Diantha Harris

Smackdown of Cumberland Superintendent William Harrison’s Response…….

Over at ‘education for the aughts’, Matthew K. Tabor, whose blog follows school issues and gives analysis, does not give the Cumberland superintendent, William Harrison a passing grade, not even close. It’s interesting to read the analysis of someone who has long held a finger to the pulse of the patient, who is unafraid to render a diagnosis as well as deliver the prognosis. It ain’t pretty.

In order for the patient (the US school system) to be cured, or at least placed upon the path to recovery, the stark reality of the ailment must be addressed, and according to Matthew Tabor, William Harrison is representative of a failed system. Here is in part, the post Matthew Tabor has up at his blog, my thanks to Mark Epstein for bringing it to my attention.

Matthew Tabor:

In case you were wondering, “Ed.D.” also stands for “Educrat Dolt.” Apparently Ms. Harris teaches in Fayetteville, not Asheville, in the Cumberland County system. Not that it matters to me – I don’t care which city or state she’s in. She’s an awful, destructive teacher. Dr. William Harrison, Cumberland County Schools Superintendent, released an obnoxious yawner of a video statement today about the taped incident. As usual, this school official thinks you’re an idiot. He expects you to swallow his tripe uncritically. Not today, Dr. Harrison – and not tomorrow, either.

From the Cumberland County Schools, Superintendent Dr.William Harrison’s response:

CCS Headline News – Superintendent’s Response to You Tube

I was shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube. While neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate, at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion. Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.

We believe that military children are our children, military spouses are many of our employees, and military service men and women are our heroes. We proudly serve our military children and have received national awards for our support of military families.

I was particularly disturbed to see the uncomfortable position in which our children were placed due to the inappropriate actions of one of our teachers. Please be assured that the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision of the CCS. Moreover, the actions of one teacher do not represent the 7000 employees in our organization.

Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation. Personnel laws prevent me from releasing information regarding individual employees and personnel action taken. I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.

Dr. William Harrison
Superintendent

Now here is Matthew Tabor’s parsing of Dr.Harrison’s statement:

Standard stuff here – we’re sorry, it’s an isolated incident, we’d love to tell you more, but we can’t. I’m going to parse his statement.

I was shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube. While neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate, at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion.”

Dr. Harrison, you were shocked because you don’t have a damn clue what goes on in your school district. Get your fingers on the pulse of your schools and teachers, or start delegating properly so your underlings can do it for you.

I understand that Harrison has a large system in Cumberland County and it isn’t practical to know what every teacher does every day. But he’s also got a series of principals, assistants, team leaders, etc. who need to know what’s going on a bit better than they do now. Admit that and fix it – don’t patronize me, taxpayers, parents and other interested parties with some third-rate statement written by someone who may have taken PR 101.

And personal politics? Dr. Harrison, you’ve got it all wrong. One can discuss personal politics – even in a K-12 classroom – while doing it fairly, responsibly and respectfully. Because you and Ms. Harris don’t know how to do it doesn’t mean that others don’t.

I’ve got a ‘Contact’ tab on this site – feel free to use it if you’d like to learn. Lucky for you, I charge less than Vanderbilt did for that useless Ed.D. your attendance and tuition earned.

Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.”

No, that wasn’t what was “most disconcerting.” That Harris’ tirade against the military occurred in a ‘military community’ has no bearing on how awful it was – it’s just a detail.

Most of the conflicts I get into involve defending the dignity of the US military or our government. I’ll be damned if I’ll let some edu-dolt hide behind that dignity to avoid being accountable for his poor administration.

We believe that military children are our children, military spouses are many of our employees, and military service men and women are our heroes. We proudly serve our military children and have received national awards for our support of military families.”

Really, stop this – it does a disservice to that military you claim to respect.
“I was particularly disturbed to see the uncomfortable position in which our children were placed due to the inappropriate actions of one of our teachers.”
You’re a bad writer, too.

Please be assured that the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision of the CCS.”

If the actions of CCS employees fail to be consistent with the ‘vision’ of your district, then there’s a problem fulfilling that mission. You’ve just admitted your own administrative failure, Dr. Harrison, and I hope Cumberland County realizes that.

Moreover, the actions of one teacher do not represent the 7000 employees in our organization.”

Dr. Harrison and others – let me introduce you to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. In short, you read something patently false/inaccurate, then turn the page and revert to trusting the content. Harrison has outlined his system’s total failure regarding Ms. Harrison, then assures us that the failure isn’t repeated 7,000 times over.

It’s a logical mismatch.

I’m not suggesting that all 7,000 CCS employees are clones of Ms. Harris – that’s ridiculous. But do I believe for a second that Dr. Harrison and his staff have a handle on the CCS climate? Not for a second.

Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation.”

I’ll rephrase: “Once my professional irresponsibility was exposed, I decided to release a statement in which I pretend to have done my job and in which I commit to the most basic functions of my professional contract.”

I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.”

I don’t think you’re capable of it, but I encourage you to surprise me. I’ll believe that ‘appropriate action’ was taken when there’s proof of it.

Good luck and God bless, Cumberland County.

“Houston, we have a problem.” KGS

NOTE: The Citizen-Times reporter, Jon Ostendorff, who had interviewed the Tundra Tabloids, has also interviewed Diantha Harris, who said:

I called the parents, and I apologized,” she said. “And apologized to Cathy. If I could take anything back from that video, it would be that statement. I should not have said that.”

So it looks like Diantha Harris, it eating her own words that I, editor of the Tundra Tabloids, had somewow edited the three minute video clip from the documentary that I uploaded to You Tube, two day before the results of the US election became known. I couldn’t have been bitter over John McCains loss that hadn’t taken place yet.

Where’s your apology to the Tundra Tabloids Diantha?

One Response

  1. Listen up KGS.

    This thread has got as boring as it could possibly get.

    Drop it for goodness sake before we all fall asleep!

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