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J01450091022

J01450091022

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Published by Statesman Journal

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Published by: Statesman Journal on Aug 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING
COMPLAINT OF ANN O'CONNELL
1.
OnApril 21 , 2009, Ann O'Connell, Director of Special Programs for Willamette

Education Service District, filed a complaint against her direct supervisor, Superintendent Maureen Casey, alleging that Superintendent Casey violated Board Policy GBNAJJFCF while acting as Director O'Connell's supervisor. Generally, the complaint states:

Over the last three yearsDr. Casey has supervised me while I worked in the same building with her and her behavior toward me has become increasingly negative and intent on degrading and belittling me. I contend thatDr. Casey has created a hostile work environment for me as her subordinate and made my job as director impossible.

Director O'Connell also alleges that she is held to a higher standard of performance than
other directors within the organization, indicating unfair and differential treatment.
2.
Willamette ESD PolicyGBNAJJFCF was most recently adopted by the Board of
Directors on August 12, 2008, and provides, in pertinent part:
Hazing/HarassmentlIntimidationIBullying/Menacing
The Board is committed to providing a positive and productive
learning
and working
environment.
Hazing,
harassment,
intimidation, menacing or bullying including cyberbullying

by students, staff or third parties is strictly prohibited and shall not be tolerated in the ESD.

* * *
Staff whose behavior is found to be in violation of this policy will be
subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.
* * *
Staff will be reported to Teacher Standards and Practices
Commission, as provided by OAR 584-020-0041.

The Superintendent is directed to develop administrative regulations to implement this policy. Regulations shall include descriptions of prohibited conduct, reporting and investigative procedures,

as
needed, and provisions to ensure notice of this policy is provided to
students, staff and third parties.
Findings of Fact-Ann O'Connell
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3.

Willamette ESD Policy GBNAllFCF-AR is the administrative rule interpreting Policy GBNA, and was adopted by the Board of Directors July 12, 2005, when the Board adopted a previous version of PolicyGBNAlJFCF. The GBNAlJFCF-AR administrative rule has not been updated to be consistent with the August 2008 policy revision. This administrative rule provides, in pertinent part:

Hazing/HarassmentlIntimidationlBullying/Menacing
Complaint Procedures

The following definitions and procedures shall be used for reporting, investigating and resolving complaints of hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying and menacing.

Defmitions
* * *
5.

"Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any act that substantially interferes with a student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance, that takes place on or immediately

adjacent
to
school
grounds,
any
school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation
or at any official school bus stop, and that has the effect of:
a.
Physically harming a student or damaging a student's
property;
b.

Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student's property;

c.
Creating a hostile educational environment.

"Harassment" also includes, but is not limited to, any act which subjects an individual or group to unwanted, abusive behavior of a nonverbal, verbal, written or physical nature on the basis of age, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, physical characteristic, cultural background, socioeconomic status or geographic location.

Findings of Fact -Ann O'Connell
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"Intimidation" also includes, but is not limited to, any threat or act intended to tamper, substantially damage or interfere with another's property, cause substantial inconvenience, subject another to offensive physical contact or inflict serious physical injury on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

6.

"Menacing" includes, but is not limited to, any act intended to place a school employee, student or third party in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

RetaliationlFalse Charges

Retaliation against any person who reports, is thought to have reported, files a complaint or otherwise participates in an investigation or inquiry is prohibited. Such retaliation shall be considered a serious violation of Board policy and independent of whether a complaint is substantiated. False charges will also be regarded as a serious offense and will result in disciplinary action or other appropriate sanctions.

Complaint Procedures

Designated ESD administrators and the Superintendent have responsibility for investigations concerning hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying or menacing. The investigator(s) shall be a neutral party having had no involvement in the complaint presented.

* * *
All complaints will be promptly investigated in accordance with the
following procedures:
Step I

Any hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying or menacing information (complaints, rumors, etc.) shall be presented to the designated ESD administrator or Superintendent.

Complaints against the building principal shall be filed with the Superintendent. Information may be presented anonymously. Complaints against the Superintendent shall be filed with the Board chair. All such information will be reduced to writing and will include the specific nature of the offense and corresponding dates.

Findings of'Facr-Ann O'Connell
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