Dayton Students walk out Thursday in protest of High School Principal resignation
The community of Dayton is looking for answers as to why their Junior and Senior High School principal has resigned. Some are feeling they are not getting enough information. School Superintendent Jason Hay tells KLYC News in an interview you can hear on line, that some of the information can not be released because it’s protected under the employee-employer relationship.
Many school district patrons and many students say they will “Fight for Fluke”. They walked out of class Thursday and 18-year old Senior Katie Jacks says they may walk out again. students are wearing “fight for Fluke” signs. Jacks says students have been told by reliable sources (sources not disclosed to KLYC) that superintendent Jason Hay pressured Fluke to resign, something Hay denies to KLYC Radio.
At issue seems to be a performance review of Fluke. Hay would not disclose any information about that, other than to say Fluke admitted to letting someone other than herself use a school district credit card.
Student Jacks says students feel Fluke was given a list of performance concerns, but was not allowed to work on correcting those areas, and was given 24 hours to make a decision. The superintendent says he did not pressure Fluke and the decision was hers.
Student Jacks says she learned Fluke was faulted for crying too much in front of students and using children’s storybooks as examples to students. Jacks admitted everyone makes mistakes, including Fluke, but is furious with the board for not allowing their beloved principal to correct those areas.
The Superintendent told KLYC News this is a complex issue. Hay agrees that many students think very highly of their principal, and that she has done many good things with the Innovate Dayton Center. But, Hay says there are still areas of concern for the district. Concerns he refuses to elaborate on, citing confidentially. Hay says he has also heard “other viewpoints” (those that apparently do not favor Fluke’s or students actions)
Students Jack says the students may walk out again. Superintendent Hay says the students have the constitutional right to express themselves, and “events” will be considered on a case by case basis. But he asks the community and students to express their disapproval in a way that doesn’t harm the educational process.
Superintendent Hay says he would not have chosen an announcement to students the change in Fluke’s employment status. Board member Raylinda Price agreed, saying this is a matter “not for public review”.
KLYC News has not been able to speak to Fluke. Superintendent Hay says the audio recording of the school board meeting, during which the matter was discussed will be made available for everyone to listen to. The school board wanted to discuss the matter in executive session, but Fluke wanted it talked about in open session.
Student Jacks says she is under the impression students can not talk to staff about this matter, and that staff are fearful of the administration. Superintendent Hay says students can talk to him about any concerns, and staff will support students in maintaining a positive learning environment and will help where they can, but the district does not want staff “to continue to feed this” by discussing issues that are not for public review.
In the meantime, Fluke continues to be the principal until June 20th, 2020. Superintendent Hay says he looks forward to the healing process and that the district can move forward in a positive way.
(Dayton Community board post follows)(KLYC did not edit or write the following)
First and foremost, this information is not firsthand but is supported by multiple reliable sources. Here is the story, as we know it right now.
Our principle Jami Fluke has resigned against her wishes. Dayton School District Superintendent Jason Hay has been reviewing our school’s performance and operation for the past two years, especially within the Innovate Dayton program. However: Jason recently approached Jami with a list of critiques about the school and the way it functions under her.
These critiques were observed and made by Jason alone. After the meeting, he gave Jami 24 hours to review all of his critiques and complaints and then assemble a rebuttal to address the school board. At this point, she was given the option to resign or continue teaching. If she had chosen to continue teaching, he told her that he would label her position as under “administrative assistance” which would smear her otherwise flawless teaching career.
Jamie was put in a position where she felt that she was forced to resign out of fear. And she did.
Following the exposure of this information, students at Dayton rallied in the softball parking lot to display our support for Jami and all she has done for us. We would love to see the community do the same.
Stay tuned for more information to come, as well as an official written statement from Dayton’s students.
Thank you all so much,
A group of Dayton students.
(statement from Dayton superintendent)
You may have heard that our Junior High/High School Principal, Jami Fluke recently tendered her resignation, approximately 15 months from now, effective June 30, 2020. This decision was made of her own free will, she had legal counsel, and the decision was not made under duress.
As superintendent, I accepted that resignation.
At 9:32 a.m. this morning, Mrs. Fluke sent an email to staff directing them to read a statement to students informing them of her personal employment situation. This brought students into the situation and I heard around the same time that students planned on walking out in protest. A number of students did so earlier today (around 11:45). During that protest, I was also asked questions from our local newspaper.
There have been concerns and questions popping up on the Dayton Facebook community board. I am posting this to clarify information flowing in that forum.
During this difficult time, I have every expectation that our staff will prevent disruption to the educational environment and continue to provide educational services to students according to our regular school schedule. Additionally, I have every expectation that our staff will continue to serve students and will not take any position on this with students.
I remain supportive of our students, families, and schools. Please contact me via phone (503) 864-2215 or email at [email protected] to let me know if you have questions. I will share what I am able, but will not speak specifically about an employee’s personnel matter.
Jason Hay, Superintendent