The beginning of the year for Jefferson County Public Schools started with a serious snafu in busing, two principal suspensions and a superintendent playing dodgeball with the press. Now a new blog has launched encouraging “whistleblowers” to come forward and report mismanagement in the school system, which could shake things up even more.
Last week, the site’s first entry promised to “give a voice to teachers, parents, students and other stakeholders” and hold the public school system accountable. The blog profile says its author is ‘Paul Friar’ a Jefferson County Public School employee, parent and taxpayer, however, no one with that name was found in the employee registry.
It would be easy to walk away from the problems by getting a new job and pretending that everything is OK, but I can’t do that. As a JCPS employee I am privy to some of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans and I plan to use this blog
Its existence has already caught the attention of school officials, who aren’t sure what to make of the blog until more content is posted.
“We’ve seen it and that’s about all I can tell you. We don’t know who is responsible but with thousands of employees it could be anyone,” says Ben Jackey, a JCPS spokesman. “There’s nothing to really comment on until something is posted.”
Right now a JCPS employees can file grievances and discrimination complaints with their superiors or human resources. The school system also has an anonymous 24/7 tip line run by a third-party operator to report financial fraud. The number is 1-888-393-6780.
Though the confidential hotline is mainly for reporting misuse of public funds, it has served as a place for employees to come forward with other mismanagement and/or misconduct concerns.
“If there is a legitimate problem we want to be aware of it,” Jackey says. “Illegitimate complaints are obviously a concern, but we deal with that in any blog site and with mainstream media sources. We do hope it doesn’t present itself on this site.”