Direction: "You misstate facts...I am trying to protect this student and at the same time, protect my employer, Gilbert Public Schools."

"Innuendos need be supported only by the fact that I am unmarried -- the rumor mill can make it impossible for me to continue teaching."

"...Until that meeting, I had no idea that my principal thought I was a lesbian; it appears that element was one of the parts of the story she had already told you before our March 7th meeting, when she described what she considered to be my unprofessional conduct. It was very clear to me as our meeting progressed that you and my principal have concluded that I am a lesbian. Your disdain for me was even more palpable on April 8th when you laughed at me so many times in response to questions I asked." 

Sarah's main concern  was helping her students - the bully and the many students who were victims. Nikki Blanchard focused on one student and issued a directive that had nothing to do with Sarah's reports of bullying and racial discrimination.

8. May 13, 2011: Ms. Green brought her entire class to the office during the Friday morning school announcements. Several students were holding up Ms. Green's new children's novel.

Ms. Green said that one of her students who looked like Ramona had an announcement to make. The student then read a written announcement that described Ms. Green's new book and informed students that they could purchase it on Amazon.com.

Ms. Green then announced that she had donated five copies of her book to the library and that students might be able to purchase the book at Meridian if Principal Hester approved.

Ms. Green had not previously requested permission to make this announcement or obtained approval of Principal Hester or the Superintendent to do so.

  Sarah's pen name is Corey Green (market research: boys don't want to read books written by a girl, so Sarah chose an androgynous pen name!)

Brainstorm is the book that "Ramona" announced. There's also a website.

Sarah has made 7 free author visits for GPS since 2007, when her first book was published. (Zapped!) Just off the press, a new release: Double Switched, a baseball book with a strong civil rights theme. Book websites here and here.

Sarah produced Best Multiplication Songs EVER! which has been featured for GPS fundraisers; she also wrote Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! Both math learning products have won national awards.

What changed in May 2011? Sarah was feted with a Meridian "My Day" celebration for her book! Sarah and her publisher have filed appropriately with GPS since 2007, donating thousands of dollars of resources to GPS.

Read about another announcement Sarah made - getting Vicki Hester's permission was never required!

9. May 23, 2011: Ms. Green sent an email to Principal Hester in which she accused Principal Hester of asking a parent of Student B if Student B had a good relationship with Ms. Green.

Ms. Green further accused Ms. Hester of putting Ms. Green in the position of having to defend herself and stated, "It's clear that you are trying to destroy my professional reputation".

In fact, Principal Hester had not made the alleged inquiry to the parent, which the parent confirmed verbally and in writing.

  Sarah learned that Vicki Hester indeed had asked that; the parent relayed the conversation to Sarah. The following emails are in DL-B's investigation files:

Jeff Filloon called the parent while the family was on vacation in Disneyland after the school year ended. He wrote: "Mrs. ***** told Mr. Filloon that not once during her conversation with Mrs. Hester did Mrs. Hester ask about *******'s relationship with Ms. Green."

That parent then emailed a clarification to Jeff Filloon: "...Mrs. Hester asked about the relationship between our [children] and their respective teachers was when she asked if they had a 'good relationship' with their teachers."

Sarah emailed Shane McCord, Denise Lowell-Britt and Diane Drazinski about this harassment.

10. May 24, 2011: In an email dated May 24, 2011, Ms. Green again accused Associate Superintendent Blanchard of making statements regarding her sexual orientation.

In fact, Associate Superintendent Blanchard did not expressly or implicitly engage in such conduct.

  The text of the email [scroll down the pdf document to the May 24 message]: "Making me move as a condition of continued employment will be illegal retaliation because I reported bullying and racial discrimination at Meridian...The new principal who has to accept me as 'the lesbian teacher who labels students' will never respect me as a professional colleague. Nor will other teachers."

Investigation files reveal that Nikki Blanchard forwarded Sarah's May 24, 2011 email to Dr. Allison, Clyde Dangerfield, Denise Lowell-Britt and Diane Drazinski; it appears that Nikki Blanchard did not forward Sarah's response on May 25, 2011 to those recipients:

"If you read my email message again, you will see that I did not write in that email message anything that was inaccurate, make any allegations or state anything that could be considered fabrication. I did not violate GBEB.

I said "The new principal who has to accept me as "the lesbian teacher who labels students" will never respect me as a professional colleague. Nor will other teachers." This refers to the documentation that has been building in my employment file after I reported incidents of bullying and racial discrimination at Meridian, as I explained in my response to your Letter of Direction. You told me that your Letter of Direction and my response would be placed in my employment file, which will be available to my supervisors as long as I am a GPS employee. (My response is dated April 11, 2011.)

I am well aware of your power to discipline me. I believe, however, that reassigning me as a condition of continuing employment will be illegal retaliation against me based on my reports of bullying and racial discrimination at Meridian. The investigation into those issues is not finished, yet you have already prejudged that my reassignment is required before considering any other remedies or corrective actions that might be indicated by the findings of the investigation report.

Since the meeting in your office on March 7, 2011, I have been forthright and every report I have made has been made in my good faith belief that the district will correct problems I have identified, with resultant benefits for all students and employees. As pressures and intimidation have built, particularly in this month, I feel compelled to address each incident, situation and comment so that I will not later be deemed to have "admitted" something if I did not act to immediately controvert each and every occurrence. Therefore, my response here is not intended to be argumentative; my intent is to try to direct your attention to what my email message actually stated and to protest your motives for transferring me from Meridian next year."

Redacted Statement of Charges document from Gilbert Public Schools.

Update: GPS withdrew all charges rather than try to prove any of them to be true. Sarah retains all her legal claims against the district.


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