Friday, May 20, 2011

Video of Supt.'s Announcement on Richmond Heights Basketball Coach

This video was shot by The County Reporter for publication here at The Real Deal. The video speaks for itself but confirms the account published here in our last post

The video begins by showing the adjournment of the official May 16 meeting, followed immediately by Board President Kaye’s gestured invitation to Carlos Slade to pose his question. In the context of the evening as well as prior events, Kaye and everyone in the room knew that Slade was going to ask about the school district’s stance regarding Popp.

Slade is the father of a Richmond Heights middle school student and the uncle of a varsity basketball player. His pointed question, directed to  school superintendent Linda Hardwick, asked whether responsibility for inaction on Popp’s status  rested on her shoulders or on the Board of Education.

Her reply, made with the tacit approval of the Board, as indicated by their silence, was that she had made her decision in the best interest of the children, and that she would not consider an application by Popp to return as coach. Her response produced vigorous and agitated responses from board members Aaron Burko and Bob Fox.

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That account invites readers to infer that the superintendent spontaneously began discussing her decision not to accept the application from health teacher  — and teacher’s union president — Jason Popp to coach the school’s high school basketball team next school year. Hardwick had relieved Popp as coach in February after the team refused to continue playing if he remained as their coach and the players’ parents had submitted a letter detailing Popp’s alleged verbal abuse and denigration of the team, their family members and the community.

The S-M account fails completely to acknowledge that school superintendent Linda T. Hardwick was responding to a question from a resident that board president Josh Kaye invited and permitted after the board’s official meeting had ended.

Let us know your views of the following account after watching the video:

See also:;jsessionid=F9D76EFCD402DA752CA46AC204D79FF8?contentguid=XFUOFAG5&detailindex=4&pn=0&ps=5&full=true
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Next week’s board meeting promises to be as entertaining as any Spartans basketball game. If you care about education in Richmond Heights, you might want to be there early. The meeting is scheduled to start promptly at 6PM on Wednesday, May 25.


The Other Side said...

Depending on their structure, this question comes to mind. Did she violate policy? Some school boards approve the hiring and firing. If this is the case, this should have been handled first in executive session and not in the public. If the Superintendent has total control of hiring and firing, she is okay as long as Jason Popp knew first. The whole letter thing is weak though Richard.

Richard said...

The questions your response raises are among those I am presently investigating. I have been led to believe by several sources, including at least one close to the coach himself, that Popp knew before last week's meeting, that the superintendent would not entertain his application to coach varsity basketball in 2011-12.

I am unsure what you mean by "the whole letter thing is weak." It appears to me that a Board majority supports the coach and was unready to receive the superintendent's decision. The letter has likely forced their hand, which may have been the superintendent's intent.

We will continue to monitor developments closely.