Whistleblowers demand Fisher Plaintiffs follow TUSD policies including state and federal law

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72nd Open Letter to TUSD Governing Board and Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo- Request to Stop Intimidation, Harassment, Insults, Bullying, Threats, and Coercion by Gloria Copeland- STOP HER Meeting at Sahuaro HS on Friday, August 3, 2018

From: TUSD Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Retired Administrators, Parents, & Grandparents

Today is August 1, 2018 and tomorrow is the first day of school. It should be a positive and exciting time for everyone to begin a new school year. Instead, there are some TUSD employees who are dreading having to deal with the torturous level of conflict that is created by Gloria Copeland when she imposes herself and her behavior in TUSD meetings dealing with individual students or employees. It is time to implement policies and support the enforcement of laws that will protect TUSD administrators, teachers, and staff from being insulted, harassed, bullied, intimidated, threatened, and coerced into doing what Gloria Copeland demands for fear of being WRONGLY labeled a racist. This is always her weapon.

It is time for school administrators to be supported by the Governing Board and the Superintendent in preventing and ending the bullying and harassment of TUSD employees by Gloria Copeland during meetings she has called or crashed. No one wants to be tagged a bigot or racist and Gloria Copeland holds out this threat in ways that make many principals and teachers literally shake. She may not state the threat directly but she gets her point across.

Gloria typically has 1 or 2 people who accompany her to these meetings as part of her strategy to take control of the meeting. They are there to agree with her. Her behavior and constant allegations are meant to cause chaos and intimidation in our schools. It creates a fearful and hostile work and school environment.

Rubin Salter has represented the Fisher Plaintiffs for decades through their representative Gloria Copeland. However, no one has seen or heard or has had any contact information for the Fishers for years.

Right now there is sort of unspoken TUSD policy that Gloria Copeland is “hands-off.”

She exploits her role as a Fisher Plaintiffs’ Representative and usually tells TUSD employees that she is a plaintiff. She acts as though she is a ruthless top-level administrator in TUSD. There are people in every department and every school who have witnessed her administrative meddling and interference. This includes individuals in our group and peers/friends of those in our group. Everyone wonders why it is allowed. Gloria actually has taken over the desk and office of a school administrator and 1010 administrator while she uses their phone to make calls and make herself comfortable for as long as she wants. It is outrageous and no one else would be allowed to get away with this behavior.

We learned today that she has been busy calling TUSD personnel to set up a meeting to discuss an African-American student at Sahuaro High School on Friday, August 3rd. She happens to disagree with the Sahuaro HS professionals on actions involving the student. Gloria Copeland has not been authorized by the parent of the student to intervene but even if she had obtained a signed document giving her the authority to intervene, it should not allow her to insult, harass, bully, intimidate, threaten, and coerce any TUSD employee.

Plus, whether authorized or not, she talks about her so-called advocacy and is constantly violating the confidentiality of students. She also should not have the authority to “call meetings” to include administrators, principals, teachers, and staff. Defined boundaries must be drawn to protect employees within schools against Gloria Copeland’s on-going inappropriate and disruptive interference. These boundaries should apply to any person but at the present Gloria Copeland is the single offender.

When a parent allegedly became unprofessional at a school, she and her child were banned from the school. https://www.kgun9.com/news/tusd-parent-and-bullied-son-kicked-out-of-district

Why is Gloria Copeland allowed to act in ways that are not acceptable by anyone else? This has gone on dozens and dozens of times throughout the years.

We also want to know why Gloria is being asked to be on selection committees for administrators? This summer she was part of a selection committee for a middle school. She wound up commandeering the entire process. The person who was selected for the position had no prior experience as a middle school administrator. Gloria was insistent that the person was the most qualified but the candidate was not the most qualified! Due to Gloria’s obvious high over-rating of the candidate the overall ratings were skewed and Human Resources staff never detected the problem and let it get by them. Gloria used race as a factor in the hiring, which is against TUSD Policy and employment law. Committee members were fearful of saying anything during the process.

Here is a list of a few TUSD policies that are being violated by ignoring the problem but there are also state and federal laws that are being violated:

1. Equal Employment Opportunity Section G: Personnel- Policy Title: Equal Employment Opportunity- Policy Code: GBA
Lead Department: Human Resources

2. Treatment of Confidential Information- Section C: General School Administration- Policy Title: Treatment of Confidential Information- Policy Code: CCD- Lead Department: Superintendent’s Office

3. Non-Discrimination- Section A: Foundation and Basic Commitments- Policy Title: Non-Discrimination- Policy Code: AC

4. Leadership PrinciplesSection C: General School Administration- Policy Title: Leadership Principles- Policy Code: CF “Tucson Unified School District is committed to create and maintain a positive, educational and employment environment/culture.

5. Personnel Goals/Priority ObjectivesSection G: Personnel- Policy Title: Personnel Goals/Priority Objectives
Policy Code: GA- “The Board recognizes that dynamic and efficient staff members dedicated to education are necessary to maintain a constantly improving educational program. The Board is interested in its personnel as individuals, and it recognizes its responsibility for promoting the general welfare of the staff members.

2 comments

  1. TS and Readers: The following was sent to Board and Supt. today.

    August 6, 2018

    Dear TUSD Governing Board and Dr. Gabriel Trujillo:

    I was very glad to see what the Whistleblowers reported about Gloria Copeland in Three Sonorans. Good and brave of the Whistleblowers! In reaction to the Whistleblowers’ 72nd letter, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is saying that Gloria Copeland, Fisher plaintiffs’ representative (or whatever her role is) has the same rights to visit schools as any other “citizen.” This immediately shows how oblivious he is about Gloria Copeland’s behavior throughout the District and his lack of power or willingness to protect TUSD employees from Gloria’s out-of-bounds behavior at the schools. Maybe he believes Gloria’s bluff that she has two or three Board members “in-pocket.” (She throws Michael Hick’s name around all of the time and suggests that she speaks to Mark Stegeman regularly and she throws in that when she spoke with Rachael Sedgewick she said this and she said that so that people will know that she is also in contact with her.) It is one of her intimidation tricks. Basically, she is constantly dropping their names. I refuse to believe that any of these three Board members condone what Gloria is doing in the schools or other TUSD offices and I challenge each board member and Dr. Trujillo to condone her conduct or to denounce it. Remaining silent actually condones Gloria’s behavior and it allows her to continue with her awful disrespectful and disruptive behavior.

    Gloria Copeland has been a terror in TUSD for as long as I have taught in the District. I have been in 7 schools during my many, many years in TUSD and she has managed to terrorize the administration, teachers, and staff at each site. Many years ago, she attempted to criticize me and she did this very publicly. I stopped her and later confronted her and said that I would have my attorney contact her. I asked for her telephone number and she immediately walked away from me. As far as I know she has never spoken of me again. Because of my many years with TUSD, the many schools I been at, and the dozens of committees which I have served on, my TUSD network is large and a lot of information is shared with me. Of course, some of this includes Gloria’s TUSD acts of torture.

    Gloria’s abuse is different, depending on what level of staff (and color of staff) she is dealing with at the school but if anyone challenges her (no matter their race), she immediately turns explosive. I have even seen her in one of her many hostile take-over moods during meetings at schools and at 1010 or in dealing with 1010 administrators. After so many years, I have gotten to know how she operates. She is much nicer to the clerical staff than to the administrators or teachers who she is often determined to humiliate and accuse of racism until they comply with her wishes. She is overly sweet to the clerical staff and uses her sweetness to manipulate them. Before long, she is asking them to get her notepads, pens, water, or whatever else she needs. If the clerical staff places any kind of barrier in “allowing” Gloria to see the administrator or roam through the halls at the school (or 1010), she will immediately switch into the real Gloria, who is filled with bitterness and hatefulness, and she will get very nasty with the employee and tell her/him that she is going to report them. More than one clerical person has shared with me that Gloria has “directed” them to get an administrator out of a meeting or demand that the administrator hang-up from another call or pulled from conducting a teacher observation and that even when s/he explains that the administrator is very busy, she demands that s/he physically go and get the administrator to take her call or meet with her.

    Gloria has threatened administrators that she will have them disciplined or fired. She reminds people that she is a “Fisher plaintiff” (or whatever her real role is) all of the time and that she has the “power” to get things done. But a plaintiff or a citizen, does not have the right to threaten employees and worse, get support from 1010 in executing her threats! One administrator was harassed on an on-going basis by Gloria by showing up at the school and making ridiculous accusations. It impacted the administrator, all of the teachers, and many other staff members. The student who Gloria got involved in “supporting” had a great deal of behavioral and discipline problems and Gloria wanted a “hands-off” approach in managing his behavior. This meant that the student wound up receiving favored treatment based on race (African American) and Gloria Copeland’s-touch-of-terror. It also meant that the student’s behavior resulted in no real consequences and that the educational environment for all other students was harmed. Gloria intentionally turned the situation into a claim of racial discrimination, as she ALWAYS does. Her false allegations never were investigated and, thus, were never substantiated. But her constant bullying meant that Gloria took command of the school and that it was allowed by top level administrators. Gloria also demanded that the site administrator be sent out of state for an expensive cultural awareness training because Gloria did not like the way that Richard Foster’s nephew was being treated. Gloria wanted to brand the administrator as being insensitive to African-American students, which was as far from being the truth as saying that Gloria is diplomatic. Richard Foster is the one who got Gloria involved. At the time Richard Foster was an Interim Assistant Superintendent. Was he unable or incapable of handling the situation himself with the student’s parent who is his immediate relative? There were several problems with this whole situation, starting with the favors that were cut between Richard and Gloria to enhance power for each of them. Richard was a sniffling coward to have Gloria do his dirty work and Gloria was once again empowered beyond any “citizen” and allowed to roll up her sleeves and cause absolute havoc at a school. It sure is not the role of a plaintiff (or whatever her role is) to go on school campuses and cause so much disruption and intimidation.

    Gloria exploits people. She has the nerve to have a TUSD employee, Dori Johnston, sometimes chauffer her to TUSD meetings. (Sometimes during work hours.) Gloria imposes a lot on Dori and lots of people are aware about this. Why would Gloria jeopardize Dori’s employment if she cares for her and why does Dori comply? (Probably, just like the 1010 bureaucrats, she is afraid to say “no” to Gloria.)
    “Citizens” do not do any of the things that are listed above and if they did, they would be stopped. Why would Dr. Trujillo imply that Gloria is innocent in causing problem after problem at schools and departments throughout TUSD? Also, Gloria’s horrible behavior is unlike the professional behavior of other plaintiffs. I have never heard that the plaintiffs’ representatives from the Mendoza’s group act inappropriately and unprofessionally- like Gloria (and, at times Gloria’s peer- Lorraine Richardson, is as rude and demanding as Gloria). I know that one of the Mendoza representatives speaks to small groups at house-meetings hosted by parents and retired teachers and I know of many teachers who have asked if they could also attend. The feedback has always been positive. When the Department of Justice visits the District, I have also heard that their representatives have been very professional. It is obvious that one person, a plaintiff or representative for the Fisher group, is out of control and has been for years based on the District’s failure to stop her. What I hope is evident as you read this, is that Gloria is indirectly responsible for driving up TUSD expenses: meetings that she calls (pre-planned or impromptu) include administrators and teachers, meetings she derails result in wasted resources, office supplies which she obtains are paid for by tax payers, etc. These are all resources which have been allowed to be misused. What you may not know is that people have resigned from TUSD because they did not want to put up with Gloria Copeland. She is also misrepresenting the original African American plaintiffs in the desegregation case, since they were striving for equal treatment of African American students and not favored treatment.

    As I have said, I have been with TUSD for a long time and consider myself a committed and excellent TUSD educator- who has been asked several times and at several schools to mentor other teachers. I am way too close to retirement to risk any wrath for speaking my mind about this. It is interesting that those of us who are doing our jobs in TUSD and doing them well, fear retaliation from surfacing the truth, yet, Gloria Copeland who is known for her false allegations and lies is permitted to do anything she pleases.

    I have asked a close friend to send this to you to protect my identity but if you insist in identifying me, please respond to my friend’s email.

    Please act immediately.

    Sincerely,

    A TUSD Teacher- one of the many employees who you have left hanging and subject to Gloria’s terror

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