Government Schools are All About the Employees: The kids are used as a means to expand easy jobs and administrative nonsense

Everyone wants to know what’s going on with Lakota schools and why there has not been any mainstream news regarding the very serious allegation against the public school administration. Given the nature of the offense, as indicated in the official police report from the Butler County Sheriff’s Department, many were expecting at least an arrest or a leave of absence. But there has been nothing but an acknowledgment of documents, one from the police indicating that on August 8th, 2022, the complainant responded to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office to report that she had received and compiled information from a third party of potential criminal wrongdoing by the suspect regarding juveniles. Then there is a short email from the president of the Lakota School Board speaking on behalf of the entire Board, saying, ” Ms. (former candidate for Lakota school board), The Board has reviewed your email and attachments. The safety and security of the district’s students is the Board’s highest priority. As noted in your email, this issue has already been escalated to law enforcement and is now in the capable hands of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. When the Sheriff’s Office concludes its investigation, the Board will review its findings and determine if any further action is warranted. On behalf of the Board. ”  I thought all that pretty interesting, especially after the press conference Sheriff Jones held recently stating that he was investigating wrongdoing in the direction of Ohio Representative Thomas Hall, because years ago, when he was a trustee for Madison Township, there were questions as to whether or not he recused himself on Fire Department matters since his father was the Fire Chief. As discussed before, Thomas sought legal advice on when to recuse himself and when not to, so he was clean. But, with a Sheriff talking tough like that, you would think that a Lakota school administrator with an ex-wife putting in writing some really charged content would inspire more action on behalf of the “safety” of all. But after a month of tranquil activity on the matter from the administrative perspective, there hasn’t been anything to satisfy people’s fears.

I was wondering myself, knowing all the characters involved. When I first saw the material, I could have published it and beat the rest of the media to a really salacious story. But I was more concerned about the criminal side of the story and wanted to know how much some of the people in charge cared about what was happening in the school. Unfortunately, we have our answer, and it’s one I thought we would have from the beginning. Over the years, I have witnessed too many of these stories to think anything else. But I thought it was worth a try. We trusted the system and hoped for a reasonable outcome. With a case like this, it would be expected to have at least a note from the Board to the parents, much like they have on other things in the past. I remember when someone left a threatening note in a bathroom during a levy campaign, and a lot of drama was made about it. Lakota always seems to send home notes to the parents, letting them know when something is wrong and that the administration is all over the issue so they won’t have to worry. But on this issue, they have been oddly silent. They might say that it’s purely political, the entire escapade. But then again, what hasn’t been political? The moment that new school board member Darbi Boddy was voted in as a new school board member, many board members and the administration have been trying to remove her in any technical way they could, using every excuse possible to make a media story out of her, to put pressure on her to resign. So why wouldn’t there be political opposition flowing in the opposite direction? They should expect it; they created that atmosphere. 

The truth is that all public schools, Lakota being just one of them, are all about filling the needs of the employees. They could care less about the kids involved. This is the case today, and it has been the case over the many decades that I have been involved in these public school issues. Government schools like Lakota use children as a playground for the adults, making these schools some of the largest employers in the region. Yet they expect to never get in trouble for bad behavior. If what was happening at Lakota were happening at any large corporation, there would be, at a bare minimum, paid administrative leave while everyone sorted out the matter. There would be press conferences updating the taxpayers on what was being done to investigate the matter and assuring the public that good people were doing good work. I wanted to think differently of Lakota, knowing some people the way I do. I really didn’t think they would be willing to put up with bad behavior when they saw it and knew about it. Even if it was just the remnants of a bad marriage, when a personal life starts to impact the public life of someone, that is a factor in work performance that can be very negative. But there was just a case the other night where a person was caught regionally just downloading child porn, and the police were all over them with arrests and significant news coverage. Why, with this case, did everyone suddenly want to show a benefit of the doubt toward the evidence presented, even as crazy as much of that evidence has been? 

A Message from Lakota Local Schools May 5, 2022

Dear Lakota Staff, Parents and Guardians, The end of the school year is a time to celebrate our students and staff and all that we have achieved since August. This year, we have even more to celebrate as we have been able to lift our COVID protocols and return to a much more normal school experience for our students. It is unfortunate that, over recent weeks, instead of this being our focus, district leaders have been forced to respond to baseless allegations and escalating threatening behavior by an elected member of our school board.As a result of a school board member’s blatant disregard for policy and procedures that are in place to help ensure the safety of our students and staff and a productive learning environment, this morning, Lakota Local Schools was forced to issue a notice of trespassing to Mrs. Darbi Boddy. As such, Mrs. Boddy will no longer be allowed on district property without prior authorization and unless invited for official Board business.Yesterday morning, Mrs. Boddy violated Board Policy and Administrative Guidelines 9150 by visiting two schools without first notifying the building principal – a requirement of all visitors to our schools. Entering through the main offices, she then proceeded to ignore staff requests to remain there until the principals met her. Instead, she left the offices and proceeded to walk the hallways, violating safety protocols and causing a disruption in learning at both Lakota East High School and Liberty Early Childhood School. While some may question why such a seemingly steep action was taken against Mrs. Boddy, let me explain. We welcome our parents into our schools; we welcome our community into our schools; and we certainly welcome our school board members into our schools – as long as they follow safety procedures and policy. These are not difficult. They involve alerting building administrators of the interest in visiting and setting up a time that is convenient for all involved. Yesterday, this did not happen. This is also not the first time that Mrs. Boddy has ignored board policy, nor is it the first time she has disrupted learning in our schools. Our decision was not made lightly and was done in consultation with law enforcement. It is my hope that by sharing this information with you, I am able to stop rumors from circulating and reassure you of our commitment to safety. The safety of our students and staff is always my first priority and a responsibility I take very seriously. I will do everything I can to ensure that our students and staff feel safe, welcome and included when they walk through our doors.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. Miller
​​​​​​​Superintendent

Of course, we all know the answer, which is the painful part. Many people knew the answer from the beginning but didn’t want to believe it. I was very skeptical about everything. As things have transpired over the last month, it became an apparent human resource problem without consistent standards, which is a tremendous management problem. I didn’t care much about Lakota at the start of this process. My hope was that by electing better school board members, the proper management of the district’s largest government school might improve. I have seen complaints about her since Darbi Boddy was elected and sworn in because she’s a conservative. It has become grossly apparent that the only thing the teachers and administrators care about at Lakota is not the kids but their easy jobs with high pay rates. As bad as the accusations are in the police report, I know that there is far worse going on behind the scenes that nobody is even talking about because they are either scared or don’t trust anybody to say anything. Not even the police. With the kind of threats that have been tossed at this whistleblower occurs, the message is clear, don’t mess with the breadbasket and playground of the adults who work at the school. The community and the children of the community are there to serve them and them only. That’s not what they say, of course. But that’s the message they convey. To say I’m disappointed would be a misplaced description. I had optimistic hope that I might be wrong. Government schools are all about politics, liberal politics at that, and they waste money on a garbage product while they treat the place like their personal Tinder app. And the way the public employees behave is reprehensible. But why wouldn’t they be when management allows them to behave that way? 

Rich Hoffman