Miami-Dade Schools: See Something, Say Something?!

On Monday, September 29, 2014, Miami-Dade County Public Schools unveiled their “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign in response to four middle school students bringing loaded guns to Brownsville Middle School.

Alongside their anti-bullying and “Do The Right Thing” campaigns, it smacks of hypocrisy given the retaliatory and punitive actions taken against me in my case stemming from Adobegate at Miami Norland Senior High School.

On April 4, 2012, I saw something and said something as Mr. Willie Gant, vocational teacher, told me of, and later showed me, a student confession and cheat sheets that lead to a massive case of standardized test cheating causing a vastly improved school grade and a payout of almost $250,000 in Federal and State performance incentives to Norland teachers.

Unlike the student involved, I was not thanked for my efforts but transferred twice and wound up in court.

As President Obama said on August 7, 2014, when he signed the Veterans’ Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014:

If you engage in an unethical practice, if you cover up a serious problem, you should be fired. Period. It shouldn’t be that difficult. And if you blow the whistle on an unethical practice, or bring a problem to the attention of higher-ups, you should be thanked. You should be protected for doing the right thing. You shouldn’t be ignored, and you certainly shouldn’t be punished.

Unfortunately, the M-DCPS hierarchy did not get that message as I was ignored for the most part and I was punished by displacement and other means as outlined in my civil suit even though I was correct as two teachers were disciplined with great disparity.

I am glad that the student fared much better though.

Then again, the cases are different subject matters but both are very important.

Given the actions of M-DCPS, a reasonable person may conclude that it is permissible to report gun crimes and related possible incidents but not test cheating where students, with teacher assistance, learn to bilk the Federal and State accountability systems that leads to better school grades and six figures worth of incentive payouts by the Federal and State governments for the benefit of school administrators and teachers with a blind eye from those in a position to hold those involved accountable but fail to do so.

Apparently, by taking adverse action against me, M-DCPS wants their teachers to be frightened and quiet.

On their internal Employee Portal where it has a link to “Report Fraud” they ought to put a disclaimer: “We really don’t mean it- and be prepared to sue us if you do!”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of the Miami-Dade School District Superintendent is courtesy of WSVN Channel 7 News, Miami.