Vanguard Analysis: Bad Judgment and Personal Disputes At Genesis of Volleyball Controversy

Peterson-Nancy

If Nancy Peterson somehow believed that her op-ed was going to help her position, her family and the community, she was sorely mistaken.  Instead, her letter churned out 61 responses on the Davis Enterprise website, almost all of which were negative.

Some of these comments were extremely thoughtful and well-written.  For example James Williams wrote, “I do not know you nor Julie Crawford personally. My comments are based on an informed following of everything that has been discussed regarding the ongoing issue you have referenced above.”

He added in his long response, “Despite your strong feelings that Julie Crawford was ill fit to act as a coach, you should have made no comment in your role as school board trustee. It created a public accusation that could not be supported by any public evidence, therefore the public had to consider the actions of those who did have all information and evidence of your accusations.”

“Since the other four trustees appear to disagree with you, it leaves the public with an impression that your bias is clouding your judgment. In this case, an appropriate action would have been to first see if you could resolve your conflict with Julie Crawford personally,” he continued. “If that was unsuccessful, it would have been good to discuss the issue in private with other parents of students in the volleyball program or assistant coaches to gauge their feelings as to whether or not your grievance was shared, and if so to then file a complaint with the school administration or district as any other parent would have done.”

“At that point you should have stopped unless you felt the issue was important enough to warrant private legal consultation,” he added. “The inappropriate thing to do as trustee with a personal grievance was to request that Julie Crawford’s VSA be pulled from the consent calendar as you did in February 2013.”

Another unnamed commenter writes in support of Ms. Peterson, “Nancy Peterson is correct. This town has made this problem bigger and it is very sad. It is amazing how the well educated people in this town jump to conclusions on all decisions that they are not responsible for making.”

“Apparently everyone must all check in with Mr. Dunning, Mr. Greenwald and the other self-appointed vocal experts in this town before they make a complaint, a decision or have an opinion or thought of their own. OMG if someone goes against their judgment,” the anonymous poster wrote before concluding: “My View: Mr. Greenwald, Mr. Dunning and others should reflect on when it is time for them to stop talking. Stop looking for fault in every aspect in this town and bringing out the negative side of people. State your opinion once and move on.”

Then Wendy succinctly breaks it down.  She writes, “Ms Petersen is correct that her daughter should not be part of the “blogfest”, but the Petersen’s serious lack of judgment is what’s driving this train wreck.”

She then outlines the errors, “Ms Petersen’s first error in judgment was inappropriately using her power as a school board member to overrule the district educators and pull a coach’s VSA. Her next bad judgment was to force a vote that the school board had no business even taking, and then participating in the vote. Bad judgment #3 was publicly (and officially) maligning the coach when the vote didn’t go her way, an action that effectively forced her daughter to pick a side.”

“After creating an impossible situation for her daughter and the coach,” Wendy continues, “Ms Petersen made judgment error #4 – setting in motion a $22,000+ taxpayer bill for the sole purpose of firing a coach she disagreed with. Bad judgment #5 is the letter she wrote to the paper fueling the fire. The Petersen’s need to give their daughter the gift of ending this…acknowledge the judgment errors, agree to disagree, and end this now.”

On Thursday, the school board seemed to communicate to the parties involved and the public that they saw this as a personal matter.

Board President Gina Daleiden implored, “We want to state in the clearest terms that we want our district removed as the battlefield, DJUSD needs our resources, our focus, and our energy moving forward in educating our students.”

“The board encourages both of the parties to seek professional mediation on this matter so that there can be some healing in this painful process and so that the district can get back to the business of serving the kids,” Ms. Daleiden concluded.

The one real piece that had been missing was what started this conflict in the first place: why in February, 2013, did newly-elected School Board Member Nancy Peterson suddenly pull the VSA off the consent agenda?  While Ms. Peterson never responded to the Vanguard’s email, we get 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.

This represents, of course, one side of the story.  But depending on how accurate the account is, it explains the genesis of the complaint, and it also demonstrates that well before Ms. Peterson’s daughter was involved, Ms. Peterson was a party to this dispute and, thus, she should have conflicted herself out long before she did.

Nancy Peterson has used incredibly bad judgment by inserting her power as a school board member to add the weight of authority to what had been an ongoing and long-lasting personal dispute between herself and the previous two head volleyball coaches.

Again, if Ms. Choate’s account is accurate, that puts a much earlier position of conflict than in our previous analysis, where we believed she may have been justified in pulling the VSA based on the facts available at that time.

The remarkable thing about Ms. Peterson’s op-ed is that she never once accepted any measure of responsibility in this now all-too-public dispute – she did not admit fault, describe mistakes that she made, or describe how she could handle things better.

She argued that “we must protect all of our children” but in fact she neither protected her own children or anyone else’s by putting their needs above her own.

—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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56 Comments

  1. growth issue

    Wow, some very interesting comments from Ms. Choate, a person who doesn’t hide behind an alias and was there when much of all this was going down. That all gives her comments much weight.

    1. SouthofDavis

      GI wrote:

      > Wow, some very interesting comments from Ms. Choate, a person
      > who doesn’t hide behind an alias and was there when much of all
      > this was going down.

      When Ms Choate wrote:

      “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.”

      I think that this sums up how most people in Davis now feel about why Nancy joined the school board “so she could control how things were done at the school her kids went to”…

      Not that it should be clear to Nancy that she does not have as much control as she thought she did (I expect parents will be marching in the street if Julie does not get her job back) it seems like now would be a good time to step down (the only solution I see to this problem)…

  2. Fremontia

    It is going to be a long four years if she is not recalled or otherwise censured by the school board. Without her being placed in check a climate of hostility and fear will prevail among all staff but particularly among those considered at will including administration and coaches not covered by tenure. Expect a large turnover of teachers and other personnel who feel threatened to disrespected. Expect loss of donations and parcel taxes. Reminds me of what happened at KPFA when its board tried to bully the stations, donations crashed. Peterson’s tone deaf op-ed showed no trace of evidence that she plans to back down. Many will be caught in the crossfire including the children who are going to suffer as the adults engage in passive aggressive actions exercising their limited power. Its already cost Davis High a well respected principal. I saw this in another district. Before it was over the community was shattered, long time friends never spoke again and many district personnel was poached by every other district in the region. Really great people left and they will leave here too. Recall is probably the only answer as it seems the rest of the board is too weak to gavel Nancy Peterson into place.

  3. iPad Guy

    Very interesting. This provides some insight about the personal animus that might have driven Nancy Peterson’s actions as a school board member toward the coach’s rehiring twice and Julie Crawford’s act of retaliation in cutting the Crawford daughter from the volleyball squad.

    This sort of high personal drama might also inform us somewhat about why Winfred Robeson thought it is time for a new coach and why Dr. Peterson has been so determined to pursue the matter when most people would have moved on.

    Even keeping in mind that Leigh Whitmire Choate is as ensnared as the other two in this soap opera-like intrigue, her story carries a lot of weight.

      1. SouthofDavis

        Fremontia wrote:

        > Nice try but you seem to be confused by the false flag of Peterson’s retaliation claim.

        Did anyone ever find out if the Petersons ever filed a police report that lists the time of the tire slashing (or know the local tire shop that fixed or replaced the tire)?

        If the slashing did happen nothing would end a political career faster than surveillance video of Nancy walking up to her daughters car with an ice pick in her hand….

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Until I read the 72-page investigation / opinion, I see no retaliation, and many have suspicion that it is a tainted investigation. If there was a significant “wrong”, let it come to light.

      This also dovetails with one of David Greenwald’s major themes – the inherent power imbalance.

      Taking this “power imbalance” theme, and moving the timeline back, we saw far different results when Ms. Choate filed a complaint against Mrs. Peterson. According to Ms. Choate (she posted here previously), she felt that her issues were swept under the rug. The same law firm and lawyer were used for that investigation, according to Ms. Choate. I believe that Ms. Choate felt it was a “he said / she said” scenario, and that the investigation wasn’t thorough. (I haven’t searched for the quotes.)

      I think it would be illustrative to know what that original investigation cost the citizens of Davis, and how many pages that report is. The cost of this earlier investigation + $22,000 + recently incurred legal costs = an updated figure on what this drama has cost us.

  4. PhilColeman

    Starting with an apology to Leigh (It’s just an illustrative metaphor), Ms. Choate has entered into the fray and now has become the 900-pound gorilla that just walked into the room. From appearances and the context of the entry, it seems Leigh is doing this as an act of personal conscience and duty towards her acknowledged friend, Julie Crawford. When Choate recently spoke out, the Peterson family responded promptly and publicly, depicting her as the real instigator behind the whole volleyball scandal, with Crawford just following Choate’s lead. That told me that Choate sure got the Peterson’s attention and they responded immediately, but nothing more than that.

    Maybe the two coaches have craftily conspired this evil plot, says me to me. Choate and Crawford are buds. It is feasible that Leigh, blinded by friendship and perhaps having her own evil agenda against Ms. Peterson. One thing for sure, we now have a better understanding of the substance of Dave Whitmire’s letter to the editor. Dave’s cryptic letter in the genesis of this scandal called for no more micro-managing in Davis sports. Now we have a much better understanding of what the elder Whitmire was saying. We now have to include him in the growing conspiracy ring with a vendetta towards the Peterson’s. Problem there, however, is David Whitmire is one of the most respected people in the entire damn town. But, hey, blood’s thicker than water and maybe Dave shares the same need for retaliation against Ms. Peterson. So, let’s continue with this conspiracy theory.

    Getting back to Choate’s now numerous posts on Ms. Peterson. Leigh was, at first, quite circumspect. She posted under an alias and nibbled around the edges of the conflict. She probed, but gently, usually asking what were the underlying motivations here, yet at the same time unwittingly revealing personal insights that could only come from somebody “on the inside.” Finally, when prompted by another poster, Leigh came out of the closet and has now posted 3 very incriminating and unflattering stories of Nancy Peterson’s role in DHS sports, dating back 4 years!

    “So what?,” says me to me. Leigh is just demonstrating a latent skill as a novelist and this is all nonsense. Besides, if it was really THAT bad, why haven’t we heard of this before? Is it even remotely possible that the many examples detailed by Choate of Ms. Peterson’s bullying and intimidating could go unabated and unchallenged? Crawford and Choate are essentially saying there is a patterned and on-going level of misbehavior–involving cowering and gutless administrators–failing in their duty to shield their employees from meddlesome interfering from the legislative branch of the School District.

    Trying to measure the authenticity of this remarkable disclosure, it seems so outrageous that it can’t possibly be accurate. Even allowing for some self-serving embellishments, the story still seems unbelievable. The Choate/Crawford conspiracy has now added past and present administrators, and students and parents of past and present volleyball players. Then there are past and present School Board members, for this to work, they were also complicit, ignorant, or too afraid to speak under this scenario. Could they ALL remain silent while Ms. Peterson runs rampant over the entire volleyball program? Remember what Ms. Peterson said herself in another context, “I’m just one vote.”

    So Choate’s story is all poppycock. She’s left town, out of coaching, and is just trying to help her friend, Julie Crawford. But wait, does that work?

    IF, IF, Leigh’s story is false, she’s sullied herself forever, and by extension, her Dad. Why would she do that? Choate can possibly be seen as a fool, but she surely is not stupid. Her story has enough detail and an extensive time-frame (4 years) to probe for verification of what she alleges. Scenes are depicted where numerous folks (witnesses) could authenticate or refute the “Choate/Crawford Conspiracy.” If this latest development prompts another investigation, I’ll kick in a couple of hundred dollars, provided the investigator is not an attorney (most of them are really lousy investigators and are pre-conditioned to serving their client), and has nothing to do with the Davis community.

    Finally, Leigh, if you’re reading this, I’m changing you from a gorilla to a camel. Your nose is already under the tent flap, come forward fully and submit to the many questions this wonderful community will ask in the need to determine who exactly is being truthful.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      PhilColeman asked: “Trying to measure the authenticity of this remarkable disclosure, it seems so outrageous that it can’t possibly be accurate.”

      There is a simple way to authenticate this earlier timeline and conflagration. Either Mr. Greenwald or Mr. Dunning can submit a Freedom of Information Act on the previous investigation Ms. Choate alleges to the DJUSD. Same questions as recently asked. Hours worked, billing rate, and the length of the report.

      Ms. Choate’s assertions and story ring true to me, and I am open to new information. Even if it is thirty percent embellished, it is still problematic.

      As far as calling out Ms. Choate to become a full-time member of this drama, the issues she raises add valuable context, but I’m not sure they are actionable facts. As the individual who asked her, politely, for the origination of this disagreement, and whether there was any effort to settle this early on, her reply was informative and telling. It paralleled her early post. She is consistent. There are also issues that may be confidential.

      I think it might be very helpful, and less invasive, if Ms. Choate merely copied and pasted her narrative onto paper, and sent copies to the Davis School Board and whomever else she deems fit. I don’t know Ms. Choate, but my understanding is that she is a wife, mother, long-time devout Blue Devil, and valued member of the community. We also don’t know if this behavior she describes contributed to her decision to take a leave, so I think we need to proceed with consideration and respect. She didn’t seek this limelight, but her contribution is quite illuminating.

  5. iPad Guy

    David, pls provide a link to Leigh’s post. It didn’t appear with yesterday’s story, and it would be good to see it in contest of the other comments and the associated Vanguard story. Thanks.

    1. iPad Guy

      Thank you. I figured it was tucked away in the comments for an earlier story. There it was, responding to specific questions from TrueBlueDevil.

      A larger keyboard (and the absence of spell check) would solve my contest/context problem, I think.

  6. Ryan Kelly

    This is a story that links to the players stats. Yahoo Sports – Volleyball Coach fighting for job
    While I agree that children should not be the focus of blog comments, there is an allegation that the player was cut as retaliation. I think that having the player stats is, and should be, part of evaluating whether there is basis for this allegation.

    Nancy was filing complaints against the coaches of the volleyball program at the same time as she was running for school board, it seems. This makes me question her motive for running, I’m afraid. We all want the best for our children, but DHS is a very competitive high school and students who would be stars elsewhere get lost in the crowd of talent at DHS. It is very difficult to walk that fine line of parent participation providing opportunity or being a detriment for their child. I could never figure it out. Nancy has made mistakes in judgement, but I will give it to her that she was trying to help her child.

    Kudos to Leigh and Julie for standing their ground. However, the Athletic Department folks should have responded earlier to Nancy’s complaints earlier in a more thorough and finite manner. This was allowed to progress too far.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Cogent feedback. Coaches have to evaluate players who are very similar in ability, but with experience, coaches can weigh a variety of factors. The Athletic Handbook also states that these kinds of decisions are made by the coach. Given Coach Crawford’s length at coaching, many would agree that she qualifies as an expert at the game of volleyball.

      However, this doesn’t appear to be a case of evaluating slight differences between similar players. With the continued success of DHS volleyball, the Blue Devils had two outstanding freshmen try out, and make, the varsity team. Adding two talented freshmen would necessitate adjustments elsewhere on the roster to existing players. This is not retaliation, this is life.

    2. Jim Frame

      Nancy was filing complaints against the coaches of the volleyball program at the same time as she was running for school board, it seems. This makes me question her motive for running, I’m afraid.

      I don’t believe Nancy’s reason for seeking a Board spot was related to the volleyball program more than incidentally; she’s been very active in school matters for years. My intersection with her was during the years I was on the Site Council at Cesar Chavez, and I served with her on the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee. During that time I recall her being well-versed in and articulate about directing more funds toward Title I kids, and generally trying to improve the situation at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary.

      While I think she’s made some boneheaded decisions with regard to the volleyball program, I don’t question her dedication to improving the education of all Davis children.

      1. Fremontia

        $22,000 dollars more could have gone to those Title I kids had it not been wasted on this witch hunt. The great irony is that she ran on wanting to help all students but then fought to spend huge amounts of public money on her own kids.

        1. David Greenwald

          Whatever we get will be limited and leave more questions than answers – I think we need to be upfront on that, but let’s see what we get.

      1. growth issue

        Thanks David, cost and hours will say a lot. If they are willing to have a coach investigated to the tune of $22,000 and 100 hours billed but the other investigation was at a much lesser cost and hours in my opinion that speaks volumes.

      2. PhilColeman

        A personal note.

        David, you probably don’t particularly relish the prospect of having an emerging and growing panel of “assignment editors” giving you tasks to proceed further. It would frost me were I in your position. But your forbearance in this circumstance is noted, and lauded.

        1. David Greenwald

          I don’t mind that aspect of this. I marvel at the ability of the community to “crowdsource” and assist in filling in the holes in a given story. This article is a prime example of that.

        2. growth issue

          Well I think one might consider that part of the fare for having a successful blog. He is a writer and an investigator and it all goes with the territory. Besides, that might make for a good story.

      3. iPad Guy

        It’s obvious that the type of information the district can provide to David about this complaint won’t be any more enlightening that what it provided him regarding the complaint against Coach Crawford.

        Just as obvious, there’s a great source for the reasons for and results of the old complaint against Ms. Peterson: Leigh Whitmire Choate. Have you checked with her? She’s been very forthcoming about lots of the intrigue so far.

  7. Grassroots

    End the blame. It is destructive. Robb and David thanks for taking the Restorative Justice idea forward. It is new so I expect people to hesitate. Crawford and Peterson are members of our community. These are two good people who are in the middle of a dispute. The anger can go under ground and continue its harm or we can invest in social justice that restores our wholeness and care for each other. I want both to stay and be restored to a higher level of functioning. What helps RJ process is to start with a win-win choice. The 2 parties should be offered the opportunity to engage in restorative justice with no lost of employment to Coach Crawford and no lost of Board position to Nancy Peterson. Either or both could choose to leave their position but that would be their call. There would be a time limit to implement the agreement to fix the harms done on both sides. Critical people from the community, effected by this conflict, would be a part of the process. The fix it is under the consensus rule. A monitor would be appointed to ensure the agreement was implemented.

    If the parties choose not to do this, then, they would go through the legal win-lose process.

    1. Biddlin

      That solution offers no justice at all to Ms Crawford.
      “I want both to stay and be restored to a higher level of functioning. ”
      That insults Ms Crawford, who has shown no deficit of function and lets Ms Peterson, ethically challenged, to say the least, off the hook, upon which she deserves to dangle, imo.
      I assume you would decide who in the community were”effected?”
      At this point, Ms Peterson and her husband have set the stage and the entire community has been affected. I would hope that they would demand that due process play out and Ms Peterson either admit her lapse in behaviour and resign or face recall.

      1. David Greenwald

        I don’t think a restorative approach offers no justice to Ms. Crawford. My reading is that it may end up being more satisfactory for both sides to share/ acknowledge the harms and work on steps to making the harms right. I remember in interviewing Sheila Smith last year about the DHS restorative program, she felt it was actually a far tougher approach because it requires an acknowledgement of mistakes and that is something that has not happened yet. Now, the problem here is that Ms. Peterson has thus far not been willing to acknowledge error and if she is not, then this process will end quickly.

      2. growth issue

        I agree with Biddlin. If it were to be found that Nancy Peterson has a vendetta against a coach and is using her position to push it then can other trustees let a person like that serve on the school board? If it were found that Julie Crawford retaliated against a student to get back at a parent then can the trustees let that person coach other students? Once aspects of the report were leaked this now has to play all the way out. The school board should have to do their job and make a ruling.

        1. David Greenwald

          As far as I can tell only the voters and Nancy herself can remove her from office here. The school board can basically verbally admonish her, nothing more.

          1. growth issue

            Okay, the board will do what it can do, but there’s always the public to then now deal with.

          2. hpierce

            Well, I think it’s pretty clear that a certain board member has no future for elected office. I think that “ship sailed”.

            Not sure whether it (or she) is worth the time/effort/money to do a true ‘recall’ thing. Sounds like there will be 3 seats open in November, and maybe a fourth if someone shows honor. Do have some trepidation having 80% ‘newbies’ on the Board.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            I think they did this, kind of, with their plea to mediate this squabble. Reading between the lines, they think this is a personal squabble.

    2. PhilColeman

      Before we end the blame, who shall we judge as being given the blame? What sanction, if any, should be administered to those assigned blame?

      I think you are really saying let’s not even continue playing the blame game. But it’s far too late for that, I’m afraid. An ever growing body of public officials–elected and appointed–are having the roles and responsibilities called into question by their constituency.

      After this mess in cleaned up, introduce the idea of mandated mediation for conflicts as a first-step effort for resolution. That will work prospectively, it won’t work now. It’s as futile as calling back an inferno that broke a fire break.

      1. hpierce

        Sorry to disagree, Phil, but people should talk to each other FIRST, the ‘elders’ (immediate supervisors) next, but I agree that some sort of mediation effort (here’s where I’m agreeing with you) should occur long before formal investigations or “job actions”, UNLESS the nature of the problem is also criminal. I would have no tolerance for a staged response, if the matter revolves around an issue that is legally ‘child abuser’. The facts, to date, have not even the slightest scent of child abuse.

  8. TrueBlueDevil

    On Feb. 14th, posting as the “original blue devil”, Leigh Whitmire Choate wrote in paragraph 5 of a 15-paragraph post here at The Davis Vanguard: “…Why is there the assumption that Julie just cut this player without first bringing it to the attention of the administration? She in fact she did ask for help with what to do as there were more girls [than] in previous years trying out and specifically more talented girls than ever before. The real problem is, is that nobody could help her.”

    More players, and more talented volleyball players. And proof of that is by how these young Blue Devils performed at a very high level.

    On the morning of Feb. 15th, Ms. Choate identified herself, even though she expressed concerns over retribution.

    http://davisvanguard.org/special-commentary-districts-failure-to-conflict-out-board-member-at-heart-of-new-controversy/

    1. Fremontia

      Why couldn’t the administration advise her? Obviously they are frightened to cross Nancy Peterson in their at will positions. So the coach makes the call and sure enough gets investigated and fired from coaching. The message this sends to the rest of the staff if its allowed to stand is that do what Nancy Peterson wants even if you think its the wrong thing to do or your job is on the line. Of course they all already know this which is why the Superintendent hired the lawyers and fired the coach. After the the principal at the high school resigned the writing was already on the wall.

      1. Davis Progressive

        the consensus in all of this is that nancy has everyone scared to cross her. most unfortunate as i was excited that she won and believed there would be a renewed focus on low income kids rather than effort to settle past vendetta’s locas.

        1. SouthofDavis

          DP wrote:

          > most unfortunate as i was excited that she won and believed
          > there would be a renewed focus on low income kids

          After 30+ years of active involvement in politic I had to leave since almost every left leaning politician that got in office “saying” they were “going to help the poor” ended up spending more time “helping” their rich friends and relatives and donors just like almost every right leaning politician that got in to office “saying” they were “going to help the middle class and small business owners” ended up spending more time “helping” their rich big business friends, relatives and donors…

          1. hpierce

            Cheap shot, unless you can demonstrate, from the public record, her registered party affiliation. It is also “off-topic” as my reply is.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        I’m late and limited to this drama. Did Nancy Peterson play a minor or major role in why the principal left? Was there one run in, or several issues?

        I find it interesting where an elected, modestly or minimally paid board member can have so many long-term, trusted employees of the school district worried about their jobs over (relatively) trivial matters.

        I understand that Restorative Justice is one option.

        Another, if the Peterson’s stand their ground, is for the volleyball team, coaches, and alumni to come out in full support of their coach and mentor. And if there are witnesses to said bullying tactics on either side – coming forward would be helpful. There are also peaceful options. Boycott a game.

    2. iPad Guy

      “She in fact she did ask for help with what to do as there were more girls [than] in previous years trying out and specifically more talented girls than ever before. The real problem is, is that nobody could help her.”

      “Why couldn’t the administration advise her?”

      An important question, Fremontia, for future analysis if the district wants fix its process. If Coach Crawford sought help from her athletic director, principal and/or higher level administration officials when she considered cutting the player, it would have unconscionable for any of them to turn her away since all knew that such an action could result in more grief.

      If inquiring minds want to know before Coach Crawford decides to talk, just ask “original blue devil”/Leigh Whitmire Choate to provide more detail.

  9. Fremontia

    Suppose she tells them she wants to cut the kid because there are better players but is worried about retaliation from Peterson. The admin can’t tell her to not cut the kid because that is unethical but is also afraid of what will happen if Peterson finds out they supported her cutting the Peterson Kid. So what do they do? They tell her its her decision, which it is, but what is unsaid is that the coach is on her own. Sure enough there is retaliation alright but Crawford is the victim instead of the perp. Meanwhile the buck gets passed until the at will administrators who also fear for their own jobs do the school board member’s dirty work. Its a nasty but realistic scenario. Sadly they are all so afraid of her that nobody told her to back down for the good of everyone. Now its up to the board majority to right the ship but only time will tell if its going to happen or if Lord Voldamort will run Hogwarts for the next 3 years.

    1. hpierce

      Something I thought I posted disappeared, and that was probably an error on my part (90% certainty).

      Before I saw the above posts, I already decided that there was ‘someone who should not be named’, and believe I have acted accordingly at least for the last two days. Maybe not, and if not, my bad.

      In a spiritual system I tend to follow, forgiveness is important (and freely given by the ‘faithful’), but usually needs [wants?] to be preceded by an admission of error, and committing to not do the same or similar “stupids” again. Not seeing anything like that, but OK, by law it’s a secular system. All is good, but perhaps the individuals involved, can “‘fess up”, and we can all forgive and move on.

      If we are seeing 3 seats in November, where there will be no incumbent running, and we may have a fourth opening (depending on whether the one whose name can’t be spoken decides to either apologize, heartfully, of resign). I see no point in mounting the time, effort, or money in a recall election. Neither the trustee, nor the issue is worth it.

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    Don’t forget, Ms. Leigh Whitmire Choate had a short follow up to her explanation (above) of the past 4 years.

    Leigh Whitmire Choate
    March 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    “I have been open about her [Nancy Peterson’s] status all along. She was a parent, a coach,the president of blue and white foundation , and a trustee during the times that she exerted pressure. It just escalated when she because a trustee.”

    “The constant interference definitely was something that made it more challenging/difficult to do our jobs as coaches and as teachers in the district.

    “I do not live in davis anymore and am not able to be there on the date that has been set.”
    ——————————————————————–

    Question folks: is the Blue & White foundation very influential?

    I think with the 3rd attempt at getting a two-time COTY fired; the timeline of when the troubles started (when Mrs. Peterson became a trustee); the Peterson’s ‘jumping the shark’ on lower-level conflict resolution options, and going for the jugular; jumping the shark while in a position of power; not recusing herself (conflict of interest); the revelation of a $22,000 (and counting) legal “investigation”; Dr. Peterson’s blowup; the leaks by Dr. Peterson; the ISeeDavis.com video, including the “Calm Down” comment; and the continued tone-deaf behavior highlighted by the recent Davis Enterprise Op-Ed piece … we may have finally reached a “Tipping Point”.

    I can imagine that at some point, the two had to exchange some heated emails or phone calls. But unless there is some huge unexpected revelation, my sympathies lie with the coaches.

    I can only imagine what these two are like behind closed doors.

  11. TrueBlueDevil

    What is the name of the person who recommended the Sacramento law firm of Van Dermyden Maddux and their attorney, Alexander (Alex) Sperry? Was it Eve Fichtner?

    1. SouthofDavis

      TrueBlueDevil:

      > What is the name of the person who recommended the Sacramento law
      > firm of Van Dermyden Maddux and their attorney, Alexander (Alex) Sperry?
      > Was it Eve Fichtner?

      It looks like most of the legal fees that Eve brings in to her firm come from school districts, it would not be a good career move for ANYONE at that form to write a report that said ANYTHING a school district did not want to see in writing.

      http://vmlawcorp.com/meet-our-team/eve-fichtner-partner/

      P.S. Hiring a school district law firm and expecting them to write that the school district did anything wrong would be like hiring a mob consigliere and expecting them to come up with a report that says their clients are anything but honest businessmen…

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