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David Tuthill

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2/16/07  DISD and Ethics

Wednesday (2/14/7), the Dallas Independent School District made the news again.  As anyone who has followed the DISD over the past several years knows, the bad news regarding the administration of our public schools keeps coming. 

Some may hope these news items will stop one day. Keep wishing.  It is not going to happen any time soon.

Recently, we have learned of the residency requirements and Asst. Supt. Mr. Celso Martinez?s lack of adherence to them.  Before that, it was the Preston Hollow School principal?s impromptu segregation of students.  DISD administrators are their own worst enemies.

This time, the Dallas Morning News front page story is ?
Son sold $24,000 in shirts to dad's school ? (2/15/07)Kenny Beard sold shirts to the Village Fair, a campus administered by his father Jim Beard. 

Several years ago, when I started my rants on the DISD, I noted it was not uncommon for administrators to have side businesses that do business with the DISD.  Having worked in the legal computer accounting industry  (automation accounting systems for law firms) I would have thought this to be a conflict of interest.  In the legal business it is important to have a good reputation. We wrote conflict of interest software so firms could uncover possible conflicts and maintain a proper working relation to their clients.  There are many subtle sides to the perception of a conflict of interest.

During the wave of sex scandals that rocked the religious community years ago, Reverend Billy Graham was asked why there were no scandals associated with him.  His reply was that they did not even want the faintest hint of scandal and took steps to head off anything! -- Anything that would even faintly smell of impropriety.  In other words, it's too late to fix a problem when the horses have left the barn. This concept is foreign to many of our elected officials as their conduct is ?lets see what we can get away with?.

Looking at the $24,000 worth of shirts news item, as well as other DISD news items, it seems nothing short of a 2x4 between the eyes of some of the DISD (and possibly other governmental employees outside the DISD) will get their attention to the impropriety of these types of transactions.

Considering the overwhelming climate that prevails in all levels of the DISD administration, what can you expect?  How can any DISD top management even show their faces in public without an overwhelming feeling of shame on their part?  Nothing seems to make them see the impropriety of their conduct.

If what you are doing looks improper on the surface, it probably is.  No amount of plotting or justification will make is kosher.  Indeed, it seems to me that some in government (see Dallas Morning News Editorial
Checks, Balances: Let's hope this is final act of donation drama, 2/14/7) spend such an abnormal amount of time trying to come away with complex justifications for their bad actions, that it would be easier and simpler just to not do it.  They obviously feel that their position in local government or our school administration is a carte blanc to feed at the public trough.  In this case, at the expense of those who they are suppose to serve -- our kids.

I long for the ancient days of the public pillory where such ?ethically challenged? (crooks) would be locked in the stocks and be pelted by rotten tomatoes thrown by the outraged public.

What amount of outrage by the public will cure this attitude by the school administration and local government?

It seems the public is able to stomach a great deal of these shenanigans by elected officials.  One trustee told me, ?Well that?s the DISD for you! He he he he!"  (Giggling like a naughty school child caught with his hand in the cookie jar).  

So, my question to you readers is ?have you had enough?? If your answer is ?Ohhh, Nooooooooo!  We have not ? give us more,? you most certainly will get your wish.  Stay tuned!

David W. Tuthill





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8