Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

This evening, December 21st 2009, I contacted Mr. Smith. My concern was that I might be doing something which would bring him difficulty. I found that he is grateful for our efforts on his behalf, and he has kindly provided exculpatory information, some of which I will pass on at this time.

It is extremely painful to me that a man I respect so highly, whose leadership and character are above reproach, should have to answer slurs and rumors, but he does.

These ridiculous accusations include such preposterous claims as an affair with his secretary, stealing building materials, and taking school money for his own use. I am ashamed to repeat these lies, even in order to refute them. No one who knows Mr. Smith can have anything but scorn for such spurious claims. The first two lies are beneath contempt or comment, but to those who are ignorant of the truth Mr. Smith replies, “I have not taken any money from Layton High School, nor does this audit show that I have done so.”

It has also been alleged that Mr. Smith protected a teacher who was accused of improper teacher/student behavior. Mr. Smith replies that if there was such a relationship it would be a very serious charge and he would have dealt with it. Mr. Smith affirms that, “I have never knowingly nor would never shield a teacher who is or was wrong. To the best of my knowledge, without being able to check my files, I cannot recall any written complaints against [this teacher].”

This is the sum of the attack against Mr. Smith: innuendo, rumor, and lies. Even as there have been no charges brought against him, so there has been no reason given for removing Mr. Smith as the Principal of Layton High. In fact he has been offered the job of Vice Principal at Bountiful Jr. High. Is the district administration implying they are willing to employ reprobates at “that level”?

An audit was conducted. At the beginning of the audit, the teachers, students, and community were told that it was a routine procedure, and once it was completed Mr. Smith would return. The audit is complete and there have been no charges of wrong doing.

After months of digging, nothing which rises to anything more than misunderstandings.

My review of this information has been painful, but it has increased my resolve to bring our distress before the School Board. Over the past months the extent of financial wrong doing within the Davis School District has become painfully known to all. But there is something far more valuable than money at stake in the challenge Mr. Smith must face. His reputation has been damaged, not to those who know him, but to those who should know better. More importantly, the great fortune which, for decades, has been provided to the students of Layton High has been stolen. The teaching of students has been Mr. Smith’s greatest gift to our community. This treasure is threatened by this travesty. I continue to call upon all who can to implore the Davis County School Board to intervene. They are the only hope Justice has. Authority to administer personnel can be delegated to any hireling they choose, but the responsibility to protect the right, and to defend the teaching of students rests on the School Board and those who elected them.

What Mr. Smith wants, what Mr. Smith deserves, what the students and faculty at Layton High need, is for Mr. Smith to be given back to us for the remainder of this school year. Mr. Smith has already stated his intention to retire after this year. His return would allow calm and order to come back to Layton High. It would teach our students that right and justice are still respected, and that a School Board, elected by the community, can fulfill its responsibilities to represent their interests despite the difficulties of so doing.

Please find links below to letters of support for Mr. Smith.

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