Our permission is granted to media, bloggers, and others to publish our letter. We are the sole authors of our letters.
76th Open Letter to the Community:
ShEEE’s BACK! Gloria Copeland Back at Sahuaro High School Interfering with its Operation and the Board and Superintendent Do Absolutely Nothing
From: TUSD Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Former Students/Class of 2018, Retired Administrators, Parents, & Grandparents
Much to everyone’s frustration and regret Gloria Copeland is back to her horribly disruptive conduct in our schools. Gloria Copeland has been bragging that there is nothing anyone at 1010 can do to stop her from her bullying, hassling, intimidation, and her continuing threats to TUSD administration and staff. Deep down inside she does fear that without her bullying maneuvers and her ability to drop Board member’s names to intimidate individuals along with her constant reminder that she is a “Fisher Plaintiff,” she would be left with nothing.
She is right. Without her rude bullying, name-dropping, and misrepresentation of the “Fishers” Gloria would be left with nothing but a pile of her lies and bluffing. She also has a clear memory that a former superintendent was actually valiant enough to notify her in writing that she was barred from visiting specific locations in TUSD. This kept her in-check until he left TUSD and she recognizes how easily this could happen once again but she also knows the naivety and weakness shown by Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, which allows her to manipulate him. She has accepted the duplicity of being used and using Mark Stegeman and Michael Hicks.
Her most recent actions are all about “backing up” her bluff with some drama so that she can try to prove that she has power, although, she does not have any power. She has proclaimed that she will do what she wants at TUSD; whenever; and wherever she wants and that no one can stop her.
She has chosen to return to Sahuaro High School to prove her point. It is an easy environment. No one stops her. She is free to wander the halls, hold meetings, and tell off anyone she knows will not “come back” at her. Sahuaro HS is where she has felt free to continue her complaining about the same student that she has been complaining about for several months. The situation had already been resolved by the start of school by the Sahuaro administration and staff but she has to keep at it like a hyaena devouring a zebra. She continues her hassling without any written authorization from the student’s mother, who is a TUSD employee at one of our magnet schools.
Allowing someone to advocate for their child does not mean that the parent should disappear from the scene which is what has happened here. This mother should know better than most about how to advocate for her child without the need to have Gloria assume her role. Even this would be more acceptable if the mother were still present for each meeting but she is not, which is really like relinquishing her responsibility. This is not parent engagement. Instead, the mother is MIA when Gloria is at the school causing havoc. Is this what the mother wanted? Probably not! Gloria has not been given guardianship over the child and the student’s mother should not go MIA.
TUSD should NOT allow this type of situation. Gloria has fed the student’s mom a great line and convinced her that without her help, nothing positive will happen for her child. This is a lie. And this is one of the things that Gloria does best. She lies. What this mother/TUSD employee does not realize is that Gloria is causing damage to the situation. She is NOT helping. And her child is learning that mom is not the one who can be counted on.
Dr. Trujillo has been much more squeamish than any other superintendent in dealing with Gloria and he seems to take what she says at face value. Big, big, big mistake. Even Stegeman and Hicks know that Gloria lies all of the time. But it is Trujillo’s MO: Before Trujillo takes any major administrative action, he acts as though he has to gain Board approval. This means taking time out to speak to each of them. These are administrative decisions that do not require Board approval, yet, he tiptoes through every action.
Early into Trujillo’s appointment as Superintendent, Mark Stegeman convinced Trujillo that he needed to let him know of any major decisions and in this case, the mastermind of all games and control has won out- Dr. Mind-control Stegeman still has Trujillo under his thumb. Trujillo approached Board members with his “Father/Mother may I?” requests for permission and then gets micro-managed to death.
Really, it will be the death of Trujillo’s TUSD career because everyone involved clearly sees no leadership being displayed by Teflon Trujillo- who wants nothing sticking to him. He asks for permission in a fixed order: he goes to Stegeman, then Mike Hicks, then Kristel Foster, then Adelita Grijalva, and last to Rachael Sedgwick. Sometimes he stops after Hicks, which shows his leaning in dealing with one gender over another. This is why things in TUSD have slowed down to an all-time crawling momentum.
In his frightened frame of mind, Trujillo has decided that it is up to the Board to direct what to do and so he has done NOTHING. Adelita Grijalva has said that she does NOT need “the racial hassle” while she is running for re-election and she does not want her running mate, Adam Ragan (a white male) to have to deal with a “racial issue.” (Her volunteers are passing out her literature and he are passing hers out.)
Mike Hicks has been a little blunter saying that he does not want blacks down his neck. Kristel Foster does not want to hurt Adam Ragan’s or Leila Count’s chances by presenting any type of real problem that they might be asked to comment on. This is despite the fact that Trujillo has total authority to act on this issue without Board interference. Trujillo seeks the interference thinking that it will protect him. What it actually does is reveal him as a wuss. Even Teflon burns.
Meanwhile, Trujillo’s front-line assistant superintendents are getting very confusing signals. They are supposed to support their principals but how can they when they are shown that Gloria is “hands-off.” What is worse is that one or two of them already concede to everything that Gloria demands. We hope the rest actually demonstrate leadership.
Trujillo and Board members are making decisions based on race. This has got to be clear to anyone who knows anything about the situation. This is not only wrong on the surface but it is against the law and the District’s own policy. It also exposes piles of hypocrisy. The irony is that in the process of not wanting to raise racial issues, the Board and Trujillo are bringing real harm to African American personnel.
One of Gloria’s most infamous “power moves” has been her direct attack on specific TUSD personnel. She does this directly but she also lobbies against those who do not bend to her ugly will. Right now, there are four African Americans male employees on her hit list and she is doing all she can to influence Trujillo, Stegeman, and Hicks against each of these individuals.
Since Stegeman and Hicks already have a problem with one of these individuals they are going along with Gloria’s sinister attack on him. They are using black-on-black conflict to do their dirty work. This is insidious racism in TUSD. This time it is aimed at African American males. Trujillo is either too naïve to figure it out or he just does not care about being played in showing NO support for these individuals. We believe that he has decided that he does not want for anything to get in his way of his career. This is another reason we are exposing this.
Current and retired principals have discussed this problem and have identified a long list of African American male and female professionals who have been targeted by Gloria over the years. These are all professionals who did not bend to her wishes; her demands; her corruption.
Gloria Copeland has actually worked against retaining and promoting African Americans within TUSD. Many left TUSD on their own due to the lack of support they received from 1010 in protecting them against Gloria’s harassment. Everyone agrees that it has never been as bad as it is now. What she has done over the years is unconscionable and those who really do have the power in TUSD have allowed it.
Gloria- by herself- has no power but with Trujillo cowering to her demands and Hicks and Stegeman playing racial politics- Gloria has free rein to do whatever she pleases.
The following links provide some background information on Gloria.