Board Upholds Administrative Finding on Crawford; Will Not Reinstate

Board listens to public comment prior to appeal hearing on Thursday night
Board listens to public comment prior to appeal hearing on Thursday night

3-1 Vote Would Allow Julie Crawford to Reapply For the Fall – After four and a half hours of closed session in which the Davis Joint Unified School Board heard the appeal from former Davis High Volleyball Coach Julie Crawford and then deliberated, the board emerged to announce they had reached a 3-1 vote to uphold the administrative findings and deny Ms. Crawford’s appeal.

“The board took action on a 3-1 vote in closed session to sustain the administration’s conclusion and direct that Julie Crawford be permitted to apply for any future coaching positions,” Board President Gina Daleiden announced, where Sheila Allen, Susan Lovenburg, and Tim Taylor supported the majority position and Ms. Daleiden was the lone vote in dissent.

Under new district policy, new coaches will apply as soon as the season ends in order to avoid last second appointments.  Ms. Crawford would be allowed to apply for the girls’ volleyball coaching position for the fall.

Each of the board members then were granted time to speak to their decision.

Board Member Susan Lovenburg declined to do so, stating that the board’s decision stands for itself: “I think we’ve done the right thing.  I’m certain that it’s not going to make everybody happy.  But I think we really carefully weighed the factors we were dealing with and made the best decision that we could in the best interest of the community.”

Board Member Sheila Allen then read from about a page and a half of prepared comments.

“Perspective, this is something I hope the district and the community can gain at the closure of the complaint,” she read.  “May we take a collective deep breath and take away lessons from this decision.”

She expressed regret for the students, stating, “I’m so very sorry that the district administration and by extension the school board did not have a coach in place – be it temporary or permanent – at each of the last three volleyball seasons so that you could begin your season on time.”

After talking about potential changes to how coaches are hired, she turned to the community, “I’m very concerned about the social media postings that occurred surrounding this issue.  I am very supportive of an open dialogue and absolutely support public input and dialogue.”

“But,” she continued.  “I’m very concerned about the tone and accusations that have occurred behind the façade of anonymous comments.  Let us be the models for our children of civil dialogue and working together to solve our community problems.”

“I hear loud and clear your desires for transparency,” Sheila Allen stated.  “It is very hard to say I can’t comment because it’s a personnel issue.  I do not make personnel laws… but I’m bound by it.  So please understand that your elected officials are doing the very best they can with the information that they have and hopefully that information contains all sides of any issue.”

Board Member Tim Taylor said that he did not have any prepared remarks.  He said, “There has been a lot of bleeding in this community over this issue.  It’s time for the bleeding to stop.  I’m hopeful that will happen and we will move forward in a positive way.  It’s not going to be easy for us which is why we had a conversation for several hours on this.  It’s not going to be easy for you if you don’t like the decision that has been made.”

“We can’t always find the easy road and even if we could, it’s not always the right road to take,” he added.

Mr. Taylor explained that before the closed session board discussion, they had a formal appeal hearing.  This was the first time, he said, that he and the board had a chance to listen and ask questions of Ms. Crawford.

“I was given great comfort by that opportunity,” he said.  “What I saw and heard has definitely affected my actions here this evening and my thoughts about this entire process.”

“Our decision here this evening, will allow that pursuit of hers – which she spoke to eloquently earlier – to continue,” Tim Taylor stated.  “There were some mistakes made.  What we now need to do is learn from those, not repeat those, and move forward.”

Board President Gina Daleiden shared some of her own thoughts.  She said that while they may split on votes at times, the people who serve on the board with her really do have the best interest of the district at heart.

“I do believe that our district’s response to complaints and the way that we handle the procedure and the investigations needs to be in proportion,” Gina Daleiden stated.  “I do believe in this instance the district went Code 3 on something that maybe didn’t warrant that.”

“I do not find in reading the investigation that is a preponderance of evidence to support the findings and the conclusions,” she said.  She added that they “ended up jumping right into the deep end of the pool” and she would have preferred to have seen this resolved “at a much lower level, a whole lot earlier.”

She said that they need to take a hard look at their complaint procedures and look into alternative conflict resolution.  “Even if we have a very difficult conflict that has gone on for a while, I think it could be much better than all of the time, energy, money, attorneys that we have put into this process,” she said.

She said that there are times when a complaint calls for an investigation, “but the extent to which that happens and the manner in which that happens is something we need to take a look at.”

Following the brief discussion on a new conflict of interest policy, it was clarified that Ms. Crawford can reapply for the fall term as girls’ volleyball coach.  Where this leaves the district and this conflict remains to be seen.

Watch the video of the decision and board comments below:

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. growth issue

    David, did you bring the donuts? I’ve got the coffee ready and also have some egg on my face. LOL

    So the board upholds a complaint that a coach retaliated against a student because of a parent and she’s allowed to apply for another coaching position next September? Really?

    1. hpierce

      An adult equivalent of a”time out”. No one was sent to Elba or Coventry. Think it’s time to move forward, but also learn from what happened, and resolve not to repeat some “stupids” that occured.

  2. Jim Frame

    Sounds like a wrist slap to me, if Tim Taylor’s remark about “that pursuit of hers” means that Crawford expressed an intent to continue as volleyball coach in the fall.

  3. Mr.Toad

    But where will she be coaching? I once saw a teacher quit over a sleight from a principal in a faculty meeting. After this public scapegoating that weighed as Lovenburg said “Factors” instead of facts it would be surprising if Crawford didn’t consider her options. If she leaves it will be our loss.

    Taylor it seemed, realized mid sentence, that he was praising Crawford too much for her passion for her work and being exactly what you want in a role model for young people. He backtracked to “There were some mistakes made.” Perhaps it was a freudian slip as he reflected on the action he had just taken.

    Sheila sounded like Rob Peterson whining about social media. Welcome to the 21st century Sheila.

    Only Gina got it right calling B.S. with the findings.

    Saddest of all is the Petersons will now claim vindication. Prepare to hold your nose.

  4. Tia Will

    ” So the board upholds a complaint that a coach retaliated against a student because of a parent and she’s allowed to apply for another coaching position next September? Really?”

    From my point of view, yes, really.

    What is it that we really want from members of our community who have made a mistake ? Do we want to brand them as evil and never allow them to fully recover as contributing members of our community fully utilizing their training and experience ? Or perhaps it might be better for them and our community as a whole if we gave them a second chance ? If Ms. Crawford actions were influenced even slightly by her desire for retaliation against Nancy Peterson, do we honestly think that after this experience, she would be likely to do so again ? What other coach is as likely as Ms. Crawford to avoid any appearance of impropriety in the future ?

    It would seem that this branding as evil is what the commenting community chose to do with the Peterson’s.

    I largely agree with Sheila Allen when she cites a lack of civility in the anonymous commenting. As a member of the Vanguard Editorial Board, I have heard from a number of people who read the Vanguard, but never post because of the perceived viciousness of some who choose to post anonymously. While I defend the right of all posters to comment in the manner that they see fit within the well established guidelines as currently monitored by Don Shor, I feel that a much richer conversation could be had if all members of the commenting community felt comfortable with the tone of comments on this site. Imagine the conversations that might ensue if all members of the community with their wealth of education, training and experience felt comfortable posting here.

    My goal for the Vanguard would be to provide not only timely news as David and his contributors are already doing, but also a platform where all members of the community would feel that their ideas are welcome as part of a full consideration of perspectives within our community and that they will not be personally attacked for those views.

    1. Davis Progressive

      your comment makes me wonder.

      “As a member of the Vanguard Editorial Board, I have heard from a number of people who read the Vanguard, but never post because of the perceived viscousness of some who choose to post anonymously.”

      i just wonder how accurate that really is. i haven’t seen anything particularly viscious on here with regards to this controversy. i have not seen a clear difference between the viciousness of anonymous posters as opposed to people like rich rifkin who have attacked david greenwald and michelle millet because he disagreed with them. his comments were far worse than anything posted anonymously.

      i laugh when i hear people complain about anonymous posts on social media – they clearly don’t know what social media is because social media is not anonymous.

      i just think people do not like to get challenged and criticized by anyone and therefore concoct excuses.

      1. growth issue

        DP, I agree with most of what you stated. But I have to disagree with “people like rich rifkin who have attacked david greenwald and michelle millet because he disagreed with them”.
        I and others on here saw the Michelle Millet/Rich Rifkin exchange quite differently than you’ve portrayed it.

      2. Tia Will


        I do not disagree with your points. I am conveying what I have heard about individuals self reported reasons for not posting or choosing to write articles for the Vanguard. I clearly do not share their specific concerns since I am choosing to post under my own name.
        I do think that it is worth keeping in mind that civility is more important to some than to others. I find that the most useful conversations are those that focus on ideas and not our assumptions about those who convey those ideas. As a long time reader and poster on the Vanguard, I am sure that you are aware that there have been episodes of name calling and belittling with regard to many controversial issues. These may not bother you, but there may be others who do not choose to engage because of the perception of personal attack. I feel that the loss of their perspective in a high price to pay for someone’s anonymous ( or not) rant.

        1. Davis Progressive

          understand your point, but i take exception to the notion that a bunch of anonymous posters are posting a huge amount of scurrilous attacks on here. that might have been true a few years ago, rarely now.

          1. Tia Will


            I agree that the number of attack posts has dropped considerably.
            However, some may have long and unfavorable memories, and for others, a drop in numbers may not be enough to make them feel comfortable contributing be it because of dislike of personal attack or from concern about adverse effects on their business if they are outed ( as one poster either inadvertently or deliberately tried to do to me during the fluoride controversy obviously unaware that I had already “outed” myself)) or because of fear of retaliation as “Mustang” points out further down this thread. What you and I may see as a decrease in egregious hostility, others may still see as too risky to weigh in.

        2. SouthofDavis

          Tia wrote:

          > I wand the Vanguard to be a platform where all members of the
          > community would feel that their ideas are welcome as part of a full
          > consideration of perspectives within our community and that they
          > will not be personally attacked for those views.

          > I am conveying what I have heard about individuals self reported reasons
          > for not posting or choosing to write articles for the Vanguard.

          You can tell them that they post under a different name (I hear “medwoman” is available) and people will be able to attack their “views” not them “personally”.

          If we had an anonymous poster to the Vanguard called “Volleyball Mom” who wanted to get a coach that let boys talk to her players fired many (maybe all) Vanguard posters would point out to her that she was overreacting.

          Just think if this happened a couple years ago the anonymous poster could have received honest feedback from all the Vanguard posters (not just the people around her that did not want to make her mad by telling her she was overreacting) and might still be on the school board…

        3. Mr.Toad

          Civility is over rated. Its always the most offensive speech that needs protection. Still there has been little nasty speech throughout with exceptional care taken by everyone to shield kids from abuse. Its not the tone of the debate that has offended Rob Peterson and Sheila Allen. No its the public airing of their dirty laundry they find so distasteful.

      3. Rich Rifkin

        “people like rich rifkin who have attacked david greenwald and michelle millet because he disagreed with them”

        You mean to say where Michelle Millet falsely claimed that I intentionally was misleading and not being truthful? That was my attack on her? Really?

        I asked her over and over to give an instance of where I was misleading or was not being truthful. She never gave one. And you say this demonstrates what?

        1. Mr.Toad

          How about your attack yesterday on prevailing wage laws without ever calling them prevailing wage laws.

          Oh by the way if there was ever an example of why we need tenure for teachers this case is the poster child.

          1. Rich Rifkin

            My attack yesterday on prevailing wage laws without ever calling them prevailing wage laws? I am bewildered by your statement.

            “if there was ever an example of why we need tenure for teachers this case is the poster child.”

            Why is that?

          2. Rich Rifkin

            I don’t think there is a case to be made for teacher tenure at any level of education, including colleges. However, I do think that if a teacher is fired, a good and solid case needs to be made against him, showing either that his performance in the classroom is terribly inadequate (and thus his retention would be injurious to his students) or that his personal conduct makes him unfit–for example, he demeaned a student with racial slurs or he made sexual advances on a minor or he came to class inebriated.

            I think the person who needs to make the case against a teacher is the principal, who also should be responsible to investigate claims of misconduct or terrible teaching. Ideally, the case would be heard very quickly, and if it is found that his performance or conduct warranted him being fired, he should be fired, regardless of how long he was in his position. (Note: In most cases of inadequate teaching, it would probably be best to make a review at the end of a term, not mid way through. And in some cases where the teacher is found to be bad, it is more reasonable to help that teacher learn to do his job better than to fire him.)

          3. Rich Rifkin

            Toad, I thought you were mentioning something I wrote on the Vanguard. My bad. But more importantly, I think your chastisement is misplaced. Here are my words:

            “However, the other unions, like the CSEA, have had their hand in writing our Ed Code. Here is one small example of how corrupt that document is: The Ed Code outlaws a local school district (such as the DJUSD) from outsourcing any services (such as landscaping or janitorial) if the outsourcing results in saving money!!! … it makes it impossible to replace overpaid janitors and lawn mowers and tree trimmers.”

            NOTE: What the Ed Code really says is that services cannot be outsourced if the contracted workers make less in wages or benefits.

            If the prevailing wage law, which applies to all government agencies, prohibited outsourcing of government services, that would not need to be in the Ed Code, right? It was written by the CSEA for the union’s benefit.

            I learned that the Ed Code restrains school districts from outsourcing services the way a city or a county can after Steve Pinkerton fired two DCEA workers. They were tree trimmers and he outsourced their jobs with people whose total compensation (but not wages) is much lower. That saved Davis a great amount of money and it has resulted in better service.

            I asked Bruce Colby (the business manager for the DJUSD) why the school district did not do the same thing to save money, and put that money in classrooms? He told me that the District is prohibited from doing so by the Ed Code. The language in question is found here: 45103.1. (a) (2)

          1. growth issue

            Paradigm Shift, I suggest you go reread that thread, then come back and tell us who started it and was way out of line.

    2. growth issue

      Ms. Will, I have been in Julie Crawford’s corner throughout this whole ordeal and I’m still solidly there. Where I was coming from is if three members of the board ruled that Crawford did retaliate against a student, which to me is a very serious determination, how can they then turn around and say that same coach can apply to coach again in six months? One of the board’s utmost responsibilities is to protect the students, so for them to about face that quickly just tells me that Gina Daleiden’s findings are probably more on target. The board is trying to have it both ways. All this is just my opinion and I’m allowed that, right Ms. Will?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Great point. Payback for the Peterson resignation?

        Will we ever hear the ‘smoking gun’, or was it just innuendo from a half-dozen of Nancy Peterson’s posse?

      2. Tia Will


        Sometimes another word for “having it both ways” is “diplomacy”.
        I think that the board was faced with a difficult decision and got this one just about as right as could be under daunting circumstances.

        You are absolutely allowed your opinion, just as I am allowed to differ. Isn’t that what engaging on the Vanguard is all about ?


        1. Mr.Toad

          Of course you do. You have supported Peterson against the coach all along. There are lots of words to describe what the board did but diplomacy is not one of them. Diplomacy:

          the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country’s representatives abroad.
          “the government should assign an ambassador-at-large to oversee diplomacy in the region”
          synonyms: statesmanship, statecraft, negotiation(s), discussion(s), talks, dialogue; More

          Actually none of these words apply. They failed miserably. Go ahead I’d like to see you explain where this definition applies to the actions of the school board.

          1. Tia Will

            Mr. Toad

            I have at no time defended or supported the acions of the Petersons. If you go back and look at my posts you will see that I have repeatedly stated that I do not agree with the way they handled this situation. What I have said is that, like with any other conflict, there are two sides.
            Our commenting community, well before there was any evidence to support either side available, picked a side and chose to support that side uncritically ( much as we tend to support our favored sports teams uncritically) and to demonize the other side. I do not find this a particularly useful way to approach conflict. I would have favored a mediated / negotiated settlement as was belatedly suggested by the board.
            From your list of synonyms I feel that negotiation ( as suggested), discussion ( certainly since they listened for hours to comments and each others opinions), dialogue both amongst themselves and with the community, all apply.

            What diplomacy does not mean, according to your own definition, is that any particular side gets their own way. The board may have “failed” in your eyes and in those of the majority of the community. Failure is not synonymous with lack of diplomacy. What it means in this case is the decision did not go the way you wanted.

    3. Rich Rifkin

      TIA: “I have heard from a number of people who read the Vanguard, but never post because of the perceived viscousness (sic) of some who choose to post anonymously.”

      Are you not the same person who for many years posted under the name MEDWOMAN? And now, once you have lifted that veil, you see fit to chastise anonymous posters?

      I do agree that anonymous or pseudonymous attacks are problematic. However, it feels wrong to have you wag a finger over this issue, given your history.

      1. Tia Will


        Come on. I am not chastising anyone. i am honestly reporting a concern that has been conveyed to me.
        I previously explained my early use of the pseudonym “medwoman” which if you consider one to two to be many years, then yes. When I first began any e – commenting, at the time of the pepper spray incident,. I thought it was what one did, confusing it with a “user name”, and then when I became marginally more savvy, I thought it a good idea based my professional associations and my kids interests. I subsequently came to the conclusion that it really didn’t matter and unmasked. Becoming a member of the Editorial Board also helped me gain a different perspective. I am not sure why you feel that my gradually evolving relationship with this means of communication is somehow indicative of hypocrisy or scolding. I personally agree with the previous comment that some of the most scathing posts are made by those using their own names. What I want for any communication is civility whether one is posting anonymously or using a pseudonym. This is merely my wish, not a maternalistic mandate.

  5. Elizabeth Bowler

    So, if I am reading this correctly, Gina Daleiden is the only Board member who conceded that mistakes were made by the Board in their previous deliberations and actions?

    Tim Taylor said that “mistakes were made” (did he specify by whom?) and upheld the suspension.

    Sheila Allen scolded the community, in particular social media and anonymous posters.

    Susan Lovenburg said little except that they had done the right thing.

    Very interesting, very telling comments.

  6. Don Shor

    The Board majority has just created a hostile working environment for every coach in the district. It’s an untenable situation. And three Board members will be leaving this year, leaving it to the next board to deal with the mess of their entire athletic program its clearly misguided policies.
    Not exactly a profile in courage last night.

    1. Tia Will


      I see this quite differently.
      I do not think that either side in this dispute was beyond reproach.
      My take on the actions of the Peterson’s is that they handled this in an inept and vindictive manner. Clearly not
      good for anyone, let alone an elected official. It cost Nancy Peterson her position and a lot of community good will.
      None of this means that Ms. Crawford is without any suggestion of culpability.
      The idea that cutting a player in her senior year would represent no “harm” to the young athlete is absurd.
      The exact motives for the cut are unknown to anyone except Ms. Crawford, but the possibility of hostility between the parents and coach as a contributing factor is certainly not outside the realm of possibility. If it played any role at all, at least a “time out” would be warranted as suggested by hpierce and Jim Frame.

      I do not see a hostile working environment created by support for the idea that retaliation against a player or their parents is unacceptable. As a manager, I am made aware every year of the complete unacceptability of any form of retaliation. I think that this principle is one that anyone in any position of power ( as coaches are over athletes and as school board members are over employees) should be aware of and strictly adhered to by all.

      1. Don Shor

        You’re right. We see this quite differently.
        If I were a coach now, given this ruling, I would feel compelled to bench the child of any player whose parents filed any complaint — no matter how trivial — pending full administrative review and a final ruling. Because it would be impossible to coach the child with the threat of a retaliation complaint. The Petersons and the Board have created an impossible situation which they need to rectify immediately.
        I urge the district coaches to make their opinions known, collectively and in public, about the impact of this ruling.

        1. Tia Will

          Here we have some common ground, and a deeper and broader difference of perspective.

          I also hope that the coaches will make their viewpoint known.

          As someone who by the nature of my job as an administrator faces the possibility of the accusation of retaliation every time I make a decision that someone I supervise does not like, I would not choose to handle situations differently based on that threat. If I did, I simply would not be able to do my job. What any manager, or coach, or teacher, or board member has the responsibility to do is to adhere to the rules including those against retaliation or if wisdom prevails, the appearance thereof. This does not mean that one is paralyzed.
          These rules exist to protect those of lower power, not to incapacitate those with more authority. Perhaps an individual who is unable to follow the rules as well as their own conscience should not be in a position of authority. Achieving a balance between the needs of a team and the needs of the individuals who comprise that team is a key function of anyone in a position of power with respect to others. There is no shame in admitting that this ability is not a part of one’s make up and moving on to a position more in keeping with one’s specific strengths.

          From what I have heard of Ms. Crawford, it would seem that she is an individual who for years has successfully balanced these needs and who made a judgement error under very difficult circumstances. My hope would be that she would see this as a slight misstep and continue with what would appear to be a very successful career in our community by a very dedicated and dynamic individual who I wish all the best.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            I see no error. She knew she had a wealthy Helicopter Mom after her, she put together a selection committee of 4 individuals, and that committee of experts in volleyball chose a team which won the league title, which included a rare phenomena – 2 awesome freshmen players. After that, it is simple math.

            She took her concerns to higher ups, who did little to help her, and Dr. Peterson filed a complaint on behalf of his wife.

          2. chris

            That’s what really baffles me. If there’s no “smoking gun” showing she really intended to retaliate by cutting the daughter, it seems she did everything she could reasonably do to ensure her actions were above reproach. Having a committee help with selections and especially asking her supervisors for guidance to me puts the decision to cut in the districts hands, not just hers. The only thing she could’ve done to keep her job was to keep a player whom the committee had determined should be cut.

      2. Davis Progressive

        but you’re missing a key point, what julie did – if she did – came after a prolonged disagreement with peterson as outlined by leigh choate. peterson then escalated the conflict while on the board first pulling the VSA, then dissenting, then issuing and illegal comment about a district employee… it is only then that julie crawford without malic or willful mal-intent cut a player from the team.

      3. hpierce

        Actually, wouldn’t use the word “either”. There is the Coach, the Parents, AND the Administration. In my opinion, at various points, there were improper behaviors, and other “stupids”. There are no winners/losers here. May we all learn from this debacle.

      4. TrueBlueDevil

        So now no senior can be cut, even if they are a reserve player?

        I understood the cut once I researched and read articles in The Enterprise regarding two outstanding freshmen players. This is a rare occurrence to have not one, but two outstanding freshmen that deserve and earn substantial playing time. And when it happens, senior players pout or quit. But 20 years ago, parents didn’t file complaints.

        The eight concrete examples that we have learned were silly, some ludicrous, and yes, in totality, they could create a hostile working environment.

        When I read that some have alleged that Nancy Peterson was walking around practices, meets and games with a notebook documenting any perceived wrongs – t-shirt design or transportation issues – a word popped into my head: Stalker.

      5. Mark West

        “The exact motives for the cut are unknown to anyone except Ms. Crawford, but the possibility of hostility between the parents and coach as a contributing factor is certainly not outside the realm of possibility. If it played any role at all, at least a “time out” would be warranted as suggested by hpierce and Jim Frame.”

        Here is where you are completely wrong. It is the Coach’s responsibility to select and coach the best team of 12 players. Playing on the team is a privilege that is earned, not a right given to you by your position in life (or that of your parent). While we don’t know the details, we do know from recent history that the Coach is very good at selecting and coaching her team, so our default position should be that she selected the 12 best players. Team statistics from the past two seasons indicate that the Coach made the right decision, and that the decision was based on skill.

        Hypothetically however, if it came down to two similarly skilled players, and one of them had a parent that had created havoc on the team in years past, the coach would be well within her rights, as well as her responsibilities to the other players, to select the child with the less toxic parent.

        The response to the complaint should have been, it was a coaching decision that will not be reviewed unless you have proof that she acted illegally or put the children in harms way.

      6. Mr.Toad

        A hostile working environment is created by a school board that supports parents who carry out personal vendettas against teachers or in this case a coach over the flimsiest accusations imaginable. A school board that undermines the authority of teachers to run their programs. A school board that plays politics with the careers of their staff and a school board that leaves every staff person wondering if they will be the next victim of this kind of abuse.

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    To me, this raises more questions than answers.

    Gina Daleiden sent a zinger over the bow – that they went “Code 3” over something that maybe didn’t warrant it; add to that the comments from Taylor.

    Does the board not contradict itself when it pleaded for the warring factions to go into mediation? Somehow, I fell like this is payback for Nancy Peterson resigning.

    I also find it ironic that the only board member who commented on social media was the member who was just called out for allegedly having a special celebratory moment at a DHS graduation for her child. She also has a PhD.

  8. Tia Will

    “I also find it ironic that the only board member who commented on social media was the member who was just called out for allegedly having a special celebratory moment at a DHS graduation for her child. She also has a PhD.”

    Perhaps you could elaborate for those of us who don’t have a clue what you are talking about ?

    1. Elizabeth Bowler

      according to TrueBlueDevil in the different thread:

      “…board member Sheila Allen apparently pulled her child out of the alphabetical line at graduation – placing her child last – to allow herself to give her child some kind of awkward, overdone, inappropriate celebration / congratulation … in front of a whole stadium of onlookers.”

      Anyone who has attended a DHS graduation ceremony knows that his sort of behavior on the part of some parents and family members disrupts the entire ceremony and detracts from the other family members who are trying to enjoy their students’ graduduation in a civil and respectful manner.

      1. SouthofDavis

        “…board member Sheila Allen apparently pulled her child out of the alphabetical line at graduation – placing her child last – to allow herself to give her child some kind of awkward, overdone, inappropriate celebration / congratulation … in front of a whole stadium of onlookers.”

        I’ll be interested to here Sheila tell us all why she did this since I’m sure it will come up many times as she runs for City Council.

      2. hpierce

        Reminds me about the distinction between ‘ethics’ and ‘morals’… an ethical person knows it’s wrong to cheat on a spouse… the moral person just doesn’t do it.

        1. PhilColeman

          I’d like to think that an ethical person would not cheat on a spouse as well. While ethical and moral are somewhat synonymous the verbal distinction is that morals are spiritually based, while ethics are rooted in philosophy. At least that’s what I had been told by experts in both fields.

          We can all agree, if we were described by either term, it would brighten up one’s day.

      3. TrueBlueDevil

        Elizabeth, to be clear, I did not witness this event. This was one of several inappropriate allegations regarding board members that I read yesterday in the comment section of The Enterprise.

        I posted this yesterday and asked the community if anyone was aware of this or could confirm it, and 1 or 2 individuals confirmed the occurrence.

        (Another allegation was that a board member helped steer considerable funds towards an upgraded softball field, a sport which her child plays. I took a neutral or pro-softball field stance, seeing as the community just forked over $7 Million for a football stadium.)

        1. Mark West

          I believe it was the investment in improvements to the baseball field at the High School that necessitated a similar investment for the softball team’s facilities.

  9. TrueBlueDevil

    I now find it more troubling that we were stonewalled on some basic, at-hand information by the DJUSD.

    1. How much did the Ms. Leigh Whitmire Choate complaint / investigation against Nancy Peterson cost? This was the first on-the-record complaint that we are aware of in this drama, which may have given NP her tool of choice.

    2. How much additional money have we spent on outside council since they gave us the $22,000 figure?

    3. How many official complaints have there been the past 3 years? How many formal Investigations? And how many have been filed by or against Mrs. Peterson?

    I think Fremontia addressed the larger issues very well last night on the previous thread:

    “…Teacher morale will suffer badly. The community will remain divided. The school board and district administration has lost its moral authority to lead. Receipts to the the Davis Schools Foundation and the Blue and White Foundation will likely decline. The next parcel tax may even fail.”

    “This is a disaster for the schools and the kids. They blew it.”

    1. Tia Will

      “Receipts to the the Davis Schools Foundation and the Blue and White Foundation will likely decline. The next parcel tax may even fail.”

      If any of this occurs it will be because individuals are in effect retaliating against a school board with whom they disagree. However, the target of the retaliation, the school board, will be completely missed and the damage will fall on those that the self righteous voters are claiming to care about, the children.
      The grown ups have the choice of keeping the broader perspective in view and voting to support the schools and the children who have no choice but to attend them, or to choose to deprive those same kids because they disagree with other adults in the community. I personally will continue to support the schools through parcel taxes and donations and hope others will do the same.

      I have no children in the Davis public schools, but continue to believe that our schools should be one of our primary investments.

  10. Ryan Kelly

    The Board member had a child graduate last year and had the child walk last so that she could take a moment to congratulate her child at the end of the procession of graduates across the stage. I think this is absolutely fine.

    Have we gotten so petty that we won’t tolerate special moments in the lives of others? When did our generation become such prudes?

      1. Ryan Kelly

        The Board member is up on stage either announcing the name of each graduate and shaking their hands and pausing to take a picture. The Board members ARE doing this for your daughter and every other graduate. Let them pause a little longer to congratulate their own child. I see nothing wrong with that.

          1. Ryan Kelly

            This is just so petty. Close to the type of complaints by Nancy Peterson – parents not being able to go to practices and pancake breakfasts with their student athletes, etc.

          2. Tia Will


            You would certainly be able to do that if you volunteered, campaigned for
            and were elected to the school board. Elected officials get to do a number of things that those of us who have not chosen to put ourselves forward get to do. As far as I am concerned, this is a very minor perk for being willing to take on the issues that most of us do not choose to take on.

          3. growth issue

            Is having a $22,000 investigation when a school board’s family member files a complaint about a coaching decision considered another minor perk?

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Let’s say the Leigh Choate investigation of Nancy Peterson comes in at $7,000, and the total Coach Crawford investigation comes in at $25,000. (The $22,000 figure was not a final figure.)

            $25,000 – $7,000 = $18,000 “perk” to being a board member. Plus internal costs that have to be over $50,000.

            How many graduates did DHS have – 500?

        1. Elizabeth Bowler

          This is not what was described by other posters on a different thread. What was described was:

          “…board member Sheila Allen apparently pulled her child out of the alphabetical line at graduation – placing her child last – to allow herself to give her child some kind of awkward, overdone, inappropriate celebration / congratulation … in front of a whole stadium of onlookers.”

          If you have attended a DHS graduation you will know that this sort of behavior on the part of a few family members is disruptive to the entire ceremony and detracts from the rest of the family members who are trying to enjoy the graduation in a civil and respectful manner.

          If you were in attendance at the graduation in question and observed something different than what has previously been reported, then please elaborate, because this sort of behavior is unacceptable, especially by a school board member at a school function.

          1. Elizabeth Bowler

            I am happy for them, but I expect them to be similarly happy for me and to appreciate the fact that I am trying to enjoy watching my child graduate and would like to do so without having to put up with their obnoxious and disruptive behavior.

          2. hpierce

            So… if the behavior was that egregious, why wasn’t anything said, say, six months ago? Methinks there is another motivation for bringing it up now.

            BTW, if true (and I’m not doubting it), it WAS inappropriate. What I do question is why focus on it now? Throwing spaghetti an the wall and see what sticks?

          3. Elizabeth Bowler

            good question, hpierce

            I assume it is coming up now because this is the first time an election involving the school board member has come up since the DHS graduation last year?

          4. Ryan Kelly

            Couldn’t control myself. I just find it to be so much whining and petty jealousy. Why not enjoy the moment, instead of viewing it as an obnoxious interruption. Our graduation was interrupted by naked streakers by Junior Football players. People were shocked but it made for a memorable graduation and everyone just laughed and carried on. Don can remove the comment, if he wants.

          5. Ryan Kelly

            I don’t care about either of you, really. It is a high school graduation ceremony. Not a big deal, in my estimation.

          6. Elizabeth Bowler

            Maybe not, but trust me, it’s a very big deal for a graduating senior and for their parents and other family members. So maybe you show just a little bit of sensitivity to that fact!

          7. SouthofDavis

            Ryan wrote:

            > Be happy for them. Just try.

            If the daughter of a school board member made the volleyball team and a better player who had worked harder (but didn’t have a parent on the school board) was cut from the team would you tell the young girl to just “be happy for her, just try”?

          8. Ryan Kelly

            Not the same thing. We are talking about a Board member taking a moment to celebrate her child’s graduation. She was careful to avoid overshadowing the next student in line by placing her child last. No child was pushed out of the way, or a spot taken.

            This is a very frustrating conversation.

          9. TrueBlueDevil

            I agree. There are 400 – 500 graduates that deserve their ‘special’ moment on the field, or in the stands, or in the parking lot… after the ceremony.

            Welcome to the iPhone generation, where everything has to happen … RIGHT NOW!!

          10. hpierce

            Slippery slope. If a public works employee, in an upper management position, pushes PG&E to fix the street light in front of THEIR house, immediately, ahead of other outages, and that didn’t further delay the 2 months it takes PG&E to deal with the others, one could reasonably argue “no harm, no foul”. Still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

          11. chris

            I agree it leaves a bad taste. No, of course it’s not a huge issue and it might not be worth filing a complaint about, but it really does smack of an elitism that has grown very tiresome.

            Graduation is a huge deal for all families. For many, like those referenced in David’s article about the “Other Davis,” it’s the first time someone in their family has graduated high school. It’s one thing to single out and recognize a valedictorian or someone for something exceptional they’ve done in high school. It’s another to highlight a kid for the sole fact that his mom is on the Board. If Allen was the one reading the names, a simple “yay that’s my kid” when reading his name in the usual order prescribed would seem much less offensive.

            And the reason I bring it up today and not last year is because I never heard about it until yesterday. No, it won’t be the only factor in my votes, but it does leave a bad taste.

          12. Elizabeth Bowler

            This is about disrespectful and discourteous behavior, not necessarily about “harm” in the legal sense. Our elected officials should be expected to behave in a appropriate, respectful and courteous manner, especially when attending public functions. We should hold them to a higher standard than we hold “junior football players” and other adolescents.

  11. Lori

    Very good job of reporting the events of last night David. It is especially helpful to have the full unedited video of the School Board’s decision and comments available on The Davis Vanguard site.

  12. dips

    What we try to teach our kids is not the old adage, rank has it’s privileges, but rather, rank has it’s responsibilities. It seems like many on the DJUSD Board are in it for the former, rather than the latter.

    This BOD has cut the legs out from under every single coach at the HS. I can’t imagine a coach wanting to coach wanting to coach in Davis, despite the ability to win on the court/field/diamond. I wonder how the new football coach must be feeling, he doesn’t even have the security of the teachers union to support him, as he teaches elsewhere

  13. David Greenwald

    I talked to a few coaches last night that are now very concerned that any time they cut a kid it will go to a complaint by the parents and there is a clear lack of trust in the administration and board.

  14. growth issue

    David, I’m curious as to what’s the “scheduling conflict” that’s causing the board to cancel next week’s meeting? As reported in the Enterprise, “As Thursday night’s meeting ended, Daleiden said the next regularly scheduled board meeting next Thursday probably will not be held due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, there may be a brief special meeting on the morning of Friday, March 21.”

    Kind of puts the squash on any open public comments.

    1. Rich Rifkin

      I’m curious as to what’s the “scheduling conflict” that’s causing the board to cancel next week’s meeting?

      NCAA March Madness begins that night?

  15. Mustang

    I remain anonymous not out of fear of being challenged by the community, I speak out of anonymity due to fear of retaliation by administrators in the district.
    There is a climate of fear and intimidation in this district and people are afraid to speak out BECAUSE of what happened to Ms. Crawford. COTY, successful, accomplished educator not hired for a position that she is obviously qualified for. Its sad that people are afraid to speak out.
    I’m a honorable and dedicated educator and many of us are upset, fearful and angry that our colleague was dragged through the mud like this FOR BEING EXCELLENT!
    Truth be told, she pissed off a board member, stood up to her, sought support from her site administrators, was supported by site administrators, site administrator asked not to come back (Moore), new site administrator supports coach, superintendents (employed at the discretion of the board) delay notifying accused, yet notify Peterson’s before accused, board supports superintendents, Ms. Crawford not reinstated. Not a good decision IMO. She did the right thing, she did what we teach our children to do (stand up for yourself, stand up to bullies, have faith in your convictions) and she was punished.
    Actions speak louder than words. The boards actions do not support teacher or coaches. It supported administrators who were not involved and who also felt “intimidated” by former Board Member Peterson, took third party report as gospel, and took the safe route to save all of their jobs, reputations and standing at the expense of Ms. Crawford. The alleged “student victim” was not the victim here, Julie Crawford is.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Thank you for your input. I have, hopefully, two simple questions for you.

      Did standing up to BOE member Nancy Peterson play a small, medium, or large role in Ms. Moore being removed, in your opinion?

      What kind of job did Ms. Moore do? I’ve seen some support her, and praise her. Then I read a few snippy comments about her modifying a policy on shorts and non-students visiting campus. Both seem like minor issues.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    A number of people have told me that they think the entire volleyball fiasco will hurt Sheila Allen’s chances to win a seat on the City Council. I have doubted that conclusion. I think Sheila has a lot of support and a lot of positive name recognition and that’s what counts in a City Council race.

    Yet, Sheila’s vote on this issue last night might hurt her. It was not politically expedient. Right or wrong, I think she voted her conscience, as opposed to trying to do the least harm to her own future. It seems to me it would have been better for Sheila to turn against the (seemingly unpopular) Petersons. Knowing what I know (or at least what I think I know), I would have sided with Ms. Crawford. I thus credit Ms. Allen for having the courage to do what she thought was right.

    Time will tell if V-gate redounds negatively on Sheila.

    1. Teletubby

      It cost her my vote. I was going to vote for Rochelle. My other vote was up for grabs. I might have voted for Sheila or nobody with my second ballot but now I’m going to vote Rob. Not only that i’m going to tell anyone who will listen why I’m voting the choices I’ve made. So far that has been 3 voters just this morning.

    2. Robin W

      The decision sounded very political to me, based on Tim’s and Sheila’s comments and on the part of the decision allowing the coach to be considered for a coaching position again at the end of this season. It sounded like three of the Board members chose the decision they felt would be best for the district (or at least for district administration), based on where things were at this point in time, rather than a decision as to whether the coach retaliated against the player and, even if so, if the administration’s response was appropriate. There is no other way to understand the decision to sustain the administration’s action but also allow the coach to be considered for a coaching position in the fall and to allow her to continue as a PE teacher. I am very concerned about the new working environment for teachers and coaches who can now be legitimately concerned about a parent complaint of retaliation each time there is a problem with a student. The administration totally blew it with this one, and only Gina Dalaiden had the courage to be honest about it.

      1. Realist

        Does the Board have any authority to preclude someone from being considered for a coaching position? I thought they only approved or denied whomever was chosen for the position by the Administration. If they can preclude someone from being considered wouldn’t that affect future Board members such as whomever replaces Peterson? I felt Gina’s statement was designed to be placating but is really meaningless.

        1. chris

          Isn’t it like most things, anyone can “apply,” it doesn’t mean they’ll get it. So yeah, it seems meaningless unless they are encouraging her to come back. Which makes little sense if they think what she did was egregious enough to cut her contract.

    3. Dave Hart

      It was purely political. They split the baby…thereby leaving none vindicated and none with a sense of finality. As I said above, the issue continues to lie there like a stinking fish. I concur that Gina Dalaiden is the only Board member who seems to understand that a clear and decisive vote is what is best for the community. Also, it is disheartening to me that so few, if any, comments refer back to the excellent op-ed piece in the Enterprise on Tuesday, March 11 “Returning Youth Sports to the Youths”

      If the people posting here would read this and take it to heart and shift the discussion from the minutiae of who said what to whom when, we might have a better outcome.

      1. Tia Will


        Thanks for making this article available. I found it a very informative and relevant piece. When reading it, another thought occurred to me based on the previous comment:

        “It is the Coach’s responsibility to select and coach the best team of 12 players”.
        Why the 12 best players ? Why not broaden the field so as to engage more students ? Who makes the decision that only the 12 best can play and on what is that decision based ?
        If the goal is to build the reputation of the coach by having a “winning team” this makes sense. If the goal is to encourage participation and enjoyment of sport for the sake of sport, fitness and health, it makes no sense at all. Perhaps a good look at the basic reason for being behind team sports might also be warranted while we are soul searching about the role of parents, the issue of retaliation, and the appropriateness of actions of the school board.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          That’s what intramurals, church leagues, and PE are for.

          As an aside, a read a study a while back which said that young girls who engage in COMPETITIVE athletics do far better in business. Food for thought.

          1. Tia Will


            Well that is one way of looking at it.
            Even as a mother who had two children involved in competitive sports, I now see this as a dubious role for public schools since it focuses on such a small group of students when so many of our children would benefit in terms of health. And yes, my thinking has evolved on this issue.

            And if the study you quoted is correct, wouldn’t that be an even stronger reason for our public schools to include more, not less students in competitive sports ?

          2. chris

            If we don’t allow the competitive sports to be competitive, how does that help the student? Do we want our kids to know they can get on a team just because everyone gets to, or because they worked hard, were dedicated , improved themselves, etc?

            My kids are little and the whole everyone gets a trophy thing is troubling to me. We’ve had many speakers through Davis Parent University telling us repeatedly that we need to let kids struggle and achieve on their own, not have things handed to them, which I think teaches them responsibility, perseverance, etc.

            I do agree everyone should have a chance to play and learn sports, but like TBD said, I think that’s what intramurals,, school clubs, PE, etc are for.

          3. Tia Will


            I agree with your thoughts about the detrimental effects of giving trophies for participation.

            Because your kids are little, you may not have encountered some of the limitations to the activities that you are naming as alternatives to competitive athletics. In order to focus on academics, many schools have cut back drastically on PE and recess activities. Financial cutbacks have also limited physical opportunities in the public schools. While Davis has been relatively sheltered by our affluence, this remains a consideration.
            Finally club sports, after school activities and the like may be readily available to those whose parents can afford, and make special arrangements for their children, they are far from universally available to those of lesser means. For years when my children participated in these activities, those of us who had more often kicked in more so that those with less could participate. Unfortunately, this does nothing for the kids whose parents don’t even consider the possibility because they are working multiple jobs or just don’t consider the possibility.

        2. Jim Frame

          Why the 12 best players ? Why not broaden the field so as to engage more students ?

          For the same reason we have competitive tryouts for Madrigals, Jazz Band and other high-performance groups: they only flourish when the members are challenged and supported by others with similar skill levels.

          1. Tia Will


            Do we know that, or is that just what we assume given that we have been raised in a competition obsessed society ?

          2. Jim Frame

            I don’t think “competition obsessed” accurately describes our society as a whole. Some percentage of the population compete obsessively, but I think it’s fairly small. For the rest of us, competition is a natural approach to skill development and organization. Competition isn’t incompatible with compassion, particularly since each of us has a wide variety of skills, with a wide variety of skill levels within each individual.

            Getting back to the sports/arts realm, Little League provides a good example of the way skill development plays out in organized sports. Little League is pretty egalitarian — you sign up and you’ll be put on a team. There are rules requiring minimum playing time for all players, and coaches are encouraged to (and most do) let kids try out different positions throughout the season. There’s an overall competitive framework to the game and to the season, but it’s substantially tempered by the philosophy that the purpose is for everyone to participate and develop.

            However, the more highly-skilled players eventually find that they enjoy the game more when they’re playing both with and against kids with similar skills. They get frustrated and bored when their teammates and/or the opposing team have a markedly lower level of skill. (Winning 20-0 is really fun the first time; after awhile it just becomes batting practice.) Most of those kids go on to play for a travel team, where their development accelerates in the more competitive environment.

            By the time you get to high school baseball, the kids who have been playing every season (in some cases almost year-round) since they were 5 years old have developed to the point that even a natural athlete who stopped playing after Little League (let alone someone who’s never played the game at all) is so outgunned that he/she simply can’t compete. Forcing a mismatch like that will result in a “team” that doesn’t work for anyone — the skilled players will be frustrated and bored, and the unskilled players will be demoralized. It’d be like putting someone who just completed 7th-grade math into an advanced calculus class — why attempt it when there’s virtually no chance of success?

            I think the same concepts apply across skills of all sorts: academics and arts as well as sports. The same kind of competition pertains in the working world, so it makes sense to train for it.

            One can be highly-skilled and compete fiercely in a narrow realm, yet still be a nice person, gentle and compassionate off the field. The goal of our educational system is (or should be) to create well-rounded adults, and I believe that high school sports play an appropriate role in the system.

  17. TrueBlueDevil

    I just watched the video, and two things popped out.

    One, Sheila Allen had a long page-and-a-half response written, and stapled, where she quotes other documents. She had time to write that during their meeting?

    Second, Tim Taylor and Sheila Allen were virtually frozen for at least a minute as Gina spoke.

    Bob Dunning seems to think Coach Crawford is gone … there have to be a lot of volleyball programs in Sacramento that would love to have her … if so, I wonder if someone could pull a Hillary Clinton and leave a copy of the 72-page report lying around.

    1. chris

      I wondered why Allen already had a long prepared statement ready. I’d hoped she would consider the evidence in the hearing before making a decision. I’m hoping her prepared speech was neutral enough that she was able to modify it on the fly and she didn’t have her decision entirely made beforehand.

        1. chris

          Doubt it. Even if it did, it’s still 2-1 against Crawford.

          I just listened to the entire video above and not the snippets I heard earlier. I think Allen’s prepared comments were more general and didn’t seem to have been entirely slanted toward one decision already as I’d initially thought. I actually think she took a little stab at Peterson toward the end. Or maybe I’m projecting.

  18. TrueBlueDevil

    I listened to the audio tape, and a few brief items.

    There was one community member who spoke out in favor of Nancy Peterson, his name is Chris Bolklee / Chris Bulklee.

    Since he was the lone support who spoke publicly, I thought his comments were interesting. He thought there should be a “no cut policy for seniors”, or maybe he meant meant it to cover seniors who previously had made the team. He even added that they could be restricted to “minimal playing time”, but they should be on the team b/c of all the years hard work.

    The comments relayed for the current acting boys coaches supported Coach Crawford, and referenced “appeasing a certain board member”. According to retired Coach Mr. Whitmire, Crawford is also working towards a Master’s Degree in sports administration.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I find it interesting that a DA who advocates “restorative justice” wanted a coach gone with no proof, what happened to innocent until proven guilty?

        This is competitive volleyball, not youth soccer!

        1. Tia Will

          “I find it interesting that a DA who advocates “restorative justice” wanted a coach gone with no proof, what happened to innocent until proven guilty?”

          I had the opportunity to speak with DA Bulklee after the public comment and his position was considerably more nuanced than “wanting the coach gone with no proof”. I was not there, so I don’t know if this was reflected in his public comment, but I certainly did not get the feeling that he was demonstrating a “guilty until proved innocent” mentality in this case.

      2. Rich Rifkin

        FWIW, there was a historical farm family in the Davis/Tremont area named Bulkley. I don’t know much about them. However, in their honor there is a road in Solano County, 4 miles or so south of UCD, named Bulkley Road*. If you take Mace Blvd and go south out of Davis, you will hit Tremont Road, which runs east-west. Maybe a mile or so west on Tremont is Bulkley. In between is the old Tremont Cemetery and Tremont Church. Before the railroad was routed north of Putah Creek, creating the new town of Davisville in 1868, there was a village of Tremont. It was the center of a wheat farming community, on the wagon road from Sacramento to Vallejo. Tremont village died after the railroad came in, allowing farmers to transport their wheat (and other grains) by rail to San Pablo Bay (and then by barge to San Francisco).

        *One of the regular posters on the Vanguard grew up out on Bulkley Road.

    1. Mr.Toad

      Why not a no failure policy for seniors too. We could be like Stanford in the old days. i’d like to see a no failure policy for the school board too. I doubt any of these things are going to happen.

      1. chris

        Seriously, how does a no cut policy help the team? (It’s still a “team” sport, right?). Wow, I can’t believe someone advocated that. And then, when the player is retained solely because of that policy but gets minimal playing time because he/she isn’t up to task, they can complain about the cut in playing time. Might as well have a no cut from team and no cut in playing time if you’ve ever made the team before policy. We don’t want any bruised egos or upset parents.

        (Didn’t someone say earlier that there’s a max # they can have on the roster?)

        1. chris

          And if I were the kid on the team who made it because of ability/effort, I’d be pretty resentful of those who made it via a no-cut policy. That can’t be good for team morale.

          And do the no-cut policy kids put an asterisk/note on their college applications to explain they didn’t “really”make the team or get the usual playing time, or do they get to pad their resume with a pseudo-accomplishment? I really hope we are not going in this direction with our schools.

  19. PhilColeman

    So many folks are speaking here. Their commonality is frustration, fear, disgust, and bewilderment in various combinations and potions. I’ll anoint all of you good and caring citizens who wants assurance that whatever loose ends that remain are tied up. Equally important, you all want to make sure this kind of incident never happens again. That should take the distraction of personality out of the equation. While we’re at let’s suspend, for the moment, the distraction of past costs, and past actions by persons that may or may not have actually happened.

    Now’s the time to reiterate the urged solution for this fiasco not ever happening again. And this is directed to the DJUSD School Board, the only component that can be the “fix-it guy.”

    Designate full and total control for the hiring, firing, retention of all DJUSD employees to the organization’s “Executive”component. Absent yourself from all oversight role responsibility. How could you possible know about the performance of any athletic leader that is more knowledgeable than the 3-4 levels of management that are giving daily oversight? Putting it bluntly, you’re unqualified.

    The Executive head works for you. Make that person do your bidding, and stay away from everybody else. The Administrative Head is your only personnel responsibility.

    You, the Board of Education represent only the”Legislative” and policy component of the District. Nowhere in your job description is found “athletic director,” “HR director,” “administrator,” or “meddler.” Those positions, except for the last, are already filled by full-time salaried professionals. Let’s leave the last one vacant.

    While we’re at it, get out of the Judicial branch of government as well. At least delegate that role to an Appeals Board of blue ribbon panel members, who reports you in an advisory capacity.

    This is not a new idea and everybody else but you does it. It’s known as “separation of powers.” Tommy Jefferson and his colleagues founded our Country on this idea. Give it a try, School District. Your form of governance right now (controlling everything), ain’t doing so good.

    1. Robin W

      And how would any of that have prevented this situation, where a lone Board member had an ongoing vendetta against a coach and continually pressured the district administration to take action against the coach, culminating after years of informal complaints with a formal complaint? The Board as a body had no role in any of that. The Board had nothing to do with any of this until the appeal. As for the Board’s role in hiring, it sounded to me like Gina said the law requires the School Board to approve VSAs.

      1. Mr.Toad

        Even if its true that the board had nothing to do with it although you could argue they should have taken a stronger stand last time when Peterson attacked the coach from the dais, they got it wrong when it was their turn to step up.

      2. hpierce

        Not sure that it is correct that the Board “has” to approve VSA’s…. can see where they would have to approve a position, funding, job specs, etc., but if they have to approve the “individual” to fill an authorized, funded, defined position, I think the policies/laws need to be changed. When the City hires a person (other than CM, CA, and perhaps another few Dept Heads), the CM acts, and there isn’t even a consent calendar item to affirm.

      3. PhilColeman

        You asked two questions. Now, let me cut the baby in half. I’ll take the second one first (it’s easier and shorter), then address the first question by separate post.

        Controlling law. If you understand Gina’s comments correctly, that makes two board members and a school superintendent now saying they have to rule on VSA’s because it is a legal mandate. In an earlier thread, we discussed that Boardmember Allen did say this, with great emphasis, and got the concurrence of the Superintendent in open meeting.

        What law were they referencing? Nobody cited the statute. Two persons researched the Education Code where duties and responsibilities of CA school boards are codified. Neither researcher could find such a legal mandate, or anything close to it, and published their findings. When you think about it, why would the Legislature require employee contracts have school board approval? It’s not required for other units of CA government insofar as I know.

        In the absence of no rebuttal to this point, I’m thinking that no such law exists. I’m also suspecting that School employees are confusing law with policy. If so, that would be distressing. Persons with responsibility for the creation and enforcement of policies should now what is a law and what is a policy. I’m certain that District Counsel knows. What is not known if whether she was in attendance during any of these pronouncements that “it’s the law!”

      4. PhilColeman


        ” . . . . . . how would any of that (proposed policy change) have prevented this situation . . .”?

        Robin, a fair question and it deserves a proper response. It’s gonna take a while to get there, sorry.

        You’ve already described Mrs. Peterson’s individual actions over a long-time frame, and which APPEARED (I don’t think I’m quite yet reached the proof stage) to be efforts to harass, bully, intimidate, and annoy one Julie Crawford. If it is factual, we agree that it was wrong and an abuse of power.

        I’m saying that School policy be revised to declare the Board shall have no direct authority and oversight over the Administration of the District. I’ll go so far to urge policy be made that the Athletic Department be specifically identified as hands-off by any member of the Board.

        Why would that change things, you ask? Answer, because under current policy Mrs. Peterson had every right to place herself into the coaching behavior of Coach Julie Crawford. And that right arose from the fact that Board Member Peterson was given (shared) final authority over Crawford’s continued employment as Volleyball Coach. That authority came because the Board rendered final judgment on Crawford’s VSA.

        If Ms. Peterson were asked to defend why she was so totally engrossed in the coaching routines of Julie Crawford, she could reply it was part of her charged duties as Board Member. Peterson wanted to make an informed judgment on Crawford’s performance which would later allow her to make an informed judgment on the Crawford VSA at year’s end.

        Peterson could further say that Crawford was specifically and exclusively monitored by her only because that was the one sport that Ms. Peterson knew especially well, having been a coach herself. For the same reason, she could feel she could speak freely about Crawford’s abilities and qualifications with the rest of the Board, which I suspect she did at every opportunity.

        That’s just one reason why the DJUSD needs to file a divorce action with the School Athletic Program. They really have far more critical issues to occupy their time.

  20. TrueBlueDevil

    Dave Hart wrote that they were trying to “split the baby”. The baby won’t be split if Coach Crawford splits to another program.

    I think she should write an article about this, but she has to consider the political ramifications… ie/., if she wants to come back. Bob Dunning thinks she is gone.

  21. Michelle Millet

    My goal for the Vanguard would be to provide not only timely news as David and his contributors are already doing, but also a platform where all members of the community would feel that their ideas are welcome as part of a full consideration of perspectives within our community and that they will not be personally attacked for those views.

    Tia as another member of the editorial board I share your gaol.

    When posting on the Vanguard I often point out comments/articles that I perceive as misleading, especially when they mislead in ways that negatively impact our community. I am rarely personally attacked for doing so, either by anonymous or non-anonymous posters.

    I’m happy to respond to attacks on my opinions or positions and regularly engage in such debates on the Vanguard, which are often productive, and through which I often learn more about an issue and come away with a broader prospective and better understanding of it. I see no value in debating with those who engage in personal attacks, and will avoid doing so.

    I’ve learned a lot about this community from participating on the Vanguard both from David and the knowledgeable people who post here. I’m especially grateful for those who challenge me and my opinions in ways that lead to productive dialogue and discussion.

    The Vanguard is a great resource for our community and I hope that the number of us who strive to make it a place where civil discourse occurs continue to outnumber those who use it as a place to personally attack and degrade others.

    1. Tia Will


      “Tia as another member of the editorial board I share your gaol.”

      This is far and away one of the best typos I have seen on the Vanguard. Thanks for the laugh. We would make good cell mates.

      1. Michelle Millet

        What does is say about me that I don’t even know what the typo is…because of this I’m grateful for the fabulous VG editor. Those who read my pieces before she get to them know what I’m taking about.

  22. TrueBlueDevil

    “ck”, a commenter at the Davis Enterprise, wrote this tonight under the ‘School board upholds district decision on coach’ article: “…Sheila Allen had something to do with our daughter not being able to continue to play softball at DSHS….which had the AD and Principal at her mercy….”

    Could Sheila Allen voted out of guilt as a fellow Helicopter parent?

    1. Tia Will

      This is precisely the kind of speculation that I was referencing in my post above. Having direct knowledge of an event or circumstance is one thing. Engaging in and judging on the basis of an electronic game of “telephone” is quite another in my view. The first is a firm basis for forming an opinion. The second if unsubstantiated is essentially mudslinging.

      TBD, I have no idea if you were reading the Vanguard or posting at the time when David was taking much criticism for mixing his reporting with this opinion. David and the editorial board took this criticism seriously, wrote a statement of principles that would serve as a guide for future communication and have seen this particular concern diminish significantly. I see this same combination of fact, partial fact, innuendo and just plain opinion freely mixed in the comments with the same potentially deleterious effects.

      As we enter an election season, I am hoping that the commenting community will also choose to exercise some self restraint as the readers and participants rightfully requested of the Vanguard.

      And now Rich, your comment about chastising might apply. As noted above, sometimes criticism can be taken as constructive, considered, acted upon, and result in a better process or outcome. This would be my hope for the comments section.

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