DSM: Re: staff members before the JC

Melissa Bradford (mbradford@mediaone.net)
Sat, 21 Oct 2000 04:29:36 -0500

Dear Martin,

We had a staff member one year who did not think the rules applied to her.
Others in the community wrote her up, mainly staff. Then she would not
acknowledge in JC that she had broken rules. It was a bad situation. She
resigned right before we initiated our dismissal procedure, which was in
some ways fortunate, but in other ways not, because it left some important
issues dangling.

In general, staff are pretty careful about following the rules. They don't
get written up very often. Occasionally, usually by accident (e.g. forgot
to take out the trash) but on rare occasion due to other circumstances (e.g.
yelled at a student), staff have broken rules. Generally, they write
themselves up. It is important for staff to model that they are not "above
the law".

It is not a "normal thing" for staff to write each other up. I think staff
first try to resolve things collegially. When that doesn't work, I feel
that staff must write up other staff so that the entire community knows what
is going on and can weigh in on the situation. In the circumstances
mentioned above, if the students had not been aware of the rules this staff
member had broken, and had not heard her try to get out of things by blaming
others or twisting the truth, they would not have understood why the other
staff members were upset with her. Staff wrote this person up because
talking to her did not work.

As to the kind of sentencing, coming up with good sentences is not easy.
For messes, usually a cleaning sentence is given. For harassment, usually
confinement to one part of the building is given. Sometimes extra JC
service is given. For worse infractions, a suspension may be in order.

Melissa Bradford
Liberty Valley School
Joliet, IL

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