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
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,
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.
David W. Tuthill