Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Other Shoe Drops

Aisha & Raheli Hiza:  Banned in Pelham

UPDATE:  The RSC voted 5-3 to give Maria Geryk a $310K buyout.  Ouch!

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Before our embattled, diffident Regional School Committee rubber stamps Maria Geryk's $300K platinum parachute they may want to consider another major lawsuit in the making.

Yes, Ms. Hiza has made it perfectly clear she's not interested in money, only justice.

But she will most certainly be appalled at a $300K payout to Geryk, when in fact it was the impetuous implementation of an unjust stay away order that led to her current downfall.

But if the RSC insists on rewarding that bad behavior, Ms. Hiza will most certainly reset her goals to an equal payout for the significant emotional damages inflicted on her and -- most especially -- her daughter.

The old, "Damned if you do and damned if you don't".  So why not do what's right?

76 comments:

Rebecca Casa said...

The school committee sure has a lot to consider tonight if they pay off earlier that's fine but there is this other lawsuit and I heard that there's another one regarding a gym teacher I'm not sure if that's true rumors you know. And I also heard there's a lawsuit pending in Pelham regarding the third grade I'm not sure if that's true either. But we may see many of more of these requests for records from lawyers coming down the road. I don't understand why the school committee would reward behavior that has gotten us into this situation financially. And also has tarnished the reputation of all of our schools.

Anonymous said...

Enter the Wolf's, howl,howl.

Anonymous said...

WoW !!! At this point we all can only say " Wow !!! Soooooo .... It 's just too far gone ...with these school Union booster nutzerati. . they delivered ...this debacle ..as " Bang for the buck !!! Sick - sad world. !!$$$$$&@????

Anonymous said...

Yup, here come the handouts, just like Carolyn. Man, these people really know how to game the system. This is the price a town pays for its incompetence.

Anonymous said...

"unjust stay away order"

Oh but you try not to influence a story, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhh.

Howard Ziff is rolling in his grave laughing.

Larry Kelley said...

Howard had such a great laugh.

Although my favorite expression from him was reserved for advertisers who pulled their advertising in response to a controversial, hard-hitting story: "Fuck 'em!"

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Hiza truly has said that she is "not in it for the money, only justice", then why is everyone so fearful? Truth is the only way true justice will be determined and who knows where the "truth" lies?

Everyone needs to STOP for a minute, THINK and PROCEED WITH THE VERY BEST INTERESTS OF OUR CHILDREN in mind. Can this even be possible?

If Ms. Hiza has been telling the truth so far, she probably will continue to tell the truth. If there is something further we need to know about this whole incident, then now is the time to make it public.

It would really be a travesty if Geryk is awarded a large sum of money, that could much better be spent on the children. If is not deserved, or if there is "more to the story" that would clarify this situation, now is the time it should be exposed, before any more decisions are made. Maybe the School Committee should back away and turn it over to the courts.

As a taxpayer, I would rather see all this go to court and be settled by a jury rather than just another decision "messed up" by local officials.

Anonymous said...

And its a fine mess Geryk, Kent, Appy and the look the other way (but well compensated) crowd got us in to! Yes, 1:30, The truth will set us free. The trouble is Geryk, Kent and Appy will do whatever they can to keep the truth from us because it would cost them big $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Actually it's Aisha who should be afraid for the truth to come out.

Anonymous said...

Once again disappointed by the slant you place on everything Larry. This mother is your friend and I guess dirty reporting works for you. I can't wait for the truth to come out. The mother is afraid for her child in the upcoming year. She is school choice, pull her out. Any responsible parent with this reported fear would have done that a long time ago. Makes one wonder what her real motives are?? It is sooooo easy for you Larry to put a picture of the mother and child up, but it is disgusting of her to use her daughter and you to use both of them. And, perfect timing of the letter when the mother knows full well from you and Vira that the super is on the way out. Laughable. All of you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 2:19. Did you read Ms. Hiza's attorneys' (the Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice's) letter to Superintendent Geryk? In it, they wrote, "Our civil rights laws protect children from attending racially hostile school environments. Likewise, they protect parents from retaliation when advocating for these rights. Issuing a stay away order via email against Ms. Hiza after she raised concerns about the racial harassment her daughter experienced suggests such retaliation. Doing so without any stated grounds for the order or any process to appeal it also violates her most basic due process rights...It also makes us concerned for the treatment other families of color may receive when advocating for their children's rights." Try to twist the facts as you may 2:19, they reveal the Superintendent to be the violator of Ms. Hiza's and daughter's rights. When the Superintendent walks out the school administration doors for the last time, we should at least require her to take both the financial and emotional liability she incurred as result of her own professional incompetence, with her.

Anonymous said...

I think folks are missing the point. When your boss(es) make it clear they don't want you, are vicious and relentless in their attack, violate basic rules of civility and your contract, there is a process called negotiation to work out the terms. The public attack and verbal assault by Larry, Trevor, Vira and their minions is offensive and mean-spirited.

If folks are worried that the supt's evaluation was the reason for her to leave, it makes no sense. She has a binding contract and they have no cause to fire her. I understand folks are worried about the money, but I don't think you have a full view of the big picture. Would you prefer another year of this craziness or do you want to move forward. Or, are you a realist and know that it is just a matter of these folks finding someone else to target.

Anonymous said...

Let's play the Price is Right for this illegitimate lawsuit. I'm saying $270k. Who's betting?

Anonymous said...

You speak as you know the facts but you obviously do not. Do you know that Ms. Hiza and her family still have a house in Pelham but that she moved to Chicopee to be with her boyfriend who is a Chicopee police officer who also got brought into this mess. Did you know that both chief from Pelham and Amherst have said that they found it to be a school issue? You say her child is a school of choice kid so what? So you think that the solution should be that she pulls her kid. How is that solving Any issues. Why should the child have to leave her friends and what she knows because people think she should. Also did you know that without school of choice kids there wouldn't be a Pelham Elementary. Fake liberals in Amherst. Also please let's remember that Ms. Hiza's situation is not the only thing has happened. There are and have been many many other cases under Geryk and her goons.

Rebecca Casa said...

I want the truth to come out too. I hope this lawsuit doesn't settle becUse I want too read all of it and I think the other tax payers want the full story as well.

Anonymous said...

anon@3:13: could you please share with us how her contract was violated? Are you referring to the lateness of her evaluation? Isn't the lateness of that evaluation bc some on the SC didn't want it made public (or is there another reason)? And this evaluation didn't include any public comment (isn't that supposed to happen)? Certainly, the looming poor evaluation of Ms Rodriguez was enough to make him cut his losses asap...I imagine that in the SI business, a public bad evaluation is a career killer.

Katrina van Pelt said...

2:53 Every child has a right to attend the school of their choice.....I've spoken to parents who have pulled their children from Pelham for Bullying and they Give Aisha credit for standing up to Gerry's bullying, This child is learning to fight for what is right and just, and that sometimes means living through it, rather than running. I too admire her for taking a stand. It takes immeasurable courage and follow through. You may have done differently for your own kids, but you should not judge someone else's choice as wrong or imply they are irresponsible because they don't follow your logic. She isn't using her daughter, she is teaching her right from wrong, and so far the wrong has not been made right

Anonymous said...

I think you're missing the point 3:13. School committee employers have more than justifiable cause to fire their insubordinate employee Geryk. She quit and made personal threats against them to extort $$$$ out of public school coffers. Not only is there sufficient cause to fire Ms. Geryk, there may be cause to prosecute her! Larry, Trevor, Vira and other responsible honest law-abiding community members and school committee members are the real heroes here! Thank you heroes.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't say anything about a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

ROTFL - Time and truth will tell

Anonymous said...

Not only fire her nut get her certificate yanked.

Anonymous said...

They won't find someone else to target. No one will take this job.

Anonymous said...

No public comment is not part of the evaluation. Trevor violated her contract over and over again by evaluating her outside the official evaluation process. Trevor and Vira are poison.

Anonymous said...

The bullies are Aisha and Trevor and Vira.

Anonymous said...

Trevor violated her contract several times. She has a right to sue. I'm sorry she isn't.

Anonymous said...

Larry...when you were a kid did you drink Tang or just stick to Kool-aid? Oh there will be big paydays for many though I think Carolyn must have been disappointed with her reparations after the lawyers took their cut!

Anonymous said...

Larry, your page counter isn't quite right -- every time I refresh it adds 2 :)

Anonymous said...

We need a voice of reason...where Kurt at?

Anonymous said...

I thought that allegations were made by Ms. Hiza's ex (the father of her child) that Ms. Hiza could be a threat and this is why the police went to her place in Chicopee. If so, isn't the school obliged to take some sort of action to protect the kids and personnel until such allegations are disproved? In light of what the consequences of inaction might be, one could say that the school system was justified in the stay away order, and may even be mandated to issue such an order given the nature of the allegations.

Maybe I'm wrong here as regards these allegations having been made against Ms. Hiza but I would understand the school having to take action at some threshold of perceived risk. In some cases, school rules give personnel no choice but to act if they have suspicions - such as suspicions of child neglect or abuse.

Anonymous said...

Supt. Geryk initiated the retaliatory stay away order immediately after Ms. Hiza filed complaints against the Pelham Principal and Supt. Geryk with the Pelham School Committee. Both the Amherst and Pelham Police Depts. reported the stay away order was a "school matter". This is police speak to say that Ms. Hiza posed no credible threat to harm anybody and the stay away order was not supported by any reasonable suspicion that Ms. Hiza posed any threat. If the Supt. also filed a false child abuse complaint against Ms. Hiza, it would be an even more chilling violation of Ms. Hiza's civil rights!

Dr. Ed said...

6:05, school (like cops) are often "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

That's why you have policies & procedures, appeals and such. Read lawyer letter between the lines, he's asking for stuff Maria ain't got, and THAT is the issue.

Nina Koch said...

This statement is a good example of poor journalism:

"when in fact it was the impetuous implementation of an unjust stay away order that lead to her current downfall."

In fact? It's a fact? Or your interpretation? There could be many factors leading to the current situation. You certainly can't demonstrate that statement to be a fact.

You also use the adjective "impetuous" when you don't know how much deliberation went into the decision. Again, it's your interpretation.

And as a previous commenter pointed out, use of the adjective "unjust" is yet another value judgment on your part.

Maybe William Randolph Hearst is your journalistic role model. You didn't bomb the USS Maine but you sure do like fanning the flames.

ps The past tense of the verb "to lead" is "led."

Larry Kelley said...

Feel free to start your own blog.

Or maybe Rick Hood will give you his.

Anonymous said...

Oh larry...these people are nuts! Maria just robbed a bank and it's not enough! Where Rick at? Anon 7:21 is also a nutcase! There are no facts only money! And Alisha is going to line up for hers!

Walter Graff said...

"I think you're missing the point 3:13. School committee employers have more than justifiable cause to fire their insubordinate employee Geryk."

Sure. Who wouldnt want to get fired and get $300k for doing so. The problem isn't Geryk, it's the people that run the town of Amherst.


She's gone and laughing on her ride down Route 9.

Anonymous said...

Police were never involved. They never went to her house in Chicopee. Police told the school that it was a school issue. Do your research. By the way her boyfriend is a Chicopee police officer.

Anonymous said...

You really can't research the Alisha case...all you can do is repeat gossip and conjectures. We aren't allowed the truth because the school can't talk about it. So what if her boyfriend is a cop? I doubt you know more then anyone else!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget, the cities where black academic achievement is the lowest are the very cities where Democrats have been in charge for decades and where blacks have been mayors, city councilors, superintendents, school principals, and teachers. Plus, these cities have large educational budgets. You really ought to get to a theater showing "Hillary's America" to see why a town like Amherst is really not good for minorities.

Anonymous said...

the records request will get the file out of SI office and then at least we may have a slight chance of finding out what it says

Anonymous said...

i am not sure but i think it would take a 3 school committee vote to fire her PSC, ASC, & RSC. They never would have had enough votes on ASC to fire her. For so long Maria was running the ASC & RSC. instead of the other way around. The Committee members either felt they were supposed to support Maria nor supervise Maria. It ia also rumored some felt they were friends with Maria (Appy). At this point the only recourse is for the RSC to do some deep thinking and understand their rile in supervising the next SI. Fr us as taxpayers I would vote out every SC member that gave Maria a positive evaluation. They will be posted online and will not be talked about in open session now. Everyone that was in Cohoots with Maria. Everyone that was too scared of Maria and Kurt's Manipulation and retaliation to do the right thing. While I hear a lot of people complain about Vira I like the fact that she isn't scared and says what is on her mind.She doesn't get pushed around. In Pelham if an SC member gave Maria a good eval they deserve to go when their term is over. She did a terrible job with Pelham. BTW the SC was originally going to make her work out her contract when she first asked for 3 years with benefits and was not seeming to move off of that number. Anyway I am gladits over and we no longer have to think about Maria or deal with Kurt. Now we have to fix the SC.

Dr. Ed said...

In fact? It's a fact? Or your interpretation? There could be many factors leading to the current situation. You certainly can't demonstrate that statement to be a fact.

Nor you not, Nina.

It's called rational presumption.

"You also use the adjective "impetuous" when you don't know how much deliberation went into the decision."

Nina, until you can prove that Purple Unicorns don't exist, you must concede that they do.

Again, it's your interpretation.

Likewise, it's your interpretation that purple unicorns don't exist -- you don't know they don't exist.

Perhaps they are just hiding from you.

Nina, this is called "disproving the negative."

PS: Not to confuse you with facts, but the official USN cause of the Maine explosion is NOT a bomb...


Dr. Ed said...

8-9-16: the day education died in Amherst.

Sue, Ashia, sue -- pushing the district into bankruptcy is the only way to change thibgs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:12 - The whole story is known to few--this is true. But even so, the story is lopsided--Maria had absolutely no right--nada--none- to do what she did to Aisha--not Alisha (get her name straight.) There was absolutely no reason--other than a racist move, that put Aisha and her child in limbo for over 14 weeks. Just imagine not being able to enter the school your child attends or even being able to speak to the teachers who work with your child every day. Not only that she was 'ordered' to not speak with school committee folk--the very ones who are responsible for leaving this tyrant in office. There is no gossip nor conjecture--This was an act of white privilege--followed by others who dared not stand to the injustice for fear of losing their incomes aka their jobs. Police were involved indeed-anon. 10:51 pm. The Pelham chief telephoned the Chicopee police chief and questioned him as to Aisha's access to weapons/guns (her partner's guns.) Outrageous! A definite abuse of authority--a definite act of racism--I mean come on everybody knows how 'dangerous' Black people are--right!? Sad thing--giving Maria aaalll this money will not address nor make any better the institutional racism, and classism that reeks in this system--It will simply put the situation to rest for a short period while we focus on money and law suits.

Anonymous said...

I would not want to be a resident of Amherst with these issues on the table. Mega school, SC mess, Employee salary disputes and Law suits looming. Your taxes are going to go through the roof and stay there for years to come.

Larry Kelley said...

Just another day in Paradise.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed talks too much. Who is this nut?

Anonymous said...

$300k buyout, central admin stocked with $100k plus adminstrators, no increase in student achievement--bring on the expensive new school tht teachers and parents don't want…..this is ridiculous. Time to clean out central admin, put $35-40 million school on hold and do something cheaper that teachers support.

Anonymous said...

And just think the Town Manager only got 47 thousand for screwing his secretary. If he only knew how stupid this town really is!!

Geryk shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Not a great choice. Another mess for the taxpayers.

Maybe we could have another over ride so we can blow more money!! Never enough money for the schools is all we ever here. I don't think it's too hard to figure out why.

The old saying... It always easy to spend other peoples money.. Liberals are great at it!!

The committee was foolish to rush to this ridiculous settlement!!

Larry Kelley said...

Only takes ten irate taxpayers to file a class action lawsuit to have a Judge take a look at it.

Ralph Reed said...

Kudos to Larry Kelley. Your passion and integrity for the facts have helped transcend the usual malaise of distrust and misunderstandings when a conflict arises from an abuse of power.

Great work.

Anonymous said...

FOOLS....all of them! "Haste makes waste" as the old saying goes. What a disgusting decision. And, all of these people are supposed to care about children's education? What a farce.

I will never again support the approval of the inflated school budgets. If the town has enough money that $300,000.00 can be given to Geryk without it affecting the children, that is proof we are spending way too much supporting the schools.

All the time and nonsense spent on lawsuits, racial problems, parents who go on and on about dirty microwaves and exposing all their children's personal problems, high school teachers being "devastated" by students comments about them, white privilege, it just goes on and on. Can't somebody put on the BIG BOY PANTS and stop this insanity?

NO MORE OVERRIDES. NO MORE HIGH TAXES. The "free" money only supports this greed and ridiculousness!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's hire a new superintendent that is experienced, calm, works well with teachers and parents and students. Someone who has done the job and done it well and spends money wisely.

Larry Kelley said...

The glass is half full.

The sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Anonymous said...

Will that "silver lining" be unveiled to the public? All the "secrecy" is certainly not helping the taxpayers understand this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

at anon 8:08, I'm a teacher in the district and I support the new school and all the colleagues I talk to do as well. I don't know who is speaking for all of us. No one wants to be in either Fort River or Wildwood for any longer; they are both sick buildings.

Anonymous said...

How so?

Anonymous said...

My god, the grammar.

Anonymous said...

How dramatic! The music died in '59. Yeah, sure.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely ridiculous!!
A 300 thousand dollar decision made by bunch of school committee members,amateurs!!
This should have been settled in court with the town lawyers defending the taxpayer!! I will never support another tax increase for the schools until they get their act together. We are paying outrageous administration salaries and settlement fees that are driving the school budget to the roof..
Wake up Amherst, schools are about educating children and the money will run out..

Anonymous said...

anon@9:43: there was another option that replaced both WW and FR, one that received majority support from parents and teachers and retained our k-6 model. Not sure if you are being deliberately misleading....It is wise to ask for the 18M extension. Even before this debacle the override to support Ms Geryk's proposal was going down (in flames), it would have clearly marked a 'vote of no confidence' in her leadership.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight. The Superintendent quit, made threats against the school committee and extorted $300,000 out of us taxpayers. Extortion is a serious crime and we should be DEMANDING the Attorney General's Office to investigate this crime. But we will probably we hide our heads in the sand and cower instead. DEMOCRACY...USE IT OR LOSE IT SUCKERS!

Larry Kelley said...

I'm pretty sure they are going to have to do the vote all over again.

Laura Quilter said...

Anon at 9:43 am - The School Committee's anonymous survey of teachers showed that the current proposal was the least popular among the teachers -- only 4% supported the reconfiguration K1 / 2-6 dual school. Much more popular was dual K6 (rejected by School Committee); and not permitted to be on the survey was another anecdotally popular option, dual renovation. You can see all the comments and the results linked here: https://saveamherstssmallschools.wordpress.com/parent-teacher-opinion/

I've talked to both teachers and parents currently at Fort River who feel that with all the pro-school boosterism at Fort River they don't feel comfortable sharing their anti-reconfiguration opinions. So please keep in mind, when getting information face-to-face.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that dream!

Anonymous said...

@ Laura the survey you are referencing was filled out by way less than 50% of the staff. I wouldn't make any grand inferences based on that limited participation. Same survey had poor response rate for parents as well. While anecdotal, most of the many teachers I talk to just want a new building as the current conditions are so dismal.

The dual renovation option costs as much as a new school. The state won't pay for the FR renovation. All that aside, as someone who works in one of the quads I have great difficulty seeing how those might be divided up into classrooms and meet the current H-VAC building codes without spending a ton of money (see first sentence of this paragraph).

Anonymous said...

I am a Fort River parent and I fully approve of the current plan to build 2 co-located schools. I also enthusiastically support reconfiguration. I personally know many Fort River parents who also enthusiastically support the current plan. Ms Quilter, a Wildwood parent, does not speak for us and she needs to stop pretending that she does.

Katrina van Pelt said...

I am a Fort River Parent too and I don't approve reconfiguration , however I do see a need to immediately solve the sick building problems

Anonymous said...

What sick building problems? Any documentation?

Laura Quilter said...

Hi Anon 12:36 pm -- I certainly don't presume to speak for anyone other than myself. I can only tell people, truthfully, that I have talked to Fort River teachers and parents who told me they felt uncomfortable sharing their opinions. You can certainly choose not to believe me, but I do back up my assertions with my name, and you can talk to me in person if you'd like.

What I've heard from word-of-mouth is pretty much in line with the survey -- Fort River parents and staff are by far more likely to support the reconfiguration than parents at Crocker Farm (almost all against it) and Wildwood (largely against it). I've heard a couple of times now from anonymous commenters on this blog the complaint that they think the response rate on the survey was low. The response rate was high enough that survey had a high reliability and was deemed statistically valid by the research group the School Committee hired.

I'm not sure why people even want to argue that point. It's kind of obvious -- even from the public comments submitted by named people! -- that there is a diversity of opinion, including at Fort River.

Katrina van Pelt at 1:14, I agree sick building problems should be addressed immediately. Under reconfiguration, the Fort River & Crocker Farm kids would not move into a new building until fall of 2020 -- four years from now, six or seven years from the beginning of this process, depending on how you date it. That's definitely too long to allow people to be in a sick building without treatment. I would wish that our School Committee would look into the frequent assertions of problems, and follow up on it. According to Public Records Act requests, mold surveys have not turned up any problems. However, these surveys can only test for a small number of many possible molds, though, and according to my research on sick buildings, it's often more effective to simply go ahead and proactively install HEPA filters and other remediations. The next step would be to see what kinds of remediations *have* been applied at the elementary schools, and make sure that everything is being done, NOW, to protect the health of kids and staff. I think everyone -- regardless of position on the new building -- should agree with that.

Rebecca Casa said...

Can someone explain why it is not viable to make the Wildwood project the Pre-K to 6 on both sides and then leave Crocker alone why is that not a viable option and why is that not the best option for parents with young children in this town for parents of two children? What is that not the best option for Crocker families who live on the Bay Road side of Belchertown? Why is this current plan seemingly the best because I don't think it's parent friendly at all to have to pick up two kids at two different schools and the amount of time that's going to put children on the buses

Anonymous said...

Rebecca I think the best answer is to feed the kids a free dinner and if their parents don't show up just bed them down for the night!

Anonymous said...

All the drama and not a word about what happens to the education of 1000's of kids, What a great school system.

Anonymous said...

And who is a conservative. For a change.

Rebecca Casa said...

So when we have parents picking up their kindergarteners at 3:10 at Crocker and they don't get to Wildwood Intel 330 345 who's watching them for those 20 minutes how long before the teacher start complaining or breaking their Union contract by making them responsible for children after 3:10?

Rebecca Casa said...

My understanding with the wild with project is that we're cutting five teacher positions when those two schools go together I don't know if that's accurate but that's what I was told tool for cutting five teacher positions then class room sizes must be larger that seems to be the logic in my brain but then again I've been told the hundred times I don't know what I'm talking about

Anonymous said...

That would be awesome if Maria had to pay for this lawsuit. I don't know what kind of drugs you will be able to get it her reputation is that she has violated civil rights it's going to be hard for her to get a job. And the regional school committee chair in the Amherst chair violated open meeting laws by discussing about the evaluations with the superintendent. So basically the whole school committee is screwed up right? Besides that the rest of them are scared to say what I really think is on their mind because after he was put into place to protect Maria has done a really good job and has left little bugs in peoples ears about being sued. Either where's the superintendent's knowledge or without her husband has been advocating hard to protect her reputation which he should he is married to her. I would expect nothing less of my own husband. However I wouldn't be trying to ruin people's reputations or make them look crazy by retaliating and spreading rumors that are not true and I definitely would not be threatening people legally or otherwise with the superintendent has done and the people I'm referring to of people on the school committee so it's a thankless job and hopefully the next superintendent doesn't use the same kind of strong-arm tactics but our former superintendent used. And I imagine if our next superintendent who knows how to do the job and understands that the school committee still have to supervise them will be a lot less of this blog negativity regarding the school system. And I'm going to just say it one more time if Maria didn't give us so much to talk about Larry would have a lot less to bring to the Public's attention.