Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fun with the Public School System: 4 School Administrators With Scary Backgrounds That Still Made It Past the Background Check


 



When someone is hired for a high paying job that requires large amounts of time to be spent around children, you would figure that a background check would be somewhat thorough. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Presented here are 4 examples of school administrators that were hired despite having some surprisingly checkered pasts. We'll start with most innocuous example and work our way up the ladder of insanity.



4. Calvin Gooch 
White collar criminal, good liar, elementary school principal



During the 1990s, Calvin Gooch spent his work time at AT&T in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He spent is off hours masterminding an overtime kickback scheme.

Gooch had his secretary alter time records for herself and 3 other employees to receive unworked overtime hours. A jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.


                                                                                      iparenting
The jury was also reprimanded for giggling every time 
someone said "United States of America vs. Gooch."


By the way, I just found that information on the trial and subsequent conviction by doing a quick Google search. More on that in a moment...

While in federal prison, Gooch was used as a "curriculum consultant" by Gail Worrell, a teacher at Lindenwood University (Gooch and Worrell met each other at an education conference during the mid 90's). As they discussed curriculums together, the pair began to fall in love. They soon became engaged and later were married.



"When I look into your eyes, all I see is 
a more efficient way to assess our second quarter grades."


Once Gooch left jail, he applied for a job in Illinois School District U-46 as a principal (which unsurprisingly, Worrell had obtained a job in, as well). He listed "university consulting" on his resume, but failed to mention that it was done while serving a prison sentence. In fact, he claimed on his resume that he had never been convicted of a felony (which he totally had).

The school district claimed that it did not catch what I was able to find using "The Google Machine" for a couple of reasons:

1). The crime was committed in Milwaukee, so it did not show up in Illinois on a cursory back ground check


                                                                                        tripadvisor
And what happens in Milwaukee, stays in Milwaukee.


2). The district claimed that a more thorough background check was too costly; the one that they used was $7, while the one that would have found Mr. Gooch's past indiscretions would have cost $55. While I can understand this being far too costly for all of the district's employees, it probably was worth doing for the person in charge of a school....

...or you could just Google his name like I did. All that cost me was missing a great touchdown during the game that is on the television right now.

Mr. Gooch and his awesome name resigned from District U-46 in December...and then he was hired as an elementary school principal in the Fairmont School District, who were also well aware of his criminal and deceitful past (scroll down in the link for highlighted/mind boggling text).

But hey, the guy just committed a white collar crime. He may have lied about his criminal history during a job interview, but at least it appears that he didn't actually harm the school or the kids. Unfortunately, our next example did.



3. Michael James Maples
Convicted of attempted larceny, becomes a principal, succeeds at larceny.

Michael James Maples had a rough time during the late 80's and early 90's. He was convicted of multiple offenses during his time in the military which included attempted grand theft larceny, altering public records, and wearing unauthorized military badges and decorations.

                                                                                         newbeetle
Maples' defense of trying to make sure he had
 the required "pieces of flair" was rejected


He was court martialed and spent a year in jail. After being dismissed from the military, Maples went on to parlay his impressive work history into a 12 year career as an educator in Oklahoma City. During his time as principal at Southeast High School, he was indicted on charges of embezzling $32,000 dollars that was actually grant money for the school.

But before anything could go sour with that brilliant scheme, Maples fled to Victoria, Texas and applied for a principal position at Memorial High School. He also dutifully answered "no" to questions about whether or not he had been tried or convicted of any felonies.

Eventually, the law caught up with Maples (after he was suspended with pay, of course).

This example was pretty bad, but sometimes people without an actual criminal record should still never be around children...like our next entry:



2. Frank Borzellieri
Writing for a white supremacist publication and hating Martin Luther King makes things a bit awkward at a minority dominated Catholic school.



Frank Borzellieri is a controversial columnist and former elected school board member from New York. He was well known to his constituents as being VERY conservative, but things didn't get really come to light until he became principal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, which has a mostly Black and Latino student population.

Red flags should have probably gone up during his time on the school board; he tried to ban a Martin Luther King biography from the school library.  His reason for wanting to do this was because he felt the biography should "say he was a leftist hoodlum with Communist ties."


                                         martinlutherking.org
Wait...seriously?  


He was also a frequent contributor to American Renaissance, a monthly "racialist" (i.e. racist) magazine from a white perspective. With gems in his writing resume such as "Why Racial Profiling is Justified" and claims that "diversity is a weakness," it's amazing/very bizarre that he was ever hired to run a school of mostly minority students.

But at least he didn't actually do any physical harm (that we know of) to the students like our next example allegedly did:




1. Donald Moten
After killing a man, Moten takes on his next challenge: School discipline


I first heard about the crazy administrative tenure of Donald Moten through this article at Cracked.com. If you read it as well, you'll realize that Cracked actually went easy on the guy; his path to administrative infamy even worse than you could imagine.

Before his days in the public school system, Moten had a very odd career with the Dallas police department. In 1987, he shot and killed an elderly crime watch volunteer during an incident that at best can be described as bizarre and suspect.

In 1988, he faked his own kidnapping because he was late to work.


                                                           thetechscoop
CRAP!  Overslept again!  
Time to cause a department wide panic.



Moten was also once cited for driving on the sidewalk with his lights on in an effort to get to work on time. These two incidents (along with the whole killing an old man thing) eventually resulted in Moten having to leave the force...and eventually finding work as the principal of South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas.

While there, Moten racked up an impressive list of transgressions during his tenure at the school.  

1.)  He was involved in two grade changing scandals that stripped the basketball team of its state titles.
2.)  He was repeatedly accused of sexually harassing employees, students, and parents.
3.)  He was strongly suspected of having students face off against each other in cage fights.

Yes, you read that right: Cage Fights.

Apparently, troubled youths that were on the verge of physically confronting each other during school were put into a place called "the cage" to settle their differences.

One employee said he even heard Moten remark about two students "Put 'em in the cage and let them duke it out."

                                                                        pyaatmarketing
Suspicions were aroused when detention slips read:
"Your student will be stepping into The Octagon from 3:30-4:30 PM."



Moten continues to deny that the cage fights ever happened despite multiple witnesses coming forward about it.  And as crazy as all of this sounds, it's even crazier that someone with Moten's suspect/insane record was put in charge of a large Texas high school.

You can look at Moten's district job application here and clearly see that he failed to mention any of the weirdness from his prior career as a disgraced police officer. In fact, he omitted his time on the police force altogether.  

And what was Moten's punishment for all of this? Did he have criminal charges filed against him? Was he banned from the public school system? Did he have to step into the "the cage" to duke it out with the school superintendent?

Not exactly. Moten was moved to Jackson Elementary School, where he remained principal for two years until he finally resigned. I'm guessing that he left due to constant media scrutiny he had brought upon himself. We can only hope that he also found his new school to be an insufficient place to start a new fight club.



                                          motherhoodcafe                                

Little kids are terrible at fighting




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