Friday, February 15, 2013
Parents of Plano middle school students may petition district over abrupt resignation of three counselors
The three counselors who resigned at Haggard filed grievances with the district.
Counselors Penny Hale, Robin Taylor, and Mary White resigned February 1.
Hale and White's resignation letters state they will no longer be with the district effective the end of the fall 2013 semester, while Taylor's gives the last day of the 2012-13 school year as her effective resignation date.
All three counselors are on personal leave until their effective resignation dates, said Karla Oliver, assistant superintendent for government, community, and planning initiatives. The district is working with its legal department to determine what information regarding the resignations may be releasable under the open records act, and some information may be released as early as next week, she said.
Meanwhile, parents are still speculating as to why the counselors resigned.
On February 8, the Haggard PTA Board met with administrators to discuss the matter. The PTA has not specified which administrators the board spoke with, and the meeting was reportedly closed to parents and non-board PTA members.
A statement from PTA President Brandi Hatley sent to parents Monday did not detail what was discussed at the meeting and echoed many statements already made by Plano ISD regarding the matter, adding that any "opinions and comments" should be directed to Plano ISD administration.
The statement also addressed the temporary shutdown of the Haggard Middle School PTA "Eagle's Nest" Facebook page, which was taken down February 8 and put back on the web -- minus all posts and comments related to the resignations other than Hatley's statement -- Thursday.
"The PTA is a noncommercial, nonsectarian, nonpartisan association, and according to the official PTA guidelines, the Haggard Middle School PTA's social media outlets are to provide accurate, relevant and up-to-date information," the statement reads. "They are not the appropriate place to express complaints and grievances."
In a letter sent February 7 to the PTA, Associate Superintendent of District Services Cathy Galloway spoke in general terms about Plano ISD's grievance process, stating that structured policies are required by law in the event of a grievance filing.
"It is important to me and my Plano ISD colleagues that parents understand that despite emotional connections in any circumstance, the district is held accountable for this standard of privacy on behalf of all employees," the letter reads. "In the grievance process, internal or external legal counsel or other resources may be engaged to ensure unbiased findings."
Meanwhile, on a Haggard Facebook page operated independently of the PTA, parents are discussing the possibility of launching a petition demanding the district provide an explanation for the sudden resignations.
Hatley did not respond to requests for comment.
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