July 21, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Student Journalists Seek School Official Accountability

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Student journalists are demanding in an editorial that the Pittsburg School District Superintendent Destry Brown be held accountable for hiring an unqualified principal.

School newspaper reporters at the Booster Redux discovered the school district hired a Pittsburg High School Principal with questionable credentials last April. It lead to the principal’s resignation, and now the students journalists are wondering why school officials aren’t being held accountable for the mishap.

“Superintendent Destry Brown supported hiring Amy Robertson despite our findings, and the USD 250 Board of Education has failed to hold him accountable,” it reads.

The student reporters say they met with Brown three times detailing their misgivings about

Student journalists did the vetting of a new hire that the Pittsburg School District Board of Education, Superintendent, and HR staff refused to do, and now they’re seeking accountability in a new editorial.

the new hire.

“Three times he assured us there was nothing to see. Three times he was wrong,” the editorial reads.

Even after the student’s published the story, Brown told the Pittsburg Morning Sun that Robertson was highly-qualified and the best candidate for the job. Robertson’s resume said she held a doctorate from an unaccredited school without a physical address. Though Robertson eventually resigned, students say the mistake has never been addressed.

The student editorial doesn’t mention that the district’s human resources director, Julie Menghini, only secured her bachelor’s degree last year, though she’s been in the director’s role since 2011. It also doesn’t mention that the Kansas Association of School Board’s executive director Donna Whiteman chose to lob blame for the poor hire at the feet of a mythical teacher shortage and at the “current climate in Kansas.”

“In this current climate in Kansas, there is a major shortage of teachers and principals. Districts generally trying to hire the most qualified person want to hire them before someone else snatches them up,” she told the Kansas City Star after the students broke the story. “So it is not unusual that all the (background) checks, are not done because they are trying to get them signed.”

The student editorial said calling Robertson’s hiring a mistake is false.

“What happened was not an isolated error on Brown’s part, but rather his repeated disregard for the truth, and the board’s lack of oversight,” the editorial reads.

 

 

 

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