Bullying is compensation. Usually the bully is compensating for an inadequacy, such as ineptness. Scott County Schools claims to have a zero tolerance policy for bullying, yet there seems to be no lack of bullies in Scott County School’s highest levels of administration. The recent termination of school bus driver Tina Alloway has all the appearances of bullying.
Certainly there are two sides to any story, but the school district isn’t talking in this matter. Doesn’t much matter though, as we have learned time and again that what comes from the school district cannot be trusted. Their “letter of lies” was after all, the impetus for this web and blog site, and their spin in almost all matters seems meant to deceive. Recall the district claiming the recent closure of Scott Middle School was for a lack of heat. True enough, but the district’s spin denied you the whole truth. The whole truth revealed the “lack of heat” was due to a natural gas leak at the middle school, but you never heard the whole truth from the district, now did you?
This particular blog post has been slow to arrive because we have attempted our best to understand and report what has occurred with Ms. Alloway’s termination. Although more forthcoming than the school district, Ms. Alloway is understandably holding her cards close, but some information is available.
As reported in the March 26th edition of the Georgetown News Graphic, a “go fund me” account has been established in anticipation of legal fees Ms. Alloway will incur, as the account claims Ms. Alloway has secured legal representation. This alone could indicate Ms. Alloway has a case, as attorneys do not risk their reputations nor their time on frivolity. We have reason to believe we know who Ms. Alloway’s attorney is, and if so, Ms. Alloway not only has a case, she has a strong case and is virtually assured a win.
Which means everyone else loses, including us taxpayers. You see, settlements are paid by the district’s insurance carrier, but are recouped by higher and higher insurance premiums. Scott County School ‘s insurance premiums are among the highest in the state and eat up a lot of budget that could otherwise be providing textbooks and the like. Make no mistake, it is the bullies costing us here, not Ms. Alloway. Her hand is forced.
The “go fund me” page GOFUNDME.COM/p91dkc indicates Ms. Alloway has been terminated for an incident discovered on her bus video camera from a full month preceding, that shows Ms. Alloway, while parked for the afternoon Western Elementary School student dismissal, “stepped off the bottom step of the bus for a short confidential conversation with a teacher and a Principal, all the while maintaining physical contact with the bus.” We found the state regulation that the school district claims this action violates in KAR 5:080 Section 27 which states – “A driver of a school bus shall be on the bus at all times students are loading or unloading.” It may appear Ms. Alloway violated the “letter” of this regulation, but a lawsuit will involve the “spirit” of not only the law, but also the “spirit” of those that brought about Ms. Alloway’s termination.
Let us make a technical correction here. Ms. Alloway may very well have been told she was terminated in a meeting for that very purpose early last week, but really she was placed in a status of “suspension without pay” awaiting termination. You see, there are procedures and those procedures allow those intended to be terminated six calendar days to appeal for an arbitration process to hear the matter. At the end of those six days, if either the individual has not responded to the offer or refuses the offer, they are then officially terminated. If instead they choose arbitration, they remain on suspension without pay until the arbitrator’s decision. This may be a distinction without a difference but technically Ms. Alloway is on suspension without pay.
Ah, but there is this. Bringing an employee back to an active status is possible from “suspension without pay” and isn’t possible without rehire from termination. This little distinction allows a school district to rethink their decision once they learn if and who a suspended employee might retain for legal representation. This might very well happen in Ms. Alloway’s case, but even if so, does not repair the damage the school district has done to her reputation. It will be interesting indeed.
We would love to give you the details of the retaliations and discriminations Ms. Alloway’s “go fund me” page alludes to, and they are plentiful, but to do so would give up her hand. But here is all you need to know, and is the point this post wishes to make.
WE KNOW, as does every current or retired KY public school superintendent, that a Superintendent absolutely avoids, unless “required” by law to do so, the terminating of any district employee UNLESS trying to make a statement or are acting in retaliation. The reason this is true is that Superintendent’s have a much cleaner process to be rid of an employee – that by simply not renewing the employee’s contract.
All certified and classified employees of KY public school districts are employed on an annual contract. That contract must be renewed for their employment to continue. The “law” that Ms. Alloway is claimed to have violated does not REQUIRE her dismissal, as would say, the law governing a school bus driver found to be driving a school bus under the influence (and even that law allows reassignment of duties, not absolute termination). No, this attempt to terminate the employment contract between Tina Alloway and the Scott County School Board smacks of continued retaliation, and will most likely be proven to be so.
And everyone loses, including the students, particularly those who were fortunate to have Ms. Alloway as their school bus driver. No, Scott County Schools doesn’t need rid of Tina Alloway. Scott County Schools needs rid of its compensating bullies.