School Board Member Files Complaint Against Deerlake Administrator

School Board Member Files Complaint Against Deerlake Administrator

Tallahassee Reports has confirmed that Leon County School Board Member Alva Striplin has filed a complaint against Deerlake Assistant Principal Julie Lawson.

When contacted by TR,  Striplin confirmed the complaint and said that “Ms. Lawson should conduct herself in an ethical and professional manner as outlined in LCSB policies 3210 and 1210, towards all District employees.”

Stiplin added, “This complaint was not filed without careful consideration.”

The complaint was submitted to Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

Policies 3210 and 1210 are broad policies related to the principles of conduct and ethics for district personnel.

For example, the preamble states “It is expected that employees will be of good moral character and demonstrate conduct as an employee that is at all times appropriate and consistent with the high standards that the Board and community expect.”

Ms. Striplin would not comment on the specifics of the complaint.

However, sources have told TR that the complaint involved a personal altercation between the two school officials late last year on a golf course and more recently moved into the professional realm.

Also, sources told TR they could not recall a complaint lodged by a school board member against an administrator in at least the last eight years.

TR will request a copy of the complaint from the School Board on Monday morning and will seek a comment from Superintendent Rocky Hanna and Ms. Lawson.

16 Responses to "School Board Member Files Complaint Against Deerlake Administrator"

  1. The School Board of Leon County Bylaws and Policies #8645 Use of School Buses, Prohibited Uses: Buses may not be used for religious services, instruction, or ceremonies, commercial (for profit) activities, or politically related events. Note that it doesn’t state “political events,” it states “political RELATED events.” Guess Rocky doesn’t have to abide by the Bylaws and Policies of the school board.

  2. There is so much discussion in these comments that in any other city would have been covered in the news. If there are sexual assaults being settled quietly, NCAA violations, impropriety by senior administrators, why do we have to find out about on message boards and guess which official it might be? There is so much “stuff” that goes on at this school district (just as much as under the old superintendent, if not more) that should and needs to be covered, I don’t doubt that what is in the comments is likely true and that there is far more unsaid. Instead, what makes the news is a spat on a golf course. The real story behind that spat is the question of whether that administrator will be treated fairly, particularly by the superintendent? Did the school board member see an opportunity because of how the superintendent might feel about that particular person? Is the superintendent going to be fair in the investigation? Maybe he is, I don’t know. What, if anything, does that have to do with the kids, other than making it so the administrator can’t do her job? Why are you just publishing news of the complaint, and not looking at the real reasons and motivations for it. Will you consequently examine the fairness of any investigation once its done? The Democrat is toothless and seems to act mostly as a PR arm for the school district. This means that school people get away with things because they have no accountability, which they know and thus, will continue. Tallahassee needs the fourth estate to focus more closely on the actions of this school district.

  3. As a current LC S employee the lawless Mr. Hanna and school board members continues as they abuse thier power, defy legislative norms, and create a culture of recklessness and fear where if anyone wanted to document the number of people that have been non rehired, dismissed, demoted, and have had to pledge allegiance to Mr Hannah during the election process or not continue their employment once he was in charge of personnel decisions is appalling.

    As board chair Ms Striplin refuses to enforce the findings of the outside attorney that found that Mr Hannah had no first-hand knowledge of any wrongdoing yet cost the district $600,000 trying to frame the former superintendent. She is now trashing a staff member rather than enforcing the district policy first and foremost with the superintendent and his actions of abusing ethical behavior by dating and having relationship encounters with a teacher at his school that he evaluated and then having her transferred with a monetary settlement.

    Rather than a rolling purge, this feels like an active coup. School board members continue to protect several of the associate superintendents who have had bookkeeping errors at their school, large NCAA sanctions for breaking rules at their schools students who were sexually assaulted and having the district to settle quietly, . Rather than focusing in on raising teacher salaries the school board and the superintendent abuse their authority and forget the teachers that work hard everyday. Local teacher union leaders are going along for the ride, protecting Hanna and Gregory. The citizens of Tallahassee are not being informed what this administration is up to. Our system of checks and balances is not working, guardrails are breaking, tossed into a bonfire of political vanities.

  4. As a parent my experience with Mrs. Lawson has been awesome. She has always been very polite and professional. Don’t know the facts of what happened, but it makes me sad to think that a good administrator is being targeted unfairly. Hopefully this will get sorted out soon as its a distraction from educating our kids.

    1. Until the School Board takes action against Mr. Hanna for ethics violations per policy 3210 related to knowingly providing false information in his “notebook”, dating a teacher he evaluated, along with his appointment of 5-6 associate superintendents without any interview process, the public should have little confidence in the actions and accusations from members of the School Board as they have oversight of the Superintendent.

      1. It is my understanding that Mr Hanna recently suspended the principal of Riley Elementary School Mr. Paul for allegedly dating staff members. How ironic Mr Hanna did the same thing yet he had his ethics violation buried. As staff in Leon County Schools proceed with this investigation they may want to look at other staff members possibly one of the assistant superintendents who did the same thing and possibly the current principal of Godby High School

  5. The school board is made up of former teachers and administrators who have been grown up within the system. They have become institutionalized, grown comfortable within the system and don’t want anything that threatens their status quo.
    This public spat is the most entertaining event to happen to the school board since the last election, (which changed nothing except some names and faces).
    It sounds like both need a time out.

  6. Miss Striplin has had two occasions when her socks were bunched up in her shoes about Rocky Hannah and now this. Make no mistake, she is setting herself up to run for School Superintendent next time around.

  7. Ms Striplin and School Board Members please see the specifics below. Since Policy 3210 has been brpught up by Ms. Striplin the taxpayers of Leon County deserve the full adherence and implementation of the policy to all employees.

    From the report to the School Board by Hank Coxe – “Hanna admitted he had no knowledge if the facts in the notebook were valid” so based upon school board policy you should require an immediate investigation per policy 3210.


    Specific Standards of Conduct

    Employees covered by other regulatory agencies or boards are subject to their established codes and principles.

    A. Employee Effectiveness
    No employee may engage in conduct that seriously reduces his/her effectiveness as an employee or interferes with the orderly operation of a school or the District. Expectations for conduct shall include, but not be limited to
    3. refraining from making malicious or intentionally false statements about another employee or from providing fraudulent information on a document;
    4. providing truthful information on all written documents;

    1. Hank Coxe hire by the School Board provided the School Board with irrefutable evidence that Mr. Hanna and his co-author gathered all of the information into a notebook that they knew was false and misleading. Upon review of the findings, the School Board should have immediately demanded the suspension of Mr. Hanna for ethics violations. The school board has chosen to be silent.

      Mr. Hanna has a record of at least two school board policy ethics violations while Ms. Striplin is now pressing foward against Mrs Lawson. This type of selective policy endorsement by Ms. Striplin should be investigated by the Florida Department of Education. Selective implementation is what Mr. Hanna did when he non rehired and demoted several staff members this year without any cause of action. We had school board members silent then and we do now.

      1. Scott Hansen and his wife were cited by the mother of Rocky’s child in the affidavit as knowing they were aware of the child and of Rocky’s failure to pay child support for 10 year! They did not report this, thus breaking a code of professional ethics as educators . Ms. Striplin will you cite them?

  8. “However, sources have told TR that the complaint involved a personal altercation between the two school officials late last year on a golf course and more recently moved into the professional realm.”

    Sounds like Alva Striplin and Julie Lawson need to go out behind the school, up on the hill, and have a good old knock down drag out high school fight.
    Both are wrong and should work out their personal issues in a private manner.
    Besides a good old fashioned @zzwhipping often results in the two participants becoming the best of friends for life.

    Rocky should advise the girls to keep their private issues private.
    “Work it out between yourselves girls as described above, outside of the (embarrassing to the school board) public complaint/grievance filing process.”
    “Heck we already pay for both of you girls to have medical and dental policies to patch up the looser. Now get up there on the hill behind the school and fight it out.”

  9. Dear Ms. Striplin and fellow Board Members,
    Rocky Hanna broke/failed to comply with LCSB policies 3210 and 1210, towards all District employees when he had no knowledge of any wrong doing by the former Superintendent as admitted to the Board hired attorney Hank Coxe but he knowingly put together items in a notebook, he admitted to writing tbe misleading summaries and sent it to media outlets, the FBI and otber agencies. He sent the notebook to everyone other than tbe School Board as required by school boatd policies. Please investigate this and his unethical behavior of dating a teacher he supervised, having tbe teacher transfered and recently appointed the staff member that “cleared him” to an associate superintendent position without any interview.

    How is it that when Mr. Hanna admitted he had no first hand knowledge of wrongdoing by the former Superintendent and dating a teacher he supervised squares with the following “It is expected that employees will be of good moral character and demonstrate conduct as an employee that is at all times appropriate and consistent with the high standards that the Board and community expect.”

    1. Steve, thank you for breaking this story and it’s unfortunate that the Tallahassee Democrat didn’t give you credit for your story which they replicated with an education writer and took credit for it. As you stated on Twitter whatever happened to the coverage of the graduation rates? I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. Hanna knew that he was sending information that was untrue to the FBI did Mr Hanna violate not only Leon County policies but also misrepresent facts to the FBI ala Martha Stewart?

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