Garden Valley teachers issue vote of no confidence in superintendent

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by Nishi Gupta
Idaho's NewsChannel 7

NWCN.com

Posted on August 10, 2010 at 10:42 AM

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho -- In the Garden Valley School District, the next chapter unfolded Monday night in the ongoing battle between its superintendent and disgruntled employees and former employees.

A group of them issued a vote of no confidence in leader Dr. Michael Tomlin.

After months of accusations that Tomlin has harrassed and intimated district employees, it has come to a petition for vote of no confidence in him.

The group says it doubts his ability to lead and can no longer remain silent and they want the school board to remove him.

But Tomlin and the school board are keeping quiet.

“We don't think the school can go forward with the current leadership," said teacher John Haworth.

Haworth has seen several colleagues leave the Garden Valley School District this year and he blames Tomlin for their departures.

"Even if you don't want to play the blame game, there's been a lot of chaos and the staff does not trust the superintendent. We do not see how we can work with him and that is why have continued in the petition of no confidence," Haworth said.

He is one of 17 educators who signed a vote of no confidence petition in Tomlin. Most of them wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

At a Monday district board meeting, Haworth also gave board members a statement from teachers which read in part: "We need to remember why we work here -- our children. And our children and schools are suffering under leadership that is devoid of trust and integrity.  The school healing will only begin with his removal."

Tomlin and three of the four board members at the meeting declined our requests for comment. They also did not give the public a chance to comment.

It frustrated many in the audience, some of whom had signed a citizen's petition of no confidence in Tomlin.

Garden Valley residents June Palmer and Daryl Riedinger both say Tomlin has to go.

"This is everybody's school. All of us taxpayers brought us this school and we don't want to see it empty. There are parents that are thinking about pulling their kids out if the superintendent stays and I don't want to see that. It's our school," said Palmer.

"I think it's important for the board to know that they have support from the community in asking for the resignation of Mike Tomlin, the superintendent," Riedinger said.

The votes of no confidence are symbolic in nature and do not initiate any process to oust Tomlin.

The board met in a closed executive session to discuss both the petitions and teacher's statement.

We do not know what decision they will make because, again, they did not wish to speak with us Monday night.

A formal complaint against Tomlin has been filed at the state Department of Education.

That complaint is still being reviewed.

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