Slowly, Pieces Get Filled in on Peterson-Crawford Conflict

Nancy Peterson addresses her colleagues from public comment in announcing her resignation on Thursday.
Nancy Peterson addresses her colleagues from public comment in announcing her resignation on Thursday.

As we noted last week, one of the pieces of information that has been missing has been what started this conflict in the first place.

Why in February, 2013, did newly-elected School Board Member Nancy Peterson suddenly pull the VSA (variable service agreement) off the consent agenda?  While Ms. Peterson never responded to the Vanguard’s email, we got one side of the story from Former DHS Volleyball Coach Leigh Whitmire Choate:

On Sunday morning she wrote in a comment on the Vanguard, “This started in 2010 when I was the Varsity VB coach at DHS. Nancy was my assistant, Julie was the JV coach and we had another girl coaching the freshman team. Nancy’s friend didn’t like the freshman coach for personal reasons and Nancy asked me to to not have the frosh coach back the following year. I said no. At this point in time Nancy was a very close friend of mine and my family.

The following year I retired from coaching after a very long coaching career and Julie took over the varsity team and the other coach took the JV and a new frosh coach was hired. Nancy had asked Julie to do the same thing she had asked me, don’t hire the now JV coach back and Julie also said no.

This just continued to escalate from there as both I and Julie stood up for what we believed to be best for the vb program at DHS and Nancy didn’t agree. Nancy was only an assistant coach with me for one year. Nancy didn’t want to coach , she just wanted to have a say in who did.

IMO it was not Nancy’s goal to coach, I think it was an effort to get close to the program so that she could try and control how things were done within the program.

There were many times that myself, Nancy, and Coach Crawford tried to to reach an agreement regarding Nancy’s views and requests. I know that Julie also did this on her own after I stopped coaching as I was helping with the transition of the program to their new coach. Every time something didn’t go her way Nancy just seemed to get angrier and her actions/attacks more volatile.

I know that we both asked for help from district and site administration and they fell upon deaf ears. IMO they all knew what was going on and could do nothing about it. A district admin told me, “We know she does things like that but we can’t do anything about it.”

I know that Coach Crawford was professional and kind even though that was not what was being thrown at her. Nancy had that program under a microscope after that, looking for any little thing that she could to take Julie down. I don’t think that there was a way to make peace unless Nancy got her way.

I have worked with Julie and shared an office with her for at least the last 7 years (until this year as I am on a leave of absence). I don’t know how she has been able to stay so strong through all of this, and to me that shows how great her character is.

I have watched daily the bullying and verbal attacks from Nancy toward Julie and the outcome of those attacks and how they have affected Julie. Nobody deserves to have to endure that kind of constant treatment and it has been a real detriment to Julie’s quality of life. I know, because I have lived it and witnessed it. Nancy did it to me, too, my family as well, she does it to anyone that stands up for Julie, as I have witnessed other families and the way they have been treated by Nancy.

This IMO cannot be called a conflict, unless you consider standing up for yourself against a bully that continually harasses you a “conflict.” Julie has done nothing but hold her ground in an ethical and professional way, all the while Nancy continued to escalate her attacks on DHS VB.

It has been an awful last 4 years.

There were additional charges from Nancy Peterson, who raised “concerns about inadequate supervision of players and mishandling of funds, among other issues.”

Leigh Whitmire Choate would explain:

Micromanaging and meddling are the perfect words. I would also add the program and Julie were under a strong microscope ( I have said this a few times before)

There were never any CIF rule violations. That is in all coaches yearly evaluations, there is a portion that talks about meeting CIF standards and Julie has met that standard every season.

The following were just a few of the complaints I witnessed as I was present for the 2012 season as a parent and as a mentor to Julie: All of which Nancy didn’t address with Julie directly but just went above her head to the AD, the principal, and/or the superintendent.

1. There was a team spirit t shirt that had “go big blue” across the lower back of the shirt. Nancy argued that it was against dress code policy (it is a dress code violation at the junior high schools but not at DHS).

2. My parents hosted the traditional pancake breakfast (something we have done for years as a fun team get together in the morning before school starts once the team makes it to the playoffs the morning after the team wins league). Julie cleared the breakfast with the AD and all the girls were to be responsible for getting there on their own as it was before school and treated just like any other practice (players are responsible for getting themselves to and from practice). It has been my understanding that any activity that is during non school hours, that there are not transportation rules. They met at my parents house at 6 am and I will add my parents live about a half of a mile from campus. Most girls drove themselves.
Nancy emailed Julie before the breakfast to ask if she needed drivers and Julie respectfully said no that it was covered. Nancy then took this above Julie’s head and claimed she was not following transportation rules.

3. Julie hosted a free clinic for a young girl for her birthday. She wanted a volleyball themed party after being inspired after attending one of Julie’s volleyball camps. It was claimed that Julie was holding a social event without allowing proper facility use procedure even though it was during one of Julie’s regularly scheduled practices. See link below for the letter from the girls parents in the paper. The clinic was not mandatory for the DHS girls (once their official practice was over) and it was also offered as a community service opportunity for those players that participated.

4. Fundraising issue/mishandling funds: Nancy questioned where the fundraising earnings were going (especially since she had direct access to the Blue and White Foundation VB account and its balance). There was quite a bit of money in the account (as I had explained before, Nancy had called out the exact balance during the start of season parent meeting for all parents and players to hear questioning why she had so much money in her account). Nancy claimed that Julie was not being transparent enough with what she was doing with vb monies. All the while Julie had been raising money to purchase a new net system for the North Gym (something that it didn’t already have in place and that volleyball has had to borrow from the city to run our tournaments every year). Julie has since purchased the new equipment for the school. Net systems run around $10,000.

5. Nancy has not been quiet about the fact that she was angry at Julie for taking her team in a limo (that Julie paid for out of her own pocket) to a ropes team building course in Sonoma. The activity and transportation were cleared in advance. Nancy said she was misusing funds by taking the team there. On that particular day, the school vans were not available for the team to use and it was important that the team ride together as it was a team building event, Julie decided to splurge on the team at her own personal expense so that they could have a fabulous and memorable day (all players went and had a great time).

All parents are welcome to not agree with all coaches decision or actions, but do these seem like valid complaints in where a coach would lose their job? To me it just seems personal.

IMO everything that Julie tried to do to build the program to be stronger, Nancy seemed to find a way to manipulate or twist it so that anything positive was looked at as if it was a negative. I also feel like red flag buzz words were used to gain strength and were not really correct titles for the complaints. Just key words to get the attention of some administrators at the district level.

—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. SouthofDavis

      Growth Issue wrote:

      > I believe Ms. Choate so therefore I’m also glad Nancy
      > Peterson is no longer on the school board.

      So does everyone else in town except Dr. Peterson and iPad Guy (who may very well be Dr. Peterson)…

      1. Michelle Millet

        I am getting uncomfortable with the repeated accusations being that iPad is connected to the Petersons. There is no factual basis for these accusations. They seem to be based solely on the fact that iPad defending a position. I’m requesting that these accusations stop.

        1. Grassroots

          I appreciate your strong hold for a fair process that requires documented facts. All that Ms. Choate said about Ms. Peterson is at this point hearsay.

          1. PhilColeman

            Fair point about this all being hearsay. The same goes for the Peterson allegations against Crawford absent the particulars of the investigative report.

            The marked distinction of the countering charges is that Coates’ story is rich with detail, time, and circumstance, which allows the ability to move this version of events from hearsay to the fact or fiction column. Coates’ story is described within numerous group settings, which translates to knowledgeable witnesses. Nobody among this considerable number persons has stepped forward and refuted what Coates has alleged. There have, by contrast, been some who publicly attest to Crawford’s good character.

            Peterson’s story is comprised of generalities, sly and obscure hints of impropriety, and the vague wording of an investigation conclusion that the Enterprise now reports as saying there was no malice shown in Crawford’s coaching relationship with the Peterson daughter.

            Even though hearsay is the common thread with both stories, Coates’ version of events has much more texture, detail, and credibility.

          2. David Greenwald

            Good points Phil. One of the big advantages of the level of detail in Ms. Choate’s story is that details can be independently verified.

            For instance, the limo story I first heard about last week. I’ve been able to confirm with independent sources that while some of the details of the story may very with Ms. Choate’s account, it’s largely accurate – the limo ride did emerge out of the need for transportation, Ms. Crawford at least eventually paid for it out of pocket, and Nancy Peterson did object at the time and has blown the story out of propertions, particularly with regards to the point of fiscal stability.

          3. iPad Guy

            Jeff Hudson’s story includes new information quoting the investigator’s conclusion:

            “coach Crawford’s decision to cut (the Petersons’ daughter) from the girls volleyball program was influenced, in part, by her personal feelings about Nancy Peterson’ but also added ‘at the same time (the investigator) does not find that coach Crawford acted with ‘willful mal-intent’ to harm (the Petersons’ daughter)….’

            This expanded conclusion (quoting from the report itself? yet another leak?) should reduce the criticism of the investigation if “willful malintent” is a requirement for retaliation.

          4. iPad Guy

            I accepted Ms. Choate’s comments when first posted them as though they were accurate and reliable. My first thought was wonderment: how could such minor matters end up in such long-standing bad feeling?

            In all of these cases, “Nancy didn’t address with Julie directly but just went above her head to the AD, the principal, and/or the superintendent.”

            As described by Ms. Choate, it would seem the authorities would have told Ms. Peterson:

            “You’re incorrect about this, Nancy, Coach Crawford has done nothing wrong in…(having these t-shirts…the way students were transported for the AD breakfast…hosting the birthday party…keeping her net purchase plans to herself…transporting the team in a personally financed rental limousine.”

            Should any of these taken more than five minutes to resolve when the charges were taken to the AD, principal and/or administrator?

            The three officials who handled these five disputes should be able to verify the specifics, as Phil Coleman observes.

            But, then comes David with his first investigation reporting that “while some of the details” of her story may vary, Ms. Choate’s account is “largely accurate.”

            “Ms. Crawford at least eventually paid for it out of pocket”–what does that mean for an account that originally stated that “Julie decided to splurge on the team at her own personal expense”?

            Why would she “at least eventually” pay when the natural assumption would be that she spent her own money when she ordered the limo?

            You’re sounding a little like the dang retaliation investigation with all this weasel-wording.

          5. David Greenwald

            It means she attempted to get reimbursed, Nancy objected and so it ended up coming out of pocket. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for reimbursement and I don’t think it changes the facts as described. The larger objection is the unfounded complaint by Peterson of mismanagement.

          6. iPad Guy

            Well, shucks, so she ordered the limo intending to be reimbursed for the costs and was turned down, thanks to Nancy’s pointing out that such an expense wasn’t authorized?

            Ms. Choate writes: “Julie decided to splurge on the team at her own personal expense.” No, she got stuck with the cost herself. That would be irritating.

            Yet, your investigation concludes that Ms. Choate’s account of the limo. story is “largely accurate.” More like 4 Pinocchios for each of you for misrepresenting the episode.

            Maybe this complication means the administration might have needed ten minutes to deal with the limousine matter.

          7. David Greenwald

            That’s not quite what I said. She ordered the limo when there were no vans were available in order to transport the kids. It’s actually pretty similar in cost. You’re assuming there was intent to get them reimbursed when she made the decision. You’re failing to consider that many times you have to make a snap decision and hope that someone can reimburse you for the costs (which would have been like one-third of her coaching salary).

          8. iPad Guy

            Well, that’s a different story than what Ms. Choate reported then, isn’t it?

            Yes, I’m assuming that the coach probably intended (is “hoped to” really much different?) to get reimbursed for what you say would be one-third of her salary rather than the initial story that she decided to “splurge on the team at her own personal expense.”

            It sounds as though she tried to get reimbursed for the limousine, that Ms. Peterson reported her and that her request for reimbursement was denied. Do I have that part of the story right?

            Her magnanimous gesture to splurge on the team at her own expense sounds more like something that was forced upon her after the fact.

          9. David Greenwald

            It’s not necessarily different, she may have known that chances were unlikely that she got reimbursed but tried just in case.

          10. David Greenwald

            As an additional point, the cost for renting the limo was not that much more than that for a van. It’s hardly a splurge.

          11. Leigh Choate

            My guess is that iPad Guy is going to disagree or try and disprove anything said that isn’t supportive of the Peterson’s and he has made that is quite obvious.

            For the record, Julie knew going into it that she was going to have to pay for the limo, but if you want to twist it around to look like something else, nobody can stop you

          12. iPad Guy

            Leigh, I accepted your examples as you presented them.

            Then David investigates and comes up with his oddly worded “largely accurate” conclusion noting that the coach “at least eventually paid” after attempting “to get reimbursed.”

            It seems clear that his finding differs from your report. However, I certainly accept your version now that you’ve confirmed it.

          13. David Greenwald

            The report I got was very similar to the one she told. The only detail that was slightly different is explainable within the context of the story and doesn’t change the nature of it.

          14. TrueBlueDevil

            How is Peterson so knowledgeable about the daily workings of volleyball to know about the limo reimbursement request? This is almost creepy.

          15. TrueBlueDevil

            Your statement that “all” that Ms. Choate has relayed being “hearsay” is incorrect.

            Her complaint against Nancy Peterson 2 or 3 years ago is documented. Mr. Greenwald is still awaiting the cost and length of that investigation (also conducted by attorney Alex Sperry of Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation of Sacramento). This fundamental fact take this drama from a discrete time period into an ongoing saga. Dr. Peterson admits they used to be close friends.

            Vignette number three (#3) above is documented, in full, by The Davis Enterprise story of 2012. The link has been provided at least three times.

            Thirdly, Ms. Choate’s assertion that the talent level on the DHS girl’s volleyball team has increased is corroborated by The Enterprise and MaxPreps. The Blue Devils had two outstanding freshmen play significant time, and produce in a significant manner. (Quotes were provided here with players names redacted.)

            While not every factoid and item can be confirmed, many parts are plain fact.

            Ms. Choate asserts that Coach Crawford was “under a microscope”. Isn’t this prima facia fact? This drama has been in the papers three times. I only know the name of one other coach. There are no CIF violations, and the purchase of a $10,000 volleyball net system can be easily verified by one of our local scribes.

            There are patterns here.

            I. The “Peterson side” continues to exaggerate, be it a player potentially having the H1N1 virus (see below), or two-time Coach of the Year and four-time league champion Coach Crawford being “incompetent”.

            II. The second pattern for this side is constantly shifting the allegations, from retaliation… to incompetence… to being financially irresponsible… to inadequate supervision… to intimidation (see below).

            III. The “Crawford side” appears to paint a solid coach who is passionate about volleyball, who has been badgered, henpecked, and micromanaged for over 2 years.

            IV. The “Crawford side” has communicated that they were willing to mediate or work out issues. Coaches Choate and Crawford continually sought assistance from their superiors, who dodged the drama. When the Education Board begged them to mediate, Coach Crawford immediately agreed. Silence from the Petersons.

          16. Leigh Choate

            with the risk of sounding naive and potentially the backlash of comments, how is it hearsay if I was there and I watched this happen?

          17. TrueBlueDevil

            I will take a first shot at this, though I am not a lawyer. Your observations are first person, and I believe you come off very believable.

            Hearsay is technically an “out of court” statement. Another quote I pulled off the web: “hearsay – information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate; rumor.”

            The Davis Enterprise 2012 article about the coaching clinic – independently – substantiates that portion of your story. I argued, above, that other independent facts corroborate other portions of your story.

            That is why we await some information about your original complaint (the cost of it, the length, etc.), and any writer in town could verify the purchase of the volleyball net system.

            As an aside, I am wondering why it is taking DJUSD so long to tell us how much that original investigation by Alex Sperry cost. Was it too small, raising questions about it’s veracity (i.e., sweep your complaint under the rug); or is it big, which would also stir the community?

          18. Leigh Choate

            I was told that I could not have a copy of the original letter stating the findings during this appeals process so I am sure that it will be ready after thursday.

            My guess is it was small, but that is just a hunch

            thanks for explaining

          19. TrueBlueDevil

            That is interesting. Dr. Peterson gets a 2-page letter summarizing his investigation (which he passed around), but you didn’t get a summary letter 2 or 3 years back?

            I found it frustrating when I first linked / quoted maxpreps volleyball statistics I got blowback. I can’t tell how much of it is genuine concern for a high school student, and how much of it is the few supporters of Nancy Peterson manufacturing false anger. So when I discovered that DHS volleyball had 2 outstanding freshmen this year (which further explains why cuts would be tough), I redacted the names… but I think one person still had ruffled feathers.

            One brief question: do you think their is any possible explosive situation or fact we don’t know about?

          20. Leigh Choate

            I got a short summary letter but I displaced it in my move

            I agree about the blowback

            I keep racking my brain for anything explosive and there is nothing that I know of. I am just waiting though as I know this isn’t over and Nancy stepping down is not the end. It feels kind of like the calm before the storm and I know she won’t give up.

          21. PhilColeman

            Leigh: If you directly witnessed the exchange of comments; that is “fact” to you (allowing for some small potential of misinterpretation or words not heard).

            When you tell anybody else not present about the conversation that becomes hearsay for him/her, but still remains fact for you.

            Generally speaking courts, and some administrative bodies, don’t admit hearsay evidence, but there are exceptions. We could fill your hard-drive with the exceptions, so let’s not go there.

            Hearsay and rumor are most definitely not synonymous.

          22. TrueBlueDevil

            We should probably add what would happen if there were a legal deposition or trial.

            If you were deposed under oath by an attorney, I believe that “depo” becomes part of the court record. Just as if you were a witness in a lawsuit, at trial, your sworn testimony would become part of the official record. The Judge or jurors would then have to weigh the truthfulness or believe-ability of what you or anyone said.

            For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Peterson’s should ever go to court in this particular case.

            Mr. Coleman can correct me if I have mis-stated anything.

          23. Matt Williams

            For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Peterson’s should ever go to court in this particular case.

            Using the verb “should” is an interesting choice of words TBD. Care to elaborate on why you think they shouldn’t?

  1. Ryan Kelly

    I wonder why Nancy Peterson feels she has the right to meddle so closely into the running of the volleyball program. DHS needs more of the fun things described in the article above. It may be that Nancy just wanted to go along and be part of the events (pancake breakfast, ropes course, etc.) and wasn’t able to because drivers were not needed. It is a bit sad – a mother wanting to live vicariously through her child and be involved in the activities that her child is doing, but going overboard and causing embarrassment for her child and family.

    Thank you to Leigh Whitmire Choate for letting us know how this whole thing started. We have to remind ourselves that this is about volleyball. Just volleyball and healthy activities by high school girls.

    (BTW – what’s with the dress rules at the Jr. Highs that don’t allow words along the bottom of the back of a T-shirt? Is this the result of more parent meddling?)

    1. Davis Progressive

      probably because she was meddling long before she was elected to the board, had a daughter on the team, etc. didn’t someone say she was warned to leave volleyball alone?

  2. anonymous pundit

    Most people are not aware of or do not care about this story. It would be refreshing if the rest of you would at least wait until hearing the entire story. If this article is accurate, the Director of HR, the Superintendent, the High School Priincipal, and the Athletic Director should be shown the door; and the district should demand the return of the $22k and retain a new law firm. Short of that, I would expect all of your hot air to be demanding the resignations of the rest of the board members. I am confident that none of these things will come to pass.

    1. Exhausted Parent

      The Site Principal and AD have stood behind Ms. Crawford and have battle behind the scenes for years now. Dr. Moore was released after fighting this battle. For the third time the site administration has supported Ms. Crawford but at some point the power to make decisions and stand up to ridiculous board members and parents such as the Petersons comes from a higher level. The HR director and Sup are the ones who have direct access to both sides of the issue. They have daily contact with the board members as well as site administration. I also find it ironic for such a small district we continue to go through administrator after administrator and special ed director after director…..makes me wonder what is happening behind the scenes that for some reason no admin is ever good enough or chooses to leave….food for thought.

      1. Grassroots

        Your point of view leads me to speculate that the Davis Administrative System has a code of silence enacted to protect its own wrong doers. If there is anything correct about that statement, that behavior is the foundation for all Davis citizens’ mistrust of fair conflict resolution. If there is truth, it is a system of outright promotion of injustice. Transparency and restorative justice needs to be implemented.

    2. Ryan Kelly

      Due to confidentiality laws regarding personnel issues, we will likely not get the entire story from the District. Information from well-respected sources who can give first-hand knowledge is about as good as we are going to get.

      Remember – this is just volleyball. Heads rolling and demands for resignations for those that didn’t stand up to Nancy Peterson or didn’t do more to protect this coach is overkill. A full exoneration for the coach and heartfelt apologies by all might go further to repair this situation.

  3. TrueBlueDevil

    As well-respected members of the community come forward with the full picture, we are seeing a far different picture. This behavior is not rational or productive in any way. Jealousy or envy are another word we need to add to the description.

    This is also another valuable contribution from the Vanguard and crowdsourcing.

    The list of grievances and slights logged by Nancy Peterson seem endless. Friends of mine refer to this as the “throwing spaghetti” strategy – throw enough spaghetti, and something is bound to stick. And even if none of the allegations “stick”, the ‘structure’ or managers often cave to the unrelenting pressure.

  4. TrueBlueDevil

    There is a new Op-Ed piece in The Davis Enterprise titled “Let our voices be heard”, written by boy’s volleyball parent Andrea Glasgow. It is dated March 11, 2014, and appeared online on March 8th.

    Ms. Glasgow supports Nancy Peterson, and alleges mistreatment and intimidation.

    Ms. Glasgow writes that her son rarely missed a full practice. He was then going to miss a full weeks practice because of the flu, so she emailed Coach Crawford telling her he would miss the full week because he was “physically drained”. “When I look back, it could have been H1N1,” she writes. When he returned to practice the next week, Coach Crawford informed him that he was expected to come in and watch practice.

    “This type of intimidation does not put the health and welfare of our children first,” writes Glasgow. “Nor should a parent fear ramifications for legitimately dismissing a sick child, nor should a child fear being benched for being sick for a week. This is just one incident in a long list of perceived code of conduct or ethical issues.”

    My take. Life has consequences; if you are a new player to the game, missing a full week’s practice will put you far behind your contemporaries. This is not “intimidation”! I don’t recall missing a single practice in high school. We had a senior who broke his ankle and was in a cast. As the playoffs approached, he got a hacksaw, and cut off his own cast 3 weeks early so that he could rejoin his team.

    This claim of “intimidation” tells me more about the City of Davis than it does about Coach Crawford. She sounds like a good, tough coach who is dealing with some coddled children.

    1. Ryan Kelly

      I read the article. Parents are used to calling the shots when it comes to attending school, work, practices, etc. However, when the player signs on to participate in a competitive team, the coach calls the shots. The parent can advocate, but cannot override the coaches directions without any consequences. Competitive sports is not always comfortable or easy. My take is it was a whole lot of whining and her son was not up to the demands to play competitively and was wise to not go out for the team this year.

      Some of the comments are interesting, especially in reference to the number of Davis HS graduates who struggle after leaving the bubble of Davis upon graduation. Parents hover at great risk to the long-term success of their children. Times have changed so much since I was a child. I was expected to deal with teachers and coaches on my own and only bring in a parent for support when all my efforts failed.

  5. iPad Guy

    “I don’t even think the board is considering “upholding” the complaint at all. Isn’t Coach Crawford’s appeal simply regarding the administration decision not to rehire her? Calling for a coaches’ work stoppage if the board doesn’t decide in her favor is over the top. Good luck to you, too, Don.”
    Isn’t Coach Crawford’s appeal simply regarding the administration decision not to rehire her?

    “No. No, it’s not. What you completely fail to grasp, through all these dozens and dozens of replies, is that it is not simply that, and hasn’t been for many days. And you do, in fact, distort what people say to make your points. That is another problem. The larger context long ago took over this issue, and your attempts to make it “simply” about anything — along with your astonishingly one-sided portrayal of everything from the Petersons’ viewpoint — makes many of us wonder about your motives and your actual honesty at this point. In my opinion, you are abusing the pseudonym policy of the Vanguard.”

    Since I’ve said so many times that the appeal the school board has agreed to consider is whether to overturn the administration decision not to hire Coach Crawford for the at-will position, I guess I’m stuck with that view for the duration. Or, at least, until someone comes up with contrary information.

    I agree that “the larger context long ago took over this issue”—I’d say that was the objective from the very first Vanguard report and in all of the 22 articles in the past 25 days. In fact, I think that this became a problem.

    The articles and comments soon expanded to a daily narrative that Nancy Peterson, Rob Peterson and their daughter are the villains in the current administration decision that’s being considered by the board. Okay, but is the demonizing really okay in the Vanguard?

    Do readers really need to know that some think we’re dealing with carpet baggers from snooty colleges with psychological conditions, unreasonably supporting a second-rate, student athlete wannabe?

    Why do we need daily, many-times exaggerated, anecdotes about the Petersons while we spend almost zero time considering whether even the worst of these descriptions justifies retaliation against a student?

    Why would the Vanguard forum be so welcoming of speculation and hypotheticals about why the coach could not or would not retaliate to the exclusion similar speculation that the coach, in fact, might have retaliated?

    I’ve criticized all parties who’ve contributed in this fiasco, but mostly I’ve tried to urge fairness and accurate reporting. That has been the point of view from which I’ve my observations and questions.

    That so much of the nasty, emotional comment for three weeks has been pointedly directed at the Petersons assures that my efforts over the same period would be “one-sided.” Still, my questions and comments sometimes went too far and got tiresome.

    Why does that justify publically questioning my motives and my “actual honesty”? My assurances that I’m not a Peterson or a Peterson surrogate, but a fairness and accuracy advocate, shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Being aggressive on the “wrong side” of a long-running Vanguard debate is more difficult than I figured.

    Normally, the Vanguard stands up for fair trials. Here’s hoping that this drama ends up with everyone getting their share of fair treatment and in the district finally getting its structure and policies changed to reduce the chances of another repeat.

    David could confirm that I’m not a Peterson or one of their attorneys (do they even have any?), but I didn’t mind responding repeatedly when the question kept coming up from other posters.

    On the other hand, I don’t see any way to deal with the charge from The Vanguard moderator that, “in my opinion, you are abusing the pseudonym policy of the Vanguard” except to take my pseudonym and move on.

    I’ve really enjoyed participating here with David and The Vanguard’s dedicated, growing readership.

    1. Mr. Toad

      IPAD, don’t let them get to you. You are not abusing anything. All speculation about your identity is meaningless. As for me its your incessant assertion that the retaliation was by Crawford instead of by Peterson that is bothersome when you know nothing more than anybody else. But fire away at will because its the arguments on the merits that count.

    2. David Greenwald

      I view ipad guy, who has been a reader in various forums for years as someone who takes a contrarian position for the purpose of both fairness and also to make sure tough questions are asked. As a target of this approach, there have been times when it’s grown tiresome, but for the most part it’s healthy. I don’t see how this is an abuse of pseudonym and to my knowledge the poster has no personal stake in this long Peterson discussion.

      1. Michelle Millet

        I appreciate tough questions, they work to point out flaws in my argument and allow me to either create a stronger one. I hope iPad Guy keeps brining them.

      2. Matt Williams

        I started posting on the Vanguard in 2006 and I believe iPadGuy was already a Vanguard poster at that time. I concur with David’s assessment. It is quite possible that iPadGuy has never ever met Nancy Peterson.

        The questions that iPadGuy has asked throughout the Vanguard’s coverage of the Peterson/Crawford affair have followed the same pattern that he/she has used in many, many past Vanguard discussions where he/she has perceived that the discussion needs better balance. The irony of iPadGuy’s current posts is that in this story about bullying, he/she is striving for less bullying in the comments posted on the Vanguard.

      3. Don Shor

        iPad’s general pattern has been to take an opposite debating point, being intentionally contrarian on many topics on the Vanguard. That can be a useful and stimulating activity.

        The Vanguard allows anonymous/pseudonymous postings because some individuals have expressed concern (and there have been instances) that identifying themselves could lead to harm. To themselves, their careers, or their associates.

        In this instance iPad has persistently and aggressively acted to argue on behalf of the Petersons’ positions. The Petersons took actions that led to material harm to a private citizen (Coach Crawford) and tarnished her professional reputation.
        It seems to me that anyone who is going to spend hundreds of posts making that case should at least have the courage to do so publicly, under his own name. It would also clear up the perception that iPad is acting specifically on behalf of the Petersons. He can say what he wants. David can say that he has no reason to believe iPad is associated with the family. But we have no way of knowing.

        The policy exists to protect Vanguard participants. It is being used to harm a private citizen. I consider that an abuse of the policy allowing anonymous postings.

  6. Mr. Toad

    As for the substance of your argument about the limo I want to make two points. First for there to be malfeasance Crawford would need to profit personally so obviously this is not the case if she ended up paying for it herself. Second whether she got stuck with the bill or paid for it willingly she paid for it out of pocket from her teaching salary that is by no means extravagant. So let no good deed go unpunished. A teacher spends probably hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket on her high school players and gets slammed for it. Not very nice IPAD.

    I once knew a great teacher who took his class of senior anatomy and physiology students out to breakfast at a local diner about 1/2 mile from the school a few days before graduation and another teacher complained even though the kids didn’t miss any class time from any other class. Imagine getting in trouble for feeding kids.

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    Now, in a Letter to the Editor, a member of the “Peterson side” is now defaming three coaches. A new allegation which comes off bitter.

    Yesterday, at 11:26PM, an anonymous poster wrote: “A coach can bully students. The three coaches involved are rude, arrogant bullies. NP and her daughter were betrayed by the schoolboard. On Thursday we will see if they twist the knife or not.”

    While I don’t agree with iPad guy and wonder about his connections, that isn’t what bothered me. His continued assertion of retaliation as fact is ham-handed. … On at least 4 occasions I have stepped back to say that there may be a Broom Hilda / Bobby Knight / explosive issue from Coach Crawford that we don’t know about. I don’t think it is probable or likely, but it is possible.

    Does anyone know if Coach Crawford is able to read the “investigation” in advance of the Thursday inquisition?

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