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PUYALLUP: Principal has another choice to make

Letter by Cydne Marckmann, Puyallup on May 11, 2011 at 11:41 am with 13 Comments »
May 11, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: “School district tells rest of its story on Puyallup principal” (TNT, 5-11).

I have no doubt that Scott Brittain is a charismatic leader. What is abundantly clear after reading the documents is that he also did not feel that he had to follow the rules that were established for all district principals. This was his choice.

If the principals are not held accountable to follow rules, how can any of the children or staff be held accountable?

As parents, when our children make the wrong choice with our rules, we give them consequences. Rules are what make a civilized society civil. In this case, if the members of the school board and Superintendent Tony Apostle ignored the flagrant disregard for their authority, they would have not been able to maintain order or discipline with any other employee or student.

I am saddened by the personal attacks on Apostle and board members. Board members work very long hours without pay for the education of our children.

Brittain still can do right by the students who care for him deeply by admitting that he did wrong; the documentation does not lie. He chose to be insubordinate to his superiors and to resign when not required.

He can be an adult and help these kids transition into the future with respect and dignity, not anger and ignorance. His final legacy is his choice.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. How many days will it be before all the employees and friends of the PSD admin building have responded in support of Apostle and his gang of overpaid groupies ?

  2. Fibonacci says:

    I am no fan of Apostle but the name calling that was done at the school board meeting was competely out of line and I don’t blame them for moving the meeting.

  3. If your mortgage is paid off or if for some other reason you actually get a Property Tax statement from Pierce County showing the obscene amount of taxes that go to the Puyallup School District, you too would demand a higher level of respect and responsibility from Apostle and the groupies.
    Those who have your mortgage lender automatically pay, clearly just don’t get it.

    When was the last time Puyallup produced its share of academic scholars ? A long long time. We mainly produce jocks, social workers, or more teachers. Puyallup has been exposed for its grade inflation when it comes to non state college admission and scholarships.

    Sad days in the Puyallup School District. The Apostle dynasty.

  4. Erudite says:

    What is clear is that this letter writer appears to be oblivious to the facts.

    The Puyallup School District has inept leadership at both the superintendent and school board level.

    What is really sad is that people like this would try to make excuses for a superintendent and school board that does not listen to the community. This is a hand picked school board that does what they are told.

    If you think that this school district is getting better, you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years.

  5. As an outsider to the public school arena, it looks to me like the guy has had a stellar career until he got a new supervisor. Autocratic leadership is tough to deal with, even when your a great guy like this principal seems to be. Sad day for Rogers High School to have their principal slapped down by the inept district leadership.

    This is all about control, Autocratic control. Used him as a tool to set the tone for the remainder of the sheep to fall in line. Sad.

  6. Parkland says:

    I’m not part of the Puyallup School District, and my kids are adults, so I have no horse in this race, but it’s hard to ignore.

    Having gone to public schools in Tacoma in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I witnessed first hand the transition from the old school educators to the new age breed. There are two reasons that kids think an educator is good:

    Reason #1) The kid can tell that the educator is genuinely enthused about the kid learning, and the kid finds himself fascinated with things he wouldn’t have imagined being fascinated with.

    Reason #2) The educator is “cool”, talks like kids talk, and shares social commentary which is usually contradictory to “the establishment”.

    I may be way off here, but when I read that hundreds of kids are demonstrating in favor of this high school principal staying on, I suspect it’s reason #2.

  7. Mr. Brittain, with the aid of his counsel, negotiated the agreement to resign at the end of the year in exchange for the district terminating the investigation into his conduct while principal of Rogers HS. Mr. Brittain could have remained on paid administrative leave while the investigation ran to its conclusion, but chose to resign instead. We can only speculate what may have come out in the final investigative report, however we do know Mr. Btittain found it not in his interest to wait and see.

  8. sirlancealot says:

    Bet,
    Some people are opposed to drama. Mr. Brittain also called off a huge rally that was organized to support him. If I were in the same situation, I’d be so personally hurt that I too would submit my resignation and wash my hands of it. Perhaps it was a last straw for him.

    It’s too bad. Between the Puyallup weather, the traffic and the school board, maybe it’s time to move.

  9. commoncents says:

    enotrams…unless people start voting out the school board members that support Tony Apostle then he/they are listening to the wishes of the community. What the are not doing is listening to the vocal minority such as yourself. I’m not saying that I agree with or side with Apostle in any way. I just don’t expect him to bow down to the wishes of people vocal with their dissent when they continue to vote in those who support him and his decisions. Don’t like them…vote them out.

    As for Brittain? If my child is told to not do something by me – even though it may be a dictatorial decision by me and may not make sense to him or anyone else – and he goes ahead and does it anyways then my child is going to be punished. The punishment would be even more harsh if he tried to hide or cover what he had done.

  10. I have not like Apostle since his comments in the “Connection” news letter sent out by the District after the additional tax they were asking for was shot down by the voters. He out and out said we voters were stupid. Truth of the matter is we voters don’t think you have your priorities in order and we feel your salary is very very excessive. As far as the name calling at the meeting, well the schools are teaching civil disobediance and some schools want the kids to walk out of class in protest of union contracts, so I would say they are getting what they have cultivated. I for one will vote out all current Board members as they come up for re-election.

  11. NoKidding2026 says:

    No No No No.

    Insubordination. He may have been loved, but he was insubordinate. He may have meant for good, but good deeds cannot erase poor choices. Oh here mommy, I hit my sister, but now I will pick up my toys. One bad does not erase the good, vise versa.

    Unfortunately, no one can see that his supervisor may have seen what others don’t, or have not been able to counter all these years. Either you are in the IN crowd, or you are not in this district. This culture is pervasive. Rules have never applied to him, thus he does what he wants-sounds like.

    Note: he is conspicuously absent for district events. This is a huge huge issue I noticed over the years living in the district. He always sent his minions.

    Blame Amy E. for her bravery for standing up to his violation of the rules, but it needs to be said: this district has a DAMAGING good ole boys network. If you are not in, you are a looser. You are not a part of the private parties, events, or inside jokes. Amy wasn’t part of the “you pat my back, I’ll pat yours.” Good for her. For shame that some of you put the blame on the female of her.

    You all may love him, and that needs to be noted. But there are hidden things here, that we all don’t know about that were never dealt with in years gone by because of the good ole boy network. This type of gang mentality is nearly impossible to break. Time tells all things.

  12. dankuykendall says:

    Exactly what did he say to be insubordinate? Insubordination is in the eye of the supervisor, not the emplyee. Resigning may have been the better part of valor in that they had already made plans to fire him regardless of what the investigation returned. An unbiased investigation is always in everyones best interest, but not always in the systems best interest.
    Resignation always looks better than being fired.

  13. Parkland says:

    dankuykendall: “Insubordination is in the eye of the supervisor, not the emplyee.”

    Yes, and I don’t understand what part of that people don’t get. You can’t let the inmates steer the ship, yet so often in the public sector these days, that’s how it is.

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