Superintendent, School Board Member Call Parent’s Comments Hogwash, Disgusting

Superintendent, School Board Member Call Parent’s Comments Hogwash, Disgusting

Superintendent Hanna and Leon County School Board (LCSB) member Alva Striplin responded harshly to a parent’s critical assessment of Astoria Park Elementary School.

The parent, who attended the February 26th LCSB meeting held at Gilchrist Elementary School, spoke during the “citizens to be heard” part of the agenda. She explained to the Board that her and her husband had just adopted four children from foster care and that she was shocked to find that she was zoned for Astoria Park Elementary School.

The parent told the Board that based on her research, Astoria Park Elementary was “one of the lowest performing elementary schools not only in the county but in the state.”

The parent was upset that she was unable to enroll her children in another public school. She finished her comments by saying that my kids “deserve better than an under performing school and a lottery system.”

School grades for Astoria Park Elementary over the last six years are shown below.

Astoria Park Elementary School Grades

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Astoria-Park-Grades.jpg

Listed below is a video of the first part of the parent’s comments to the school board. The parent’s full three-minute presentation is listed at the bottom of the article.

To replay video click here.

No one with the school board addressed the comments until later in the meeting. Superintendent Hanna responded first and called the parents “low performing” description of the schools academic performance “hogwash.” A video of his comments are listed below.

To replay video click here.

Near the end of the meeting, Ms. Striplin responded by saying she was “disgusted” by the comments and that Astoria Park is a great school.

To replay video click here.

Other school board members also voiced concern about the parent’s comments, but were more diplomatic in their response. However, the views echoed by the LCS officials made it clear that the they do not view school grades as an indicator of school quality.

Full Comments

To replay video click here.

41 Responses to "Superintendent, School Board Member Call Parent’s Comments Hogwash, Disgusting"

  1. Well! Looks like I am not the only one who thinks Rocky Hanna is a piece of crap. David Soltz had a fling as well as Rocky and they got away with it. Let’s not forget Shelly Bell’s sister was just as quilty as Rocky. Rocky does not respond to emails as he is too arrogant a person. Most of the school day can be spent dealing with bullying and mental health. No such thing as getting a good education in Leon county.

  2. Leon County should have all “A” Schools. Give the Class Rooms BACK to the Teachers. Let the Teachers teach their Lessons and NOT the Test, you TEST on what the Teacher Taught. Put Discipline back in the School. Put the Pledge and Prayer back in the Class Room. Have a ZERO Tolerance Policy for Bullying. Remove the Computers from the Class Rooms and bring back the Text Books.

  3. From where I stand, it seems the fundamental problem is we no longer teach our children that Character=Destiny.
    Now, we teach children that they are a product of a cosmic accident, and that the easiest to bribe and blackmail ‘rise’ to positions of authority.
    Make no mistake- bribery and blackmail rule for today.
    There are people in power that do not have your, nor your children’s, best interest at heart or in mind.

  4. “Just adopted 4 children from foster care”?!?!?
    That is a long process & enough time for her to research schools. Where have they been going? Possibly a worse school, so to them it could be an improvement. We all want the best for our kids, but you have to go thru the school choice process like everyone else. Put them at Astoria & apply for school choice. For next year. Doubt she will get approved for all 4, so she should deal with it or move to her zone of choice. ?

  5. Pam would buy more Acaleticss at 30 to $40,000 per school to do test prep. We’re stuck between an unethical egomaniac, Rocky Hanna and somebody that believes in test prep like Pam Hightower which is a misguided use of title 1 money.

  6. I agree with Ms. Vickery. The richer the neighborhood the better the teachers and the schools have better supplies, etc. It is now the parents who need to take control. Vote Hanna and Alva out of office. Neither of the two would allow their kids to go to Astoria Park. Mr. Hanna has gotten way too cocky and arrogant to stay in office, especially when it has to do with our kids. Parents campaign and vote this little man out of office.

  7. This would be good time for our new candidate, Hightower, to chime in. How would she respond to this parent. If she moved Brevard from a D to a B in one year what would she do at Astoria? What does she think about the comments of Hanna and Striplin? If given a chance maybe TR could ask her.

  8. The sad fact is that LCSD has D and F schools, so comparatively Astoria Park’s C is not the worst. That is likely all that they meant. And it is the STATE that determines the criteria and the grades, so blaming that on LCSD is wrong.

    Having said that, LCSD for whatever reason doesn’t educate fully a number of its students. And that matters. Some argue it is money, and that is part of it. How many of the people writing here would approve an increase of $100 per year per property or more to improve that?

    Some argue it is the lack of quality or appropriateness of the the state’s teacher training programs.

    Some argue that it is all about our communities forgetting to teach and model the Success Sequence, Graduate from High School, post secondary training/education, get married, and only THEN have children. And yes we know that healthy two parent homes make it much easier for children.

    In significant degree it is that LCSD is not finding children who need/are going to need extra help, at the earliest possible time and providing not just some services, but services proven to teach children to read, write and do math, critical thinking, and the resiliency and social behavioral skills needed to succeed, using teachers trained to deliver such interventions, and in sufficient amounts and frequency to fix it.

    I think it will take a tax increase to provide longer school days, and universal Pre-K at age 3 plus transportation for every child whose parents want that for them. If I were superintendent (and could persuade the teacher’s union) I would allow every school to choose the length of the day necessary for its population to succeed, and provide transportation to facilitate that. I would stop paying more for extra degrees (which do not show any correlation with more effective/better teaching), and start paying extra for training and provision of research proven interventions. I would encourage more use of music and movement (both of which improve learning overall when done intentionally) in classes. I would make sure that every teacher and staff member delivered trauma informed instruction and used restorative justice. And I would pay every teacher who has 3 years experience (that is how long it takes teachers to be fully competent in managing a classroom) 60K for 2080 hours of work.

    And even though that would likely require a tax hike, it is highly likely the taxpayer return on investment would in time reduce community needs in other areas.

    1. I, for one, would not approve of a tax increase. I don’t want to use public education, so why should I pay even more for it? I’m going to struggle to send my son to private school as it is. Why do you want to make it harder for me?
      Govt schools will never be good schools because they’re run by govt. There is no incentive for them to do a good job.
      And kids don’t need to be taught to not procreate until they have a good job. The problem is that the govt incentivizes it. They pay people to have kids they can’t afford. If a person has a bunch kids they can’t afford, the best thing they can do is have another one. Let’s instead shut off the welfare spigot before it’s too late!

    2. Rosemary – I would have approved of a property tax increase and have accepted it in the past. The problem is that every tax increase has somehow enriched the elected officials’ crony lobbyists, campaign managers, treasurers, and family members. the latest lobbyist to make the jump is now at LCSB.

      The taxpayer money gets washed around and the next thing you know people are flying to Costa Rica for a week or getting a sweet construction deal. No. I have had enough even if Nancy Miller said it is no more that a raise in my comcast bill. No.

  9. The entire concept of public school is unfair. Not only is it unfair for this parent to be locked into a sub-standard school just because of where her district lines are drawn; it’s completely unfair to parents who don’t want to send their child to these schools pay for any of them in the first place. It’s impossible to make public school fair and equitable. So let’s start offering vouchers to parents who don’t want to educate their kids in these schools. Give them their property tax money back and let them put their kids into a school of their choosing.
    Govt is terrible at everything it does, including and especially education.

  10. I am amazed that Leon County cannot have all A schools from first through twelfth grades. Leon County is full of highly educated people, yet it fails in educating minors with a decent education.
    It’s not about how many students but about the quality of the teachers that are hired to teach. Why is Leon County KNOWN for having better teachers in the more affluential areas than in areas where there are lower income families?
    It’s time to spread out the good teachers across the county to give every child an equal opportunity to have a good teacher.
    And as far as Superintendent Hanna and his board members, it is TIME to really examine the fact we can do better than the present superintendent and board members. There are people who are more highly educated and would be a better choice for our young students.

  11. After reading these posts, it is apparent that we all need grade school. I have seen multiple mistakes in grammar and spelling. Was this caused by Supervisor Hanna? Grammarly provides an excellent source for all of these corrections.
    I think it is awful to criticize a school when your children have not attended it.
    Bless the staff and teachers for all schools. Not everyone has the opinion that teaching stops at the school as the final bell rings.

    1. Look out, the Grammer Nazis and theyre ilk have arrived. That their is a straw-man argment if I evr saw won. Ignore the massage to kill the messenjer.

  12. To all the parents out there who want to complain about the school system I ask you:

    1. How many hours do you spend each week helping your kids with their school work?
    –How many times a day to you say that is not my job?

    2. How many hours a month do you volunteer at their school?
    –How many times do you say I have no time?

    3. How many hours do you spend in social medial complaining about the schools instead of helping your kids?
    -How many times have you told your kids you are busy when using social media?
    –How much time have you spent reading this post instead of walking over to your kid and helping them with their school?

    4. How many hours do you spend talking about the issues instead of helping find solutions?
    –How many times hve you said “my work wont let me do xyz?”

    5. How many dollars to you waste in Starbucks, Netflix, and other unnecessary materialistic things instead donating some of that money to the school?
    –How many times have you said, “instead of buying a 8 dollar cup of coffee, let me donate that money to the classroom so the teachers can buy new pencils?

    After you answer those questions and stop using the excuse that work does not allow me to do XYZ, then you can come here and complain about the issues.

    Start taking more responsibility. You will start noticing a big difference in your life right away.

    1. Thats a lot of words, Peter. I meant to read them all, but you see, Im busy working my second job to pay the taxes necessary to fund our government-run schools. Weird how The System works, ain’t it?
      You see, it is a father’s duty to educate his children. You’d never believe how much time I spend correcting bad math, addressing questionable subject matter of required reading, and teaching my offspring cursive. And the history/ civics? LOL.
      You run cover for HAH and general bad policy, and I’ll teach my kids the right way.

    2. Peter,

      1. About 18 hours between 3 of them. Is that okay?
      2. on average about 6 hours.
      3. ZERO
      4. None, Never
      5. I don’t do starbucks. IMO starbucks is for fools. Same for Netflix.

      How about you Pete? Can I call you Pete? You asked. What in the world do you do? What makes you think others don’t work their ass off to take care of their kids or other peoples kids???

      Almost as if you are an Alva Striplin / Rocky Hanna / LCSB defender. There is no defense for what these pat each others back people have done to the local educational system and local politics.

  13. Rocky Hanna should be immediately suspended from office by the governor and investigated by the commissioner of education for breaking professional ethics. f Peoplethat campaign for or give money to or endorse Rocky Hanna this is the type of behavior that you embolden and allow. These comments and comments like that show that Rocky is against children of special needs, against children of poverty, he only promotes his cronies into high paying positions. You’re speaking about a man who hid from child support until sued this tells us the kind of character and the moral underpinnings of Rocky Hanna. His anti-family, anti-student behavior sickens me and it should sick in every citizen in Tallahassee. Rocky dated the teachers he supervised as a high school principal, bullies one of them into a transfer and now he bullies parents and people see this as unexpected? He is embolden by non acting school board members and a community that raised $100,000 for a bully.

    1. Mark, the community did not raise $100K. That money came from Rocky’s own slush funds, politicians who gave him payback for his own donations (but at a net loss to him) and his many family members and their connections in Tallahassee who stand to benefit from him holding political office. Let’s just be clear about that. The community can’t stand him, he has alienated just about every voter because of exactly what he did last night. Publicly attacking a voter / taxpayer / stakeholder / selfless citizen during election season. Good gosh. This is the same type of behavior as when he stood on the Capitol steps yelling expletives. He has not matured in his role.

  14. Once again this is the fault of Leon County VOTERS.
    Hanna was this way before you lock- step leftist VOTERS cast your vote for Hanna.
    You can not blaim Hanna for being a fool when the real fools are the local voters.
    Your fault.

  15. It’s a shame educators can become so angry at the foster, adoption mom that ask these already disadvantaged children get a great education. Seems to me that all they want is pats on the back, and everyone telling them how great they are. Apparently they can’t take criticism for their own underperforming schools. I want educators who take responsibility and admit they can do better. Until they stop defending themselves and others in the education system for underperforming, public education in Leon county will not live up to the highest potential for every student. It’s a shame parent involvement is treated this badly at a school board meeting, I expect better from our educators.

  16. To heck with arrogant local school officials and their asinine remarks – just leave them and their system behind. Rocky Hanna’s primary interest is protecting his little kingdom.
    As an alternative, let’s start building more charter/private schools and hire the best teachers we can find, pay them well to attract the best, and give them complete discipline charge over their classroom. The quality of the education is the top priority and kids who are a repeat discipline problem are thrown out with no re-entry.
    Years ago, we chose to do this when faced with sending our two daughters to the public, failing “combat middle school” when we lived in the Orlando area. Instead of sending them to a rotten local public school, we raided our savings and sent them to an excellent private school. It was financially tough, but we never regretted spending one penny. Our daughters both became straight A students, started high school at AP level, were reading at or above college level, and both received Bright Futures scholarships. Our older daughter was offered a full-ride academic scholarship to FSU, and both daughters became top students at FSU and graduated with honors.
    Not because our daughters were always incredible students, but because early-on we put them in an private school where the top priority was strong basics in Reading, Math, English, and Science, followed by higher-level studies, all in an environment where chronically disruptive kids were quickly removed and barred re-entry (despite how much money their rich parents tried to bribe the school with). You’ll never get a chance to re-educate your kids, so having private/charter schools available as an alternative is great if you can afford it.

  17. Astoria Park is the school where David Solz was placed after being put on leave but not fired by Rocky. He was put there because the parents were poorer and less educated, in other words, powerless, and it would be easier for him to get away with his way of doing things. That parent used her voice and look what happened, the same thing that will happen to any parent at Astoria Park who speaks up. Her children definitely don’t stand a chance now, Solz will retaliate with Rocky’s blessings and make their lives miserable until they leave the school district. People adopting foster children are doing the lord’s work and they deserve every bit of support we can give them. If that family set up a gofundme to pay for private or home school I would donate.

  18. Our school board is run by a gang of glassy eyed loons. They should all be frog marched right into Munson Slough. What a disgrace those people are to our community. Three D’s and three C’s may be good grades in bizarre world, but not here. Those people are just liars.

  19. First, may God bless this lady and her family. Shame on the School Board and Supt. They must be unseated. The Governor and Comm. Of Education need to investigate Leon County Schools. You can bet that if this family was anything but white the reaction of the Board and Supt. would have been different. Adopted children and Foster children deserve a right to be given an option for choice school consideration.

  20. I am certain if LCSB members family or friends were in the same predicament as foster mom Members would make a phone call and change of school would happen. Foster mom energy is misdirected. Her energy needs to be directed toward private education no matter the cost. Ten, 15 years later she will be glad she did. There is no winning with “hogwash and disgusting”.

  21. The LCS response to a foster mom who is concerned about the children’s education was appalling and unkind.

    Perhaps if you would do your job as school superintendent and make that an A School and put your energy there rather than being unkind to a concerned foster mom some gains could be made.

    A public apology to the foster mom is in order.

    1. To ANY Mom, not just Foster Moms, to any PARENT and Child for that mater. Betterment of the Schools should be the LCSB FIRST Priority, if they don’t understand that, then they need to go.

  22. Then she should move to a school zone that suits her. Although not a top performing school based on school grade it is far from one of the worst in the state. Sounds like she shouldn’t be adopting kids if it just dawned on her what school she is zoned for.

    1. It is one of the worst schools in the state, that’s the first thing you got wrong. Second thing, we hear about school choice and expect there to be school choice, so that no matter where you live, how poor you are, if you care about your kids education enough to drive them to school, you don’t have to send your kid to the school your zoned for. I think she’s already a great mom, especially for kids being adopted out of foster care, she sure cared enough to do everything in her power to give her kids the best education she can. She’s fighting a good fight, I know those kids are in great hands.

    2. This person you are talking about has already applied for the move to another school for the children and appealed it, that’s why she was at the school board meeting. It’s been a process, she has done the homework.

  23. As a former foster parent I suspected that LCS administration had some sort of hostility toward foster children. This is just another example.

  24. So wait …if grades don’t reflect the quality of the school, then why is there so much emphasis put on school grades? What am I missing?

    1. You’re missing the arrogance, indifference and elitist snobbery of Rocky’s henchwomen, on full display above. Diminished expectations to you means Excellence to them.
      C’mon Alva, stop blowing smoke. The skrewel is a “C” skrewel, and was a “D” the prior year. We ain’t buying it, no matter how much your bobble head Aunt Jemimah sidekick concurs.
      Best solution here: vote ALL incumbents out.

      1. Alva Striplin is not a ‘so called’ henchwoman. She was trying to put Rocky Hannah in a bad light soon after his election in order to set herself up to run for School Superintendent. Then, the little ‘dust up’ on Killearn golf course, when she got her socks bunched up in her shoes, and carried a personal matter into the public arena, squelched her ideas of advancement.

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