Sunday, June 17, 2018
Education

Hillsborough schools to revisit vote that stalled public access to discipline cases

TAMPA — The issue of how to identify Hillsborough County school employees who face disciplinary action is headed for another airing by the School Board.

In the closing moments of a workshop on Tuesday, board member Candy Olson said she wants the topic added to the April 23 agenda. Previously, chairwoman April Griffin and member Stacy White said they would be open to reconsidering the issue.

All three members voted last week to keep the names of employees who face suspension or dismissal off the agenda, which is posted online about five days before each board meeting. Instead, they agreed to go back to a previous routine, in which staffers made the list of names available on paper, shortly before each meeting.

Cindy Stuart and Susan Valdes cast the only negative votes on the motion by member Doretha Edgecomb, who said she wanted to protect the employees' privacy and dignity.

Griffin and White later said they did not realize that in taking that action, they would make the district less transparent than Pasco and Pinellas counties, where the names of employees up for discipline appear on the districts' websites.

On Tuesday, Olson said it's important to make it clear that after an employee is suspended, he or she is entitled to due process if the case moves on to termination.

Griffin also wants the board to discuss the timing of announcing principal and administrative appointments, which are also subject to votes by the board.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

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