Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

School board upholds district decision on coach

Crawford4W

Julie Crawford talks with supporters following the appeal hearing. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | March 14, 2014 |

After deliberating for more than four hours in closed session Thursday, the Davis Board of Education voted 3-1 to deny Julie Crawford a volleyball coaching job at Davis High School, upholding the school district’s administrative decision.

The four remaining members of the board — trustee Nancy Peterson, whose family filed the complaint against Crawford, resigned last week — came out of closed session shortly after 11 p.m. to announce the vote and comment on it.

Trustees Tim Taylor, Susan Lovenburg and Sheila Allen voted to uphold the administration’s action in the Crawford/Peterson case; trustee Gina Daleiden voted nay.

The Peterson family complained after Crawford cut their daughter from the team at the beginning of her senior season, alleging that it was done in retaliation against Nancy Peterson, who had voted several times to deny her a coaching position. That complaint was investigated by a team of attorneys hired by the school district; they concluded that, while Crawford’s roster decision “was influenced, in part, by her personal feelings about Nancy Peterson” the action was not taken with “willful mal-intent” to harm the student.

Crawford declined to comment on the board’s decision. Several of her supporters — including members of the girls volleyball team, who read statements supporting the coach written by members of the boys volleyball team during public comment, as well as parents who spoke in support of Crawford — sat silently after the decision was announced.

The DHS boys will continue to be mentored this season by two interim coaches, but the board “directed that Julie Crawford be permitted to apply for any future coaching positions,” including the job of girls volleyball coach this fall, and presumably the boys coaching position next winter.

After the closed-session decision was announced, the trustees aired their personal opinions on the long-running dispute for the first time in open session.

“There has been a lot of bleeding in the community over this issue,” trustee Tim Taylor said. “I think everyone would and should agree that it is time for the bleeding to stop.”

He added that it is time for the community to move forward, but acknowledged, “it is not going to be easy,” especially for those who disagree with the board’s decision.

“You can’t always find the easy road, and even if you find it, it’s not always the right road,” Taylor concluding, indicating that some of the information he had heard during the closed session had influenced his vote.

Trustee Sheila Allen read from a lengthy prepared statement, which addressed multiple issues involving high school athletics and school board actions in recent years. Allen said she was sorry that volleyball coaches were not in place for the start of the season in three recent years, thanked coaches for their dedication and spoke of efforts to improve the system of evaluating coaches when they are up for renewal.

Allen also said she is “very concerned about social media postings that occurred around this issue” and mentioned “the tone and the accusations made behind a facade of anonymous comments” as being particularly troubling.

Trustee Susan Lovenburg spoke briefly, saying, “I think we’ve done the right thing” but acknowledging that the board’s decision “is not going to make everybody happy.” She added that she hopes the community “will take something good out of this situation.”

School board president Gina Daleiden — stressing that she was speaking as an individual trustee — offered remarks regarding her dissenting vote: “I do believe our district’s response to complaints need to be in proportion,” she said, adding, “I do believe in this instance the district went Code 3 on something that maybe did not warrant that. … I did not find a preponderance of evidence to support (the administration’s) findings and conclusions.”

Daleiden added that there “may be some policies we need to fix, we ended up jumping right into the deep end of the pool. I would have liked to see this resolved at a lower level, maybe earlier. … This particular case has shown that the district needs to look at how we take care of complaints,” referencing “the time, the energy, the money and the attorneys we have put into this type of process.”

At the same time, Daleiden extended an olive branch to her colleagues, with whom she differed.

“Reasonable people can disagree. … I absolutely believe they hold the whole district in their hearts and minds when they make choices.”

Daleiden also suggested that coaches need “more discretion” when selecting which student-athletes will be on a team, how much playing time they will get and how the coach will work with his or her players. She said it is “very, very difficult for me personally, and as an elected representative, to act within the policies that cover our school district and how we handle appeals. They sometimes seem in conflict with the bigger picture for me.”

Teacher Cathy Haskell offered the only public comment, striding to the microphone to say, “Boo, that was horrible. … I think you’re copping out on this.”
The school board also held a brief first reading of a proposed new bylaw covering conflict-of-interest issues relating to school board trustees; the proposed bylaw will come back for further discussion and possible action at a future meeting.

As Thursday night’s meeting ended, Daleiden said the next regularly scheduled board meeting next Thursday probably will not be held due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, there may be a brief special meeting on the morning of Friday, March 21, to approve the school district’s state-mandated second interim budget, followed by another meeting in early April to handle other business.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to UCD campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Playing Santa

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Goats help recycle Christmas trees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Blamed for her sister’s rage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

     
    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9