Post resignation investigation at the high school

Published May 1, 2014 by justicewg

Allen Froman at the TVN did some investigation into the public records of resigned band director Hennig at the high school, and got some documents, including forms Principal Ken Chaffin completed after observing Hennig in class and an improvement plan for Hennig. None of them seemed to contain complaints that would cause Chafin to not recommend a new contract. O’Reilly said the Chafin had not made a decision on recommending a new contract, or recommending non-renewal, before the school board acted.

I got a kick out of the request that Hennig needed to “respond to all emails from parents”. If the teachers at the school followed the lead of the school board members, they would be fine with deleting emails and never responding.

O’Reilly confirmed that Hennig was not accused of a major issue like illegal or unethical behavior, which would have caused immediate suspension.

So we are again left with no reason for Hennig to be asked to leave the school. Remember, in the damage control letter from board member Brannan she said that the school administration made the decision to get rid of Hennig, and the board just acted to accept a resignation that was placed before them. Yet when the documents that should have showed this decision were supplied by the school there was nothing but minor complaints.

We really have nothing to think at this point except that the school board is hiding the real reason. Did Hennig have a fight with someone who was politically powerful enough to cause his removal? Could it have been a parent group who thought Hennig was gay and wanted him out? Nobody is talking on the school board, until they do it will remain a mystery.

School board members lying to the community

I didn’t emphasize the lying that was revealed by Froman’s investigation into the paperwork at the high school. All of the observations, reviews, and recommendations that would have shown that the band director was in trouble were handed over by the school administration. Documentation is everything in a system like the school, they produce endless files on every teacher. If there was no paperwork that showed Hennig was in trouble with the administration, that was the truth. There is no “secret probation”. And Froman confirmed that with O’Reilly.

That means that board member Brannan‘s letter to the band parents was a lie. The board was not following the wishes of the administration, the action they took to get rid of him was all their own.

I don’t recall ever hearing about a school board in Grandview Heights that blatantly lied to the public like this one. I wonder, will everyone just shrug it off? Will parents wait for the next board member election to express their feelings about this, or will the levy in the fall be the target of those angry at the board?


10 comments on “Post resignation investigation at the high school

  • Could this “resignation” be some sort of collateral damage for something bigger? Why exactly is O’Reilly leaving? It all sounds so fishy.

  • One of the items in Chaffin’s review of Hettig said that he needs “to work collaboratively with Bobcat Band Boosters in a way that involves two-way communication and idea-sharing.” This is where the problem lies. The BBB officers are a royal pain in the behind, and they are very difficult to work with. The president of the BBB – Debbie York – just happens to be good friends with Grant Douglass. The BBB, normally a group that works to improve the band program, has officers that have been very critical of everything Justin Hettig has done. One big problem for Justin: the BBB officers’ kids are under-performing musicians who weren’t good enough to get assigned to the “better” band.

    The instrumental music program at GHHS deteriorated under Kie Watkins for many, many years. As a result, there are a large group of high school band members who can’t read music. It’s going to take many years to clean up the mess Kie left behind. Justin made some huge improvements in one short year – this guy was giving free lessons to kids who wanted to learn to read music – but he apparently didn’t kiss up to the appropriate people. Shame on you Justin.

    Imagine if GHHS hired a new football coach after 18 losing seasons. Badly losing seasons. The new coach would try to fix all kinds of things to get the kids to improve and, in the process, win some games. In the midst of all this, imagine that the athletic boosters president had an underperforming son – let’s call him Alex – who refuses to lift weights, refuses to learn any new skills or technic, skips lots of practices, and who really just wanted to keep things the way they’ve always been. As a result, Alex didn’t get to start, and Alex’s mom is angry. So the mom complains to Grant Douglass and Ed O’Reilly.

    Would Grant/Ed demand the new coach’s resignation? What if the team made it to the playoffs under the new coach in his first year? Tradition is so important in Grandview. And Alex is truly a fine young man…

    Grant Douglass – ever loyal to Debbie York – had firmly decided that Justin Hettig must go. The length of time that the school board met in executive session merely reflects that it took Grant that long to convince everyone – in a very positive, “let’s do what’s best for the kids and the community” manner – to vote with him for his removal. In this manner, it was the board’s decision and not Grant’s. Most of the board members are probably too stupid/gullible to realize this.

    Grant would never tell you that Hettig needs to be fired because Debbie York’s son didn’t make the premier band. Instead, he would confidently share with you that he is concerned that Hettig isn’t treating people with the kindness that is necessary to keep Grandview as the special, tradition-based community that we all love.

    Ed O’Reilly probably pressured Hettig based on pressure he was receiving from Grant Douglass and perhaps also Debbie York. Ed really doesn’t care about the future of the Grandview schools. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Ed would love to see problems in the Grandview schools down the road. A few GHHS parents have made phone calls and written letters to school districts interviewing O’Reilly – Pickerington, for example – and shared some of their personal experiences with Ed’s incompetance. It wouldn’t bother Ed O’Reilly if the GHHS band program suffers after he leaves.

    • Some of these issues with the Board barely scratch the surface of what really goes on. There is one person, soon to be on the outside, who will gladly speak freely regarding unprofessional and unethical actions of this current Board. There is great focus on bullying regarding students. These folks should be held to the same standards they expect from the students and staff.

  • An “ah hah” moment. Someone is finally seeing the light about the current board. The volleyball coach was fired before the first scheduled game. Guess what the stated reason was? The district wants to take the team “in a different direction.” End, final, see ya! This school district and community deserves a better board than this. The “reign of terror” isn’t over yet – just wait until more people leave or are non-renewed.

    • The sad part is that there are so many really bad teachers in our district. Who cares, so long as they kiss Grant’s behind.

  • O’Reilly is being sued in federal court, as is his buddy Nancy Schott, Director of Pupil Services, who has also resigned after only three years. It isn’t well known. Yet.

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