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Call renewed for investigation into Canyons school district

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  • Carolyn Sharette Sandy, UT
    April 17, 2012 11:36 p.m.

    Congratulations to the Canyons Board for their professional conduct. They have managed this situation of temper tantrums and unfounded (or irrelevant) accusations very well.

    Dr. Doty is doing important work and trying new things and yes, you make enemies when you do this, especially in education. He makes hard decisions and moves forward, and others say that means he is bullying, shutting them down or silencing their voices. I call it leadership.

    The truth is, once a decision is made, and you work for the boss, you better align with the decision. Your "voice" should be silenced at that point and you get busy implementing. This is not bullying, it is leading. If you want it different, then you have to become the boss. Thank goodness we have a superintendant with the strength, talent and smarts to really lead.

    Good job School Board! Dr. Doty - please take a deep breath and realize there are MANY parents who support you. We don't want to lose you and we know how lucky we are to have you.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    April 18, 2012 2:39 a.m.

    The school board hires and fires a superintendent don't they?

    I would think the school board would welcome an investigation. It would clear things up one way or the other. One thing is for sure, this isn't going to go away. A can of worms has been opened and until an independent investigation happens, this will continue to fester. Morale in the district will drop and teachers will be wary of getting hired in the Canyons district. Just investigate and there can only be two possible conclusions. Dr. Doty is doing a good job and running a tight ship or Dr. Doty is power hungry and bullying the employees. Until that investigation happens, both sides will continue to argue and fight which is good for no one.

    Ms. Sharette, this statement scares me a bit, "The truth is, once a decision is made, and you work for the boss, you better align with the decision. Your "voice" should be silenced at that point and you get busy implementing."

    This isn't really the case in public education unless you are at a charter school which leads to a whole other set of issues.

    Just investigate!

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    It comes as no surprise that the long standing tradition of Administrators in Education implementing policies designed to promote conformity and stifle free speech in the student population, should once again (as it has before) aggressively do the same with regards to their staff. It's a new millennium, an age of enlightenment and hope for our youth?

    Sadly, most things never change. The teachers and staff are not hired (directly) by the District Superintendent, who none-the-less can fire them. This unusual display of protest and condemnation can not simply be brushed aside. Hitler was a Boss. Billy Martin kicked dust on the Umpire's shoes. A little dust kicking is both appropriate and poetically American.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    April 18, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    Glad my kids aren't in the Canyons District. I'd say more, but I'd hate for MY retirement to be threatened for acting like an American. Children, when it comes to bullying, do what we say, not what we do. It's NOT okay to use threat and intimidation to achieve your goals, no matter how noble you profess them to be.

  • Jackal Enterprise, UT
    April 18, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    I wish Dr. Doty worked for the district that I work for and where my children go to school. I'm so tired of do-nothing administrators that bow down to loud mouth teachers and parents, instead of focusing on and doing what is "right" for the students and the district as a whole. Nowadays, all people want is a "nice" boss or principal or county commissioner or sheriff. People don't care if the job actually gets done, and gets done right. They just want someone "nice". Good job Dr. Doty! Way to have a backbone!

  • barbara Carlsbad, CA
    April 18, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    I once had a boss who replaced backbone with jawbone and intimidated the whole staff. There was no spirit of cooperation nor growth, except in the back room, where the bully-boss was vilified roundly before many of us quit working in that atmosphere. I say, investigate.

  • Leesha Kearns, UT
    April 18, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    Canyons District as has so much bad press since they started. The test scores that were submitted to the state claiming they were for one test but really from another,financing, the Alta high reprimand thing, and it goes on and on.
    Where there is smoke there is fire. If not, then the investigation would clear him. Who ever doesn't want an investigation has something to hide.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    Canyons has been plagued with problems since it started.

    The School Board does not need to waste tme investigating.

    They do need to get busy and find a new Superintendent. ANd have him in place before the new term starts in the fall.

  • my 2 cents worth West Jordan, UT
    April 18, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    A good leader inspires trust. Stakeholders have learned by listening and observing that he has the best interests of the company/school/district at the fore. Fear and intimidation of even one person destroys trust.
    A good leader creates a productive and creative environment. She values all ideas, not just her own. She empowers her staff to find their own best way of meeting shared goals.
    A good leader accepts honest criticism and responds to feedback in a positive manner. He doesn't threaten opposing idea holders, but uses reason and respect. He is wise enough to learn from others instead of believing that he himself is the only authority worth obeying.
    A good leader cares for her team and communicates this often and in varying ways.
    A good leader knows how to build a team, and does so. This entails honesty, openness, lack of fear. He doesn't isolate or punishteam members through intimidation.

    The cycle of implementation of any process involves continual input, evaluation, and adjustment. Voices of those using the process are silenced at the peril of the process's success.

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    April 18, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    My sister teaches special ed in Canyons and was talking with us at Easter about how low morale is and how much everyone hates the sup. I think an investigation is definitely in order.

  • Scott1 Quiet Neighborhood, UT
    April 18, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    I don't want an investigation and I have nothing to hide. My children attend schools in the Canyons School District and other than that, I don't have a dog in the fight. Maybe whoever calls for the investigation ought to pay for it out of their own pocket. Money is tight and we don't need any more circus acts, but perhaps some respect for authority. I have enjoyed my few encounters with Dr. Doty and have found him to be a decent person.

    If Dr. Doty is guilty of any wrongdoing, this media storm alone ought to be enough to scare anyone straight. I guess I have just seen too many insubordinate complainers over the years to not want to side with them. If you don't feel you are being treated fairly, you can always air your complaint with your feet and walk away from your job. Go find one that will supposedly be better with a boss that will hopefully coddle you. Someone quitting their job can frequently be more painful for the "boss" than the employee.

  • beetdiggingcougar Vancouver, WA
    April 18, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    I bet a lot of Eastsiders who had their illegal and unconstitutional vote to kick out the Westsiders could take it back. Karma isn't fun, is it?

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    April 18, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Sharette does make some pretty scary comments--should caring administrators, teachers, and parents with viable concerns about their superintendent just stay hush, because the superintendent made decisions for them without their invovlement? The people are moving forward addressing their concerns about Dr. Doty.

    Iron fist leadership is "so yesterday" in education. We're in the age of transperency. We need to empower our teachers. Dr. Doty may have been a great superintendent 40 years ago.

  • my 2 cents worth West Jordan, UT
    April 18, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Scott1, Doty gets over a quarter of a million dollars in salary. Tight budget? Maybe it should be tightened in other places?

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    April 18, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    Why the irrational fear of an investigation? If there is nothing wrong, the investigation will bear that out. If there are only minor instititional changes needed, then the feedback should be welcomed.

    However, this is not what we are seeing from the Canyons board and superintendant. They have been quick to slam the doors on any attempt to peer into their inner workings, and the taxpayers on the east side have every right to call them out on it.

  • Scott1 Quiet Neighborhood, UT
    April 18, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    I just read the statement by the board directed at KSL TV. What a beaufiful response by the board. I highly recommend everyone to read it.

    If you don't like what the board is doing, cast your vote against them next time you get the chance. It would seem like a superintendant deserves a lot of money, based on what they put up with (such as items like this). If his superiors don't like what he is doing, then they will let him go, but apparently that is not the case. They are investigation enough. You could start an independent investigation for almost anything (hmmm, floors not swept last night) so stop wasting the district's time or feel free to put up your own time and money.

    I have not agreed with everything the district has done (ie closing of Crescent View Middle with little notice or input), but overall I am still happy with what they have done with limited resources. Overall they appear to be doing a good job.

    To bitter Jordan School District Folks, let it go. Move on and go improve your new district. You guys are going to do just fine.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2012 1:11 p.m.

    It doesn't sound like the school board is much of a "board" at all.

    Just a rubber stamp for the boss!

    He's not the first to think the citizens work for him rather than him working for the citizens. Part of the intimidation factor for guys like this are their ridiculous salaries. In SOME minds, that somehow makes them above all reproach.

    My experience has been that you don't necessarily get a BETTER administrator by paying him/her extravagent salaries.

    Good luck in trying to get rid of him.

    Unless the residents work together with the teachers and PERSERVERE - nothing will happen.

    Being the "boss" of professionals such as teachers isn't exactly the same as running a fast food joint or a lawn crew. Intimidation doesn't work as well with professionals.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    re: Scott1 @ 11:01:
    "(Y)ou can always air your complaint with your feet and walk away from your job." It appears the world you live in might be a tad different than that for many others. Have you noticed there are still plenty of people looking for work? Or, perhaps you don't need a job yourself so you could walk away from it without potentially serious consequences for your family? The facts in my company are that a great many employees would love to walk away from their jobs, but they haven't been able to find anything else acceptable, so they continue to suffer with what they have until the situation changes.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    April 18, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    If the district leaders have nothing to hide, then they won't mind an anonymous survery. Remember this the same school board that allowed students to vote for a mascot then pulled it when it didn't come back the way they wanted it too.

  • Master Ute Herriman, UT
    April 18, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    Many problems at Canyons School District have been mentioned so far. However, let's not forget that before they even opened their doors, they lost ALL the personal information for every employee in the district because they had it floating around on a thumb drive that got "misplaced".

  • Scott12345 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    Sounds like a working environment without any trust to me. Who cares who's right and wrong? All I know is that I suffered through two years of a work environment with a low level of trust, and felt liberated when I moved to a company with a fantastic atmosphere of trust. This kind of continued atmosphere with little trust will grind the pace of business to a halt within the Canyons district. Who suffers? Their customers - US! The kids! The teachers! The principals! What will drive change and hopefully bring back an atmosphere of trust? First and best, in my opinion, Doty should begin earning the trust of his employees by changing his behavior. If that doesn't happen, then his employees should find jobs elsewhere, parents should take their children to schools outside of the district, and Doty should be replaced. It's really too bad that all of these politics and media attention accompany this kind of atmosphere - people just did their heels in. Why don't they just fix it and move on. Why such a parade and public hearings? Read Speed of Trust, by Covey.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 18, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    I'm also fearful of what is happening in the charter schools. It is very much "you work for the boss, you better align with the decision" or get out. No matter if the charter admin is correct or not, you HAVE to fall in step or get out. This is a horrible way to run a school as seen in several instances throughout the state. Teachers at those schools live in fear for their jobs. Some will say that is a good thing but it isn't a good thing for their students.

    There is a reason we have the education system we do. It is from years of experience and learning.

    If you have to live in fear because you won't "align with the decision", no one wins.

  • oniel Sandy, Utah
    April 18, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    The responsibility for Dr.Doty's shabby behavior needs to be placed at the feet of the Canyons Board of Education who hired him and continues to empower and support his unprofessional actions. Wasn't he referred to as " the great communicator?". He doesn't sound very great to me.

  • roughd Draper, UT
    April 18, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    Can someone explain to me how a Board Member can be reprimanded or censured by the Superintendant? Isn't that supposed to work the other way around? For talking directly to administrators and teachers? Isn't that the kind of oversight the a school board is supposed to do? Very strange.

  • Carolyn Sharette Sandy, UT
    April 18, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    Consider this scenario - a leader does all the things you outline - communicates, asks for input, builds trust, is humble and open to others' opinions. Then, it comes time to make a decision. The leader communicates the decision and has the support of many, perhaps a majority, even a large majority, of his staff members and patrons.

    The staff and patrons who didn't get what they wanted get very angry. They begin acting unprofessionally - complaining about the leader's personal characteristics, making vague accusations that are indefensible, like "he doesn't listen" or "he threatens" or "he is a bully" or "he is intimidating".

    Who is really the bully? How can you know?

    In our system, the leader gets to make the final call in decisions, and will be held accountable for the results of the decision. Very, very few decisions can be made where all parties agree. Consensus is admiral to work for, but leaders know you cannot wait to implement change until you achieve consensus because nothing would ever be accomplished.

    It's a relief that the school board knows the Superintendent is doing a great job. Thank goodness they have courage to do the right thing!

  • Leesha Kearns, UT
    April 18, 2012 8:19 p.m.

    Orem Parent:
    Who said anything about charter schools? This article is about a problem with Canyons School District, a public school district.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 19, 2012 6:31 a.m.

    Why would anyone want to teach in Utah. The disrespect and outright hostility is apalling. Teachers are professionals and deserve to be treated as such. I have a brother in-law that has been recognized as an excellent teacher and principal. He is well respected and certainly not an authoritarian type. I say investigate. Teachers deserve our support for willing to work in such a challenging profession.

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    April 19, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    Echoing earlier comments, if Canyon District has nothing to hide, then why fear an investigation?

    And on the subject of money being tight, I got my first raise in four years this year, I'm certain my district's superintendent hasn't similarly suffered.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    April 19, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    Sounds to me like not only does Doty need to be investigated, but the board as well.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    April 19, 2012 3:21 p.m.

    We need to vote out every Canyons Board member as they obviously are afraid to launch an investigation. The Canyons has become a joke, led by Doty and his secretive, bullying tactics.
    If the Board members are afraid to take action the voters need to and I for one am going to vote against every current board member unless they support an independent investigation.
    Doty needs to go, and the only way it can happen is if these board members are gone.