DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis Earns Third "Candy Ass" Picket!

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Sometimes MACE has no choice but to get in the administration's face (so to speak). When teachers are being severely mistreated simply because they have to be out on sick leave for necessary surgeries and necessary times of convalescence, or their paychecks are illegally and capriciously docked, or they are ruthlessly targeted by some heartless administrator simply because they ask some honest question, and then the DeKalb County (or other systems) central office does not respond to phone calls or process the grievances (which are mandated by state law), then MACE has no choice but to embarrass the superintendent and his minions for their egregious lack of action. This refusal to address certain issues is what causes the MACE Picket Force to hit the streets with the "Candy Ass" signs. They seem to work wonders. We are saying that the superintendent is a "chicken" and that this cowardice keeps him from directing his administrative bureaucrats at the central office to address the myriad of problems and case of administrative abuse that permeates the DeKalb County School System. When MACE engages in these types of pickets, invariably some of the central office big-shots come out to the picket line to inquire as to what caused the latest picket. (On one occasion, even the superintendent, Crawford Lewis himself, came outside to inquire as to what were the issues. Below are two e-mails written by Dr. John Trotter. One was written to Mr. Robert Ramsey (who is in charge of processing grievances in DeKalb) on the eve of MACE's latest "Candy Ass" picket. The other e-mail was written to Superintendent Crawford Lewis on the day of the most recent "Candy Ass" picket. (Some names have been redacted in the e-mails below.)

December 12, 2005

Dear Mr. Ramsey:

I represent Ms. _____ _____ in the grievance that she filed on December 8, 2005. This is a new obfuscation, viz., that you cannot read my handwriting. I have filed more teacher grievances than anyone in the history of Georgia (check it out if you don't believe me) but I have never had a bureaucrat to attempt to thwart the grievance because he/she could not read my writing. (I bet you will be able to read some signs tomorrow.) Have you even attempted to read and understand the grievance law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-989.5 et seq.)? All a teacher has to do is to state in writing that he or she is accessing the grievance process and name a statute, rule, policy, etc., that he or she contends that the administrator has or is violating. From Ms. ________'s complaint form which she turned in, I am quite sure that you are competent enough to determine that she was accessing the grievance policy and that she enumerated several constitutional, statutory, and case laws which she contends that DeKalb's illustrious Mr. ________ violated. One of the more egregious laws which Mr. ________ flagrantly violated was sending a teacher home (= suspending the teacher) without following any of the statutory requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. 20-2-940 (g). Consequently, Ms. ________'s paycheck for the last month was ZERO. Have you heard of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (as well as its parallel Georgia constitutional provisions)? Has the DeKalb School System sunk so low that it has become a "gangsta" system like Atlanta and thinks that it can steal a teacher's money whenever it gets the capricious notion? Your e-mail to Ms. ________ which was dated for December 12, 2005 is laughable (in addition to having several commas out of place). What in the heck is the "Office of Internal Investigations"? Whatever it is, it has absolutely nothing to do with a teacher's right in Georgia to file a grievance and his or her right to have a hearing under the relevant Georgia laws. Your "December 16th" deadline is artificial as well as arbitrary and capricious. Ms. ________ filed a complaint on a matter that is on-going. Therefore, your "December 16th" deadline is ludicrous. Mr. Ramsey, do yourself a favor: Don't try to fight a battle that you cannot win. Ask around. You must be new to DeKalb. We are not GAE nor PAGE. Try your mickey-mouse games with them. Sit back and observe. We'll show you how we work, and we will not let up. We keep it legal and juicy.

Have a good day, John Rhodes Alston Trotter, Ed.D., J.D.
c. Crawford Lewis

December 13, 2005

Crawford: You would be better off securing the services of people who abide by the law and who respond to phone calls. I try to be quite civil but when civility does not work with you guys, we have to hit the streets. ________ and ________ will not call back. They only do so on a very, very sporadic basis. You have problems brewing at King HS and Chapel Hill MS. I have other pressing matters with which to deal with your people. ________ has arrogated himself to the point that he apparently thinks that he is the superintendent. He apparently just dismissed Ms. ______, telling her to go home. No paperwork involved. No due process as required by OCGA 20-2-940(g). She was not paid one dime in her last check. We filed a grievance on the matter, and now your new grievance chief is trying not to process the grievance. You ought to know that we are not going to take this lying down. It is not in our nature to do so.
Later, John Trotter.

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