Facebook exchange Sept 23rd, 2016
From Diane Smith, former principal
Meadow Park Middle School
I have just read this for the first time, now sept 23, 2016. I don't know why it has never appeared before, or maybe I don't know how to use Facebook. Please send me your phone number so I can get in touch with you. I will be traveling for several weeks but will call you upon my return.I am so sorry this has all happened. I have not been aware of this. I am not in touch with anyone from the district for 10 years since my retirement. Diane
To Diane Smith:
My mother was dying and we had just moved her to Oregon when the BSD leadership announced that I had been harassing a colleague for several months, unknown to me...
I used to love teaching. So few people in the BSD made it so unfair for so many. I will probably end up in jail because I refuse to give up...
Would you? Maybe you are ready to help clear this up? I had asked to quit and lost my teaching career. I would like to go back to the time before I worked 70-hour weeks for crooked administrators.
Wow. I have been deserted by a lot of people I thought i was pretty good too. I really didn't expect you to respond. Four years after I was fired for sexually harassing a librarian who I didn't, my licenses was suspended for, among other things, taking Ashley Scott to my truck during class time. No documentation. No testimony that I remember. Just a finding it FDAB that as put in the newspaper. It was the last thing my mother her read about me. I had been paid 20K less than Dellerba to be Activities Director, worked my ass off, then got stabbed in the back by Gail VanGorder (a Hogue acolyte), who talked her librarian friend into signing a bogus harassment complaint that even the FDAB threw out. But they still needed sex (insubordination would not have been enough, huh?) so they used good ol' Meadow--you and Ashley Scott. No testimony--I never defended it. Ever. I have been trying for a VERY long time to be treated fairly by a school community that I worked very hard for. Borquist, Lekas and Hogue paid the Hungerfords to destroy my career. I have most of a book done but it is so f'ing hard to revisit some of it.
Wanna help me write the last chapter? (Even if you don't, you made me feel good by touching base. The phone quit ringing when I was fired.)
I remember that your dad is a lawyer. You told me when we had that very special meeting in a coffee shop when you convinced me to take two weeks off and stay in my job. I watch the entire Clinton impeachment trial on C-Span during that break, did you know?
The Hungerfords announced at FDAB that you had asked to be excused from testifying because your father was ill. Did you not even know about my trial? My FDAB hearing was delayed several months (did I mention my mom was dying?) because Borquist wanted to vacation in Morocco during Spring Break.
My union rep, Husted, was meeting with the HR department every two weeks while he was sitting on Hogue's board of directors. The OEA basically threw me under a bus...my "lawyer" appeared at the BSD HR office when they were firing me the second time (after they locked me out for sexual harassing the librarian, they called me back three days later and fired me again, for not doing work while I was locked out. That's when the lawyer appeared).
Before my FDAB trial--and without consulting me, he filed a million-dollar lawsuit in federal court for freedom of speech, then proceeded to stifle my voice for four years while Beaverton's lawyers pissed on my record and history. Over a year after I was fired, the TSPC started sending me stipulations that included taking a Meadow Park kid to my truck. I refused for over three years so they just "accepted certain facts as true." When I demanded a hearing in front of a judge, I was limited to "proving my fitness to teach" (but not to rebut any of the charges from Meadow). Jamsa testified for me...it hurt him politically.
The Administrative Law Judge who heard my case recommended a reprimand (I defended myself against an asst AG), but the TSPC director was able to ignore that court's finding and suspend my license anyway, almost four years after I was fired illegally.
My mother--a classroom teacher for 35 years-- died watching me fight the BSD HR department and Hungerford Law...and the OEA.
I had to pay my brother's lawyer (a friend of the BSD) 5K to collect the 40K settlement from the bogus million-dollar suit. They were making all my medical records public and I didn't want to be smelled with pot allegations. Also, t learned the day before court that Ashley Scott's mother was scheduled to testify. I walked out of my "lawyer's" office and haven't seen him since.
I still remember interviewing with you for the Meadow job. I really loved being a teacher then. I got a $2K bonus that first year for doing those plays. All that stuff is so long gone now. Jamsa doesn't communicate any more.
I didn't eat for three days when this was published:
BEAVERTON APPEALS BOARD UPHOLDS TEACHER'S FIRING
Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
August 5, 2004
DAVID R. ANDERSON - The Oregonian
Summary: The Westview High teacher was rightfully terminated, the panel says as it reverses a sexual harassment claimAn appeals board has rejected the case of a Westview High School teacher who claims he was fired because he raised concerns about favoritism toward wealthy students.The Oregon Fair Dismissal Appeals Board ruled that Donald Bellairs was insubordinate and neglected his duties as a teacher. The board also concluded that Bellairs had engaged in "a pattern of angry and disrespectful outbursts, as well as other unprofessional and disruptive communications, towards students, parents, staff and administrators."
Bellairs plans to appeal the ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals, said his lawyer, Thomas Doyle. The appeals board improperly used past incidents involving Bellairs to judge whether he was insubordinate and had neglected his duties during the past school year, Doyle said.The appeals board supported Bellairs' claim that he did not sexually harass another staff member at the school. That was one of three reasons the Beaverton School Board fired Bellairs in February, according to the appeals board's analysis.But the board found that Bellairs was insubordinate during a teachers' meeting with Superintendent Jerry Colonna in January. Bellairs complained about a student who had been given the lead in a drama production, saying it was because her parents were active in the school and donated money to the drama program. Bellairs, who had a history of conflict with the girl and her parents, spoke in a disrespectful manner, the appeals board found.And Bellairs neglected his duty by failing to complete grades for students in January after he was placed on administrative leave.School district officials said they were limited in what they could say, because Bellairs is continuing to appeal the case. But Linda Borquist, an associate superintendent for human resources, said the outcome confirms the district's actions."About all I can say is that we're glad there's a process to review our practices and procedures to make sure we treat our employees fairly," she said.It was the first time in Borquist's 12 years in the district's human resources department that a teacher has taken a firing to the appeals board. The two sides conducted a three-day hearing before the three-member panel in June. The board made its decision late last month.Bellairs has filed a $1 million federal lawsuit against the Beaverton School District, claiming the district violated his First Amendment rights, defamed him and interfered with his ability to get a home mortgage. He is seeking compensation for severe emotional and physical injury, plus lost wages, punitive damages and attorney's fees.Both sides claimed that the appeals board decision helped their case in the lawsuit.Doyle said that the ruling actually helps Bellairs' case, because the appeals board rejected the sexual harassment grounds and not all the board members agreed that the grades issue was grounds for firing."We feel this case supports our federal complaint," Doyle said.The district hired Bellairs, 51, in fall 1997 to work at Meadow Park Middle School. He transferred to Westview High in September 1999, where he taught media studies, keyboarding and English.The appeals board's 24-page order reveals new facts about the district's reasons for firing Bellairs. It describes a history of incidents going back to his time at Meadow Park. They include:* An accusation that Bellairs took a female student at Meadow Park into his pickup in the school parking lot and belittled her, using inappropriate language.* A confrontation at Westview High after a staff member changed computer passwords without telling Bellairs. Bellairs was accused of angrily confronting the staff member and a vice principal. Other staff members who witnessed the outburst said they were frightened.* An ongoing dispute that started over video equipment between Bellairs and a student and his parents. After the student returned a camera a day late, Bellairs said the boy couldn't use equipment for the remainder of the year. The boy's father asked for the decision to be reversed. After a series of meetings, which included one that left the student in tears, administrators placed a memo in Bellairs' file directing him to treat other employees and students with respect.* An accusation by a female staff member that Bellairs hugged her and made suggestive comments that made her uncomfortable. The woman said she didn't say anything to Bellairs because she was afraid of his angry outbursts. Although the appeals board found that Bellairs' actions didn't amount to sexual harassment, they said it was further evidence of the effects of his outbursts.David R. Anderson: 503-294-5199; firstname.lastname@example.org
From Diane Smith
It looks like you have moved on and are now living in Switzerland a beautiful place. Hope your life is good and so sorry to hear about the conflict you have had. Diane
To Diane Smith
Parts of my life are wonderful, thank you, as they have always been. But I am living with this little injustice that still gnaws at me: Beginning in 1997--for two years under your supervision and for the next five under various administrators at Westview, i was forced to drink the urine of petulant, spoiled children, unsupervised counselors, bullying parents and indicative junior administrators--building first a drama program, then a video production program, from the ground up and working with kids that some teachers didn't want to--all while getting (secret) bonuses. I was told my license would be in jeopardy if I made waves or quit. So two days ago, when you sent your brief, indifferent response to the outpouring of pain I sent you (sorry but you are part of this journey) I was pretty disappointed (and I had thought I was over being disappointed by people from my Beaverton experience). You KNOW I didn't take a 12-year-old with a behavioral disorder to my truck cab during class time when I worked for you (hell, I let the kid back into my class)--but that little item got in the newspaper and was used to suspend my license to WORK, three years after I was fired for "sexually harassing" one of Gail Vangorder's flunkies at Westview. For a fleeting moment, when I got your first message, I thought finally someone might be willing to do the right thing and speak up on my behalf....but after your reply, I realize that the only way I will get anything close to justice is to make a big enough noise that someone has to listen. It's been a long time, and I'm still trying, Maybe we'll see you in court someday.