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HomeEducationRodriguez blasts board members for “cutting her out,” teachers’ union for acting...

Rodriguez blasts board members for “cutting her out,” teachers’ union for acting like Fox Chapel incident was “make believe”

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Culture War wages within Hernando County School District

May 9, 2023 School Board Meeting

Board member Shannon Rodriguez expressed her frustration with fellow board members.

“Things have not been fine. They are far from fine,” Rodriguez said. She went on to outline effective leadership qualities such as good decision-making, which she felt Stratton had not exhibited. 

Rodriguez reiterated several times that she had not been made aware of the Fox Chapel situation. She said her treatment as a board member has been no different than when she sat home, having no dealings with the district. 

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Rodriguez said she was elected to work alongside the board, but the board had cut her off from information and out of decision-making because they had a vendetta against her. 

She went on to name employees in the district who were making the decisions.

“They are not the ones being confronted by parents. They are not the ones being screamed at. But they are the ones making the decisions, all the way across to Fox Chapel from start to finish,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about it for 11 days. I shouldn’t be in this position and not know.” 

Turning to the audience, Rodriguez went on to chastise the teachers union.

“The day it happened, all of you want to show up, the union wearing your badges that said, ‘Who’s next?’ said Rodriguez. “All of this uproar, in this craziness, you show up at the last meeting and you come up here one after another, acting as if Fox Chapel was just make-believe, like it’s fairy tale land. 

“You’re mad at me, and you want to scream at me over this Fox Chapel incident? I didn’t put the words in that teacher’s mouth. I didn’t have the AP’s (assistant principal’s) ears to hear what was said. I wasn’t the guidance counselor that wrote what took place,” she said. “Those are the things that really truly happened, and if all that happened on day one, and that person feels bad ideas, and they’re having bad thoughts, and all those things are coming together, we do not need within 24 to 48 hours to put a person back in the classroom to be the primary caretaker of a whole bunch of children.” 

Rodriguez said there should have been a thorough investigation, including a third-party evaluation, before putting the teacher back in the classroom. She added that every parent should have been notified immediately.

“If I had known it took place, I would have called every single parent and let them know this is what happened today, just so you’re aware.” she said. 

She then turned her attention back to Stratton. Rodriguez again stated that the incident was a failure of leadership. When Stratton began to respond, he was cut off by the school board chairman Guadagnino, saying, “Just a minute. This is a one-sided conversation. There is an investigation. You can’t talk about it.”


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