DISD, You Really Shouldn't Teach Kids to Lie. Not a Good Lesson Plan.

Dallas Independent School District certainly has put itself in a ridiculous position over this Sherri Brokaw deal. She’s the lady they tried to blame for their credit card scandal. Problem was, an internal hearing panel ruled that the credit card mess wasn’t her fault and said she should not be canned over it.

I wrote about this yesterday. But today I wondered what the school district was doing about a key issue: A school district administrator named Dr. Thomas R. Kelchner signed a letter last September swearing that the hearing panel, of which he was chair, had not yet reached a verdict. At the beginning of this week, the school district was still saying there had never been a final ruling from the panel.

But James Murphy, Brokaw’s lawyer, has produced copies of both the official finding of the panel, signed and dated by Kelchner, and a letter signed and dated the next day by Kelchner denying there was a finding.

I called school spokesman John Dahlander today and left a message asking, ya know: What the hey. The news is all over town, man. You guys had a finding, and your man, Dr. Kelchner, appears to have been deceptive about it, in writing. Everybody in town has the evidence by now. So what’s your story?

By the way, Murphy says Dahlander is not the liar here. He says his investigation has convinced him Dahlander was lied to by district officials just like everybody else. I have always known Dahlander to be honest.

Anyway, Dahlander sent me the same official statement they’ve been handing out all week: “As stated previously on more than one occasion, a final report on Ms. Brokaw’s grievance hearing was never issued. As this case is still under litigation, there will not be any further comment until these issues are resolved in a court of law.”

Yeah, but … that’s a lie. We all see that it’s a lie. I mean, maybe some lawyer has told the district it can argue there was no final finding because you have to lick the envelope before it’s officially final. Some tricky crap. I guess that’s what you pay lawyers to do.

But we see what we see. There was a finding. The guy who was chairman of the panel that found the finding wrote a letter the next day saying there was no finding.

It does not build public faith in the school system for the officials in charge to behave in ways that are transparently stupid and dishonest. What more can we say? --Jim Schutze

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