Four years ago, I encouraged the Beaumont Unified School District to upgrade their out of date website and use it to better communicate with parents and the community. I never thought they would use it as a tool to deter and discredit parents but that is what they have done...again.
Last week, I wrote about how they posted a form they required me to complete for an official request for information. They claimed it was part of the procedure that I was required to follow. When I pointed out to them that their board policy didn't mention the form or any format requirement my request had to follow, they pulled down the five page detailed policy and replaced it with a two paragraph policy that refers to "state and federal" requirements.
I didn't think they were allowed to change board policy without going through an official adoption procedure open to public comment. I guess only parents are required to follow procedures. Last night I spoke to them about their misuse and abuse of the district's web site, our website. Here is what I said:
When I thought the board violated the Brown act regarding the Superintendent’s raise, I went through the lengthy official process to file a complaint. When I believed the district was violating Title I law by not having a parent involvement plan, I filled out an official form and took time off from work to attend multiple meetings with administration officials. Throughout the entire Brookside traffic controversy, I did everything I was asked to do by the administration. I was led to believe I would have an opportunity to address the board when the plan was presented to the board, which never happened. No one on this board or in the administration could possibly believe I would ignore an official procedure outlined in your policies.
Before making my requests, I consulted the district site and found a board policy and administration regulation outlining the process for a member of the public to request documents. These documents made no reference to a form I needed to complete or any specific written or verbal format required when making an official request. Three weeks and two board meetings after I emailed you my request, I am presented with a form. Then Mr. Orozco chastises me for not following procedures.
Shortly after the last board meeting, the form appeared for the first time on the district’s website. On or about the same time, the five page detailed Board Policy, BP1340, with no format requirements for submitting a request, is replaced by a two paragraph version that references "state and federal requirements". When I asked about the board policy, I was informed it was updated in November of 2011 but the policy and regulation posted on the website indicate they were adopted in 2003. I have copies of both documents here for you tonight.
You waited three weeks to inform me of a form I had no way of knowing about and then try to discredit me for not following a written requirement that never existed. Mr. Orozco, you told me that you would provide me evidence of the policy’s written format requirement you accused me of not following if I would I resend you copies of my email requests. I have yet to hear back from you. I believe the board and Dr. Kayrell owe me an apology. More importantly I believe you owe the parents and the community of Beaumont an apology for your misuse of our website.
You violate the public's trust when you use the website to delay and discredit a parent's efforts to legally access public information. As long as we know you are willing to use such a valuable and powerful tool against a parent, very few in this community will ever believe the information you post to the site to be credible.
If none of this rises to the level of a Code of Ethics violation, I wonder what will.