Accessible? Accountable?

As many of you know, I have been attempting find out the other side of the story of why school board candidate Bill Davidson resigned from Page High School last January.  Davidson’s account of the circumstances surrounding his resignation is quite benign but many folks have intimated that there was more to it than what he has offered.

In a recent Rhino article, the candidate offered to make his entire personnel file available for inspection in an attempt to quell rumors about his resignation.  In my opinion, such a disclosure would only be credible if the entire set of files are obtained by someone other than the ex-employee himself… say a reporter.  To my knowledge this has not occured.  Even though Jim Capo got to see the parts of the file that Davidson recently made available to campaign supporters, only the gullible would rely on such a disclosure as the last word on the subject.

There are two personnel files on Guilford County Schools employees.  One, at the school where the employee worked and another that is kept downtown.  Until both of those files, which contain differing levels of detail for each employees employment history, are made available in their entirity to a credible news source, questions will remain in my and others’ minds as to what events precipitated Davidson’s resignation.  These questions remain despite Davidson’s claims that everything was hunkydory between him, his students, his students’ parents and the administration at Page. 

Because of Davidson’s reticence to provide unfettered access to both of his personnel files, I have made some inquiries to discern the other side of the story.  Among those inquiries was one I made to Dr. Collette Love.

Dr. Love was Bill Davidson’s principal at Page High School during his last year of employment at the school.  She now works as an assistant superintendent in the Des Moines Public Schools.  After introducing myself and explaining the reason for my call I read for her Davidson’s account of events surrounding his departure from Page.  I asked her to give her side of the story - on the record - and she balked.

Citing the confidential nature of personnel matters, Dr. Love told me she would have to check with an attorney before she could fully respond.  I subsequently put my questions in the form of an email and sent them to her.  She sent back her reply ealier this week.

“… According to the DMPS (Des Moines Public Schools) school attorney, I can not comment on any personnel issue regarding Bill Davidson….In my opinion, if I were a principal again in GCS, I would not hire Bill Davidson.  He knows his subject area, but he does not respect the social and emotional needs of students.”

Such a response from Davidson’s former boss makes me even more curious as to what those personnel files might actually reveal about the candidate’s record of working with those he is now desirous to lead.

Editing note 10/10: I deleted an “off the record” portion of this post.

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