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Dr. Melody Johnson - Superintendent      Dr. Carlos Vasquez- District 1
          Fort Worth ISD                                             Fort Worth School Board                                         

Is Intimidation and Bullying Employees Rampant in Fort Worth ISD?
Oppression and Fear Allegations Place Superintendent on The Hot Seat
Darwin Campbell

Fort Worth ISD Employees Tired of WorkPlace Bullying
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke

Fort Worth , Tx. - Schools in Fort Worth may be working to teach children not to bully each other, but the real bullies could be practicing and perfecting that art at high levels in the Fort Worth ISD.

The district has serious problems with growing whistleblower lawsuits, some teacher and employees allegedly working in hostile workplaces and others fearing bullying and backlash for speaking out.

In a courageous attempt to expose the problem, District 1 School Board member Dr. Carlos Vasquez put the blame and responsibility for the district's issues square on the head of Superintendent Melody Johnson.

We should be looking into your (Dr. Johnson) lack of leadership and your lack of concern for employees and how you bully against them,” Vasquez said “ Enough is enough. Shame on you and your administration for sending messages of oppression, fear, intimidation and retribution...”

Vasquez is an educational consultant with more than 15 years of teaching and administrative experience in the Fort Worth ISD. In addition to his work as a consultant, Dr. Vasquez serves as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at Texas Wesleyan University, where he teaches leadership and curriculum courses to Master students seeking Principal certification.
As a teacher and administrator in Fort Worth ISD, Dr. Vasquez received many honors and awards, including selection as Region XI Principal of the Year by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association in 2007 for his work at McRae Elementary School.

“We need to be looking at our leadership and how the district conducts its business,” he said recently addressing Johnson and the school board.“We should be looking at the top and the individual in charge of the district.”

According to Vasquez, Johnson and the latest issues have been thrust into the spotlight and became a serious threat to educating children and moving the district forward.

He also indicated that the current scandal raises question about the performance of Johnson and whether she is fit to be superintendent.

Johnson's record is expected to to be one of the main topics of discussion at the Black Education Summit on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. at Hillside Center.

The underlying friction in the district has bubbled to the surface over the recent revelations about the Arlington Heights High School scandals and the firing of former school administrator.

One report paints grim pictures of one school campus is out of control, where students are being mistreated and retaliated against, a teacher and supervisor allegedly had a sexual relationship, and where thefts went unreported and student attendance records were changed.

It has been reported to LoneStarPowerPages and discussed by teachers from the Fort Worth ISD that many have been threatened with sanctions and have been chastised by supervisors for allegedly not using chains of command to report potential problems. Other teachers have even been threatened with reprimands and other disciplinary actions for speaking out and reporting problems.

“Our beloved Mayor, Mayor (Mike) Moncrief talks about the Fort Worth Way... Is this the Fort Worth way,” he said. “The culture of fear that is prevalent in our district needs to stop...it stops with us here at the board.”

Rev. KyevTatum and the Fort Worth Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Fort Worth SCLC) has filed complaints of misconduct against the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) alleging discrimination on the basis of race, national origin and retaliation in pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. 2000d, and its implementation regulation at 34 C.F. R. Part 100 (2010).

“We are tired of the fatigue of despair.” Tatum said. “Dr. Melody Johnson must go and our black board members are doing our children a great disservice when they go along with the status quo.”

According to Tatum, about 350,000 of the residences in Fort Worth are children and yet we do not have a serious plan to address the issues affecting them and many of our leaders do not have a clue or do not give a damn.
“The FWISD treats black people horribly,” Tatum said. “The Fort Worth Way is taking our city in the wrong directions and our children are suffering greatly because the Fort Worth School District is over 80 plus minority, yet we have a majority white school board, (white) superintendent and (white) top level administration.”

Johnson's record is expected to be in the spotlight as Vasquez and Tatum take the issue to the community.

Some other issues raised include the alleged bullying of employees by her administration, her handling of the Arlington Heights High School scandal, the evaluation of Johnson's promise to eliminate achievement gaps, her record operating the district efficiently and effectively and her responsibility for the ERP fiasco, the payroll scandal that cost the district millions of dollars and the effectiveness of the program the monitors scheduling, attendance and report cards.

Tatum, like Vasquez, is concerned about the district's direction and said Johnson and the district are out of control.

Both feel Fort Worth ISD needs to restore the education system to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism expected by every parent who has children enrolled in the Fort Worth ISD.

“We are here to serve our taxpayers, our students and our parents... we also must serve our employees so that they can serve our students...,” he said. “Unless our employees believe they can trust us and that we are there to protect them and their rights, our students will not be successful...”