Saturday, July 22, 2017

3-2-1 ACTION!: The Need for Live Streaming in K12 Classrooms and Goggin v Tempe Union High School District


This morning, I was notified that a reader had left a comment.  The commenter, a former Desert Vista High School employee’s message states, “ [It is] ridiculous how school administrators have no conviction with giving our students false hope.  We need to demand live stream video so parents can see how darling their little demons are.”  

I had a topic selected, for today’s post, and I am placing it on the back burner.  Yesterday, I had planned on discussing Goggin v Tempe Union High School District, and a voice said, “Wait.  This is not the post, but I will send you a topic so that you can fully explore James’ Complaint in full detail.” 

Videotaping classroom instruction.  First, please allow me to discuss how I was first introduced to Education Straight.  When my story initially aired in May 2014, Education Straight contacted me via my blog. Ms. Straight and I met for dinner, and I allowed her to share her experiences with me. Her story was a carbon copy of mine:   Straight stated that allegedly a DVHS administrator wanted her gone, and via the Asst. Supt. Of Human Resources, the employee was initially terminated due to failure to appear to work at the beginning of the school year.  Ms. Straight, via writing and a verbal conversation, had confirmed with HR that she needed additional time to return to work, that August, and it was approved. Education was reinstated, and allegedly, the bullying and micromanagement started.  Eventually, Straight was placed on administrative leave, and her contract was not renewed.   As I listened to her share her experiences with me, I said to myself , “Cicely, this District has a playbook, and they use the same moves, but different players.  The “coaches” remain the same. 

When I read her remark, I searched the Internet regarding live streaming and K12 education. I could not locate any information.  If cameras are located in day care centers, why can’t they be placed in classrooms?

I thought back to Mr. Goggin’s Complaint.  For the purpose of this post, I have cut and pasted his Complaint, which is a public document, at the bottom of this post.  Initially, I found out about Goggin’s lawsuit, which  I heard, via various teachers, was settled prior to court, from another former DVHS employee.  For the sake of this post, my informant was Mr. Warner.  Warner was both a teacher and former coach. One day, during lunch, he said, “Dr. Cobb, let me tell you about this teacher named Mr. Goggin.  That man was smart.  He was a witness, in a TUHSD lawsuit, and administration was on his case. You can guess who it was.  Therefore, he started secretly videotaping his classes and evaluations.  Allegedly, when he received his evaluation, Goggin was told that he did not meet expectations, and he did A, B, and C, incorrectly. He would prove his evaluator wrong, and it became a huge scandal over him recording students.  He GOT admin big time.”

In the state of Arizona, it is legal to record individuals without signed waivers.  As long as you are a member, of the party affiliated with the recording, you are within your rights.  Allegedly, Goggin was informed that he could not record students without parental permission.  He received permission, and administration, per the Complaint, was irate, and Goggin reminded his evaluator of their prior conversation.

Goggin’s Complaint reads like a soap opera. Although I was not a DV faculty member in 2011, I have no doubt that these events occurred, because his Complaint is nearly a carbon copy of my own.  People may be more receptive to believing Goggin, over me, because:  1. He is a man and 2. He is White. 

Please be advised that I am not relitigating my case.  I am mentioning Mr. Goggin’s lawsuit for the purpose of this post’s topic.


Per his Complaint, Goggin was:

·      A witness in a TUHSD lawsuit
·      Requested accommodations
·      Asked for a different evaluator, and he was denied
·      An individual who was especially harassed after he filed a complaint with the EEOC
·      An employee who had teachers make false allegations against him.  Said teachers, as well as District employees, were believed over him
·      Videotaped classroom instruction


Education Straight, although live stream would be a wonderful idea, a vast number of school districts would not embrace this practice, because it would expose the sheer horror that a significant number of K12 faculty endure on a daily basis.  Also, it would possibly demonstrate how evaluators are creating false statements, on evaluation documents, in order to set teachers up for failure.   Per my perception, when a teacher is on the “radar,” the evaluation document is near completion prior to the evaluator entering the classroom.  Unless the instructor has a video camera set up in his classroom, it is going to be his word against the evaluator and students.  If his students already dislike the teacher, then you know whom people will believe.

America’s teachers are in crisis, and it is largely due to principals who are irate from being exposed for faulty practices.  Live stream is needed, but we have to consider the police and body/dash cameras. When a teacher has been bullied, will school districts, like the police say, “Oh, the camera was malfunctioning today?” 

Sigh.








William R. Hobson, SBN 006887
LAW OFFICE OF WILLIAM R. HOBSON
7303 W. Boston Street
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 1 of 13
3            Chandler, AZ 85226
James D. Goggin, IV a married man, Plaintiff,
vs.
Tempe Unified School District No. 213, ,
a political subdivision of the State of Arizona;,
Defendant.
NO. _________________
VERIFIED COMPLAINT
(Jury Trial Demanded)
Plaintiff James D. Goggin, IV (“Goggin”) for his Complaint against Defendant Tempe Unified School District No. 213, (“District”) alleges:
1. 2. 3 4.
THE PARTIES
Goggin is a married man and a resident of Maricopa County, Arizona. Goggin is over the age of 40. Goggin has been employed with the District for many years. The District is a school district located in Maricopa County, Arizona, and a
political subdivision of the state of Arizona that may sue and be sued pursuant to law. Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) § 15-326.
5.            The District is responsible for the culpable acts and omissions to act of its employees and agents, two of whom play central roles in this case; Dr. Anna Battle ("Battle"), principal of Desert Vista High School ("Desert Vista") and Janet Seegren1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
("Seegren"), Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the District. 6.            Much of the discriminatory conduct complained of herein was by and at the
hands of Battle in hi employment as a certificated teacher with Desert Vista High School in the District.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
7.            This court has jurisdiction to hear and determine this action and to grant the relief requested pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1331 and 1343; First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§ 1983"); Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), § 3(2)(a), 42 U.S.C.A. § 12102(2)(a), 29 C.F.R. §§ 1630.2(j)(1)(ii), 1630.2(j)(2); ADA Amendments Act Of 2008 ("ADAAA"), Pub.L. No. 110-325, 122 Stat. 3555; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C.A. § 621 et seq.
8.            Venue is appropriately in this District because all events relevant to the claim or defenses occurred in this District.
9.            Goggin has filed a charge with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission ("EEOC") which has issued a Charge of Discrimination (COD). Exhibit 1.
10.            The EEOC has issued its right to sue letter and as a result, relevant required administrative remedies have been exhausted. Exhibit 2.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
11.            Goggin has been employed by the District for many years.
12.            Over the period of his employment, Goggin has appeared on the witness lists of two persons who filed wrongful dismissal ("whistleblower and First Amendment") claims against the District.
13.            Goggin has also given a sworn declaration in one of those matters as a percipient witness.
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 2 of 13
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14.            Goggin's conduct in appearing on witness lists in both lawsuits and giving a sworn declaration in the civil rights lawsuit are protected activities.
15.            Goggin had been named as a witness in two prior lawsuits against the District and, in fact, gave a sworn statement in one of those lawsuit, a claim made against the District under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by another party.
16.            Serving as a witness in a civil rights case or in a case based on first amendment activity is a protected activity.
17.            Goggin believes and alleges on information and belief that a motivating factor in the District's determination to subject him to long form evaluations, a performance improvement plan ("PIP") and what appears to be impending termination of his employment, is retaliation for his exercise of protected rights as a witness.
18.            In point of fact, Goggin received over his tenure with this District excellent performance evaluations, at least up until the time when the District undertook to begin the process designed, he believes and therefore alleges, to terminate him from employment with the District.
19.            Indeed, just prior to the events in issue in this litigation, Goggin received a superlative performance evaluation.
20.            Goggin had suffered diabetes for a number of years, a fact known to his supervisor and the District.
21.            Goggin also had cardiac health issues which were similarly known to his supervisor and the District.
22.            Indeed, Goggin suffered a heart attack in the spring of 2010 which he believes was caused in part by the stress and aggravation he was suffering by the hostile work environment created by the District and, in particular by its agent, Battle.
23.            Goggin is and was a person with a qualifying disability who is entitled to
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 3 of 13
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rights under the ADA and ADAAA who formally informed his supervisor in early 2010 of his need for accommodation.
21.            The District was, however, on notice from its prior interactions with Goggin that he was disabled and failed despite such informal knowledge, to initiate and engage, in good faith, in the interactive process.
22.            Goggin did not earlier receive the accommodation to which he was entitled because the District failed to initiate and, in good faith, engage in the interactive process.
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 4 of 13
rights.
23. 24.
Goggin had to retain counsel to make a formal demand for accommodation. In seeking accommodation for his disability, Goggin exercised protected
25. disabled under the meaning of the ADA (and, necessarily under the ADAAA) and agreed to negotiate and settle on an accommodation plan for Goggin.
26.            A part of that plan was the recognition that Goggin could not walk around his classroom as much or as often as he once did, and that he was permitted to sit and teach as necessary.
27.            Despite that condition, a part of what Goggin was eventually criticized by Battle was not moving around enough in the classroom.
28. Goggin believes and alleges on information and belief that, despite excellent teaching evaluations, he was targeted by the District for adverse treatment after his disability became more pronounced.
29.            He also believes and alleges on information and belief that the District has targeted older teachers (over 40 as he is) for adverse treatment and preferentially accommodated younger teachers with teaching inadequacies.
The District eventually acknowledged Goggin was a person who was
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30.            Goggin is aware that in or about January of 2010, the District, through its counsel, contacted his attorney and provided information that Goggin had allegedly threatened to "blow [Dr. Anna] Battle's head off."
31.            In or about that same period of time, the District also informed Goggin's counsel that a number of staff at the District were afraid to talk to Goggin because of his threats of harm to others.
32.            Goggin had never threatened anyone.
33.            That the District had no good faith belief in the truth of what it claimed he had said was apparent insofar as no police officer contacted him about any threats and no report was ever made to the Arizona Department of Education which would have been required if there were merit to any such claim.
34.            Goggin did, in fact, self-report to the Arizona Department of Education ("ADE") to the effect that what had been said about him was untrue but, in an excess of caution, he was self-reporting the allegations made against him.
35.            He learned in that self-report to that no report had been made by any person to ADE about any threat by him.
35.            This situation followed an earlier situation in which Seegren and Superintendent Steve Adolph ("Adolph") came to Desert Vista and called Goggin up to the front office.
36.            Goggin was escorted to the front office where he was asked by Seegren if it were true that he had a gun or guns in his possession on campus.
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 5 of 13
did not. classroom.
37.
Goggin did not have a gun on campus and told Seegren and Adolph that he Goggin was dismissed and left Seegren and Adolph to walk back to his
38.
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39.            Goggin puzzled that if the District actually had a good faith belief that he was impermissibly armed, Goggin would have assumed a police officer or officers would have come to his room and inquired of him and perhaps searched him and his room.
40            Goggin understood each of these reports of his conduct as threatening and dangerous to be District conduct designed to undermine his status as a teacher and District employee.
41.            Goggin has also had the experience of communicating with certain members of the Governing Board who, while initially amiable in their communications with him, became quite guarded and, in one case, almost hostile toward Goggin after those Board members met with Seegren and Battle about Goggin.
42.            Goggin believes that agents of the District have falsely reported to others, including school board members that he has threatened violence.
43.            Goggin discovered in his review of the District's lawyer’s response to his EEOC COD that the District, through its lawyers claimed (falsely as it turned out) Goggin had made a comment to another teacher "about an disgruntled teacher in Colorado who blew the principal's head off."
44.            This report by the District's lawyers to the EEOC is somewhat analogous to what the District's lawyer had previously said Goggin was alleged to have threatened to do to Battle.
45.            Goggin believes such reports were made by Seegren and/or Battle (and perhaps other agents of the District) to individual Board members based in part on the marked change the Board members exhibited when they reacted negatively to him.
46.            Additionally and despite the fact that the District claims Battle has reported Goggin threatened to "blow her head off" and notwithstanding that there are other evaluators available to perform Goggin's evaluation, the District has insisted that Battle
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develop for Goggin a PIP based on her evaluations and further that she perform the final evaluation.
47.            The District, initially through a vice principal and later through Battle, was initially unaware that Goggin had taped his teaching performance during his evaluation by her, something he was permitted to do under state law.
48.            Battle sought to deter Goggin from further taping of his teaching and her evaluation and insisted that Goggin receive permission from parents of all students in his class, a condition which had not been imposed before and which was, to Goggin's knowledge, only imposed on persons who had made civil rights claims against the District and Battle.
49.            Goggin actually obtained all the permission from all parents of his students as Battle required.
50.            Subsequently, when Battle realized the evaluation was being taped, she confronted Goggin about not taping.
51.            Goggin reminded Battle that the requirement imposed by her was that Goggin receive permission which he had done.
52.            Battle seemed surprised.
53.            The evaluation process employed by the District to cure alleged inadequacies of classroom performance by Goggin's supervisors was not consistent with the requirements of state law or the District's own process.
54.            The evaluation was recorded by Goggin and shows that Battle failed to fairly and properly evaluate Goggin.
55.            The evaluation process used by the District and Battle was pretext for illegal discrimination and retaliation.
56.            Goggin is aware and believes that the two employees Battle and the District
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 7 of 13
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trial.
62.            Goggin is also entitled to further compensatory damages to be proven at
JURY DEMAND
63.            Goggin demands a jury trial on all matters triable by jury.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF (ADA Discrimination)
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 8 of 13
targeted for termination are over the age of thirty. 57.            Goggin is aware and believes that the two employees Battle and the District
have targeted for termination are persons with disabilities and accommodation plans that the District has neglected or delayed in fully implementing.
Goggin is one of those two employees cited above.
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
59.            Goggin seeks equitable relief of the Court and wishes to be made whole.
60.            Goggin seeks an order of the Court prohibiting and restraining the District or its agents from further reprisal and retaliation against him.
DAMAGES
61.            Goggin has been damaged by loss of wages and other benefits of employment.
1 2 3 4 5            58. 6
64.            Goggin incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 63 above as if fully set forth herein.
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65.            The District’s personnel’s conduct was motivated by invidious discriminatory animus and impermissible discrimination under ADA and the ADAAA amended.
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 9 of 13
68. fully set forth herein.
The District’s discriminatory and retaliatory conduct caused Goggin to
66. suffer damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
67.
As such, the District is liable to Goggin for his injuries.
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF (ADA Retaliation)
Goggin incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 67 above as if
69.            The District’s personnel’s conduct was motivated by impermissible discriminatory animus and illegal retaliation against Goggin for exercising rights protected under ADA and the ADAAA.
70.            The District’s discriminatory and retaliatory conduct caused Goggin to suffer damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
71.
As such, the District is liable to Goggin for his injuries.
THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF (ADEA Discrimination)
Goggin incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 71 above as if
72. fully set forth herein.
73.            The District’s personnel’s conduct was motivated by invidious discriminatory animus and impermissible discrimination under the ADEA.
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Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 10 of 13
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10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21            protected activity under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. 22
74.            The District’s discriminatory and retaliatory conduct caused Goggin to suffer damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
75.
As such, the District is liable to Goggin for his injuries.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF (ADEA Retaliation)
Goggin incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 75 above as if
76. fully set forth herein.
77.            The District’s personnel’s conduct was motivated by impermissible discriminatory animus and illegal retaliation against Goggin for exercising rights protected under the ADEA.
78.            The District’s discriminatory and retaliatory conduct caused Goggin to suffer damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
79.
As such, the District is liable to Goggin for his injuries.
80. fully set forth herein.
FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
Goggin incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through79 above as if
81.            Goggin's conduct in appearing in prior legal proceedings as a witness was
82.            District employees on their own behalf and the District acted under color of law in all relevant parts of this case.
23 24 25 26            not limited to other adverse actions:
83.            District employees and agents violated Goggin's rights when, included but
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a.            District agents reported falsehoods to others and repeating those falsehoods that Goggin had threatened physical harm to Battle among other persons;
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 11 of 13
b. the authorities and thereafter failed to properly investigate those claims as required by law;
c.            Battle and other agents of the District subjected Goggin to an evaluation process by Battle, clearly not an impartial evaluator in light of the fact that she was a person about whom the District had claimed Goggin had threatened physical harm;
d.            Battle and other agents of the District subjected Goggin to a PIP overseen and ultimately evaluated by Battle, a person about whom the District had claimed Goggin had threatened physical harm;
e.            Battle and other agents of the District failed to initiate and in good faith engage in the interactive process designed to accommodate Goggin's disability;
f.            Battle and other agents of the District critically evaluated Goggin for sitting on occasion as he taught insofar as that activity was a part of the accommodation which Goggin, for reasons of his diabetes and his cardiac condition, was entitled to under his ADA Accommodation Plan.
District employees and agents failed to report those false claims to
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84.            A motivating factor in the District's adverse employment actions was to retaliate against Goggin for his exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment and § 1983.
Case 2:11-cv-00687-JAT            Document 1            Filed 04/07/11            Page 12 of 13
85. amount to be proven at trial.
E.
For such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
The District’s illegal conduct caused Goggin to suffer damages in an
86.            As such, the District is liable to Goggin for his injuries.
WHEREFORE, Goggin demands judgment for such injunctive relief and compensatory damages as proven and prays for:
A.            For an order of the Court requiring that Goggin be made whole, protected from further retaliation and defamation and, if appropriate fully reinstated to his employment with the District with all adverse and discriminatory matters purged from Goggin's personnel file and directions given to the District and its agents to desist from further defamatory falsehoods and Goggin awarded all back pay and benefits due to him and such front pay as may be appropriate under the circumstances;
B.            For an award of such other compensatory damages against the District and its agents, for the tortious and wrongful conduct and resulting injuries suffered by Goggin in the amount to be proven at trial;
C.            For an award of costs and expenses and attorneys’ fees;
D.            For an award of pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest rate permitted by law, on all amounts awarded to Goggin from the date such damages were liquidated until paid in full; and
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RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 7th day of April, 2011.

By s/William R. Hobson William R. Hobson