School Board To Reconsider Dan Johnson Plagiarism

Thursday, September 5, 2013
NHUHSD Superintendent Chris Hartley, an Arcata High School Class of 2013 graduate and Trustee Dan Johnson at the June 13 commencement. Submitted photo

NHUHSD Superintendent Chris Hartley, an Arcata High School Class of 2013 graduate and Trustee Dan Johnson at the June 13 commencement. Submitted photo

Eye Staff Report

The Northern Humboldt Union High School District Board of Trustees will again take up the matter of Trustee Dan Johnson’s plagiarized Arcata High School commencement address at its meeting next Tuesday evening.

The meeting takes place Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the McKinleyville High School Multi-Purpose Room.

Johnson has been criticized for using without attribution large portions of a speech composed and delivered by Wellesley High School teacher David McCullough, Jr. at that school’s 2012 commencement ceremony. An apology later issued by Johnson only deepened the criticism, a it called his critics “self-appointed referees of good and evil” who suffer from “a far more profound flaw than mine.”

The scandal deepened as the district’s Board of Trustees refused to condemn the plagiarism or censure Johnson. Later disclosure of internal e-mail messages among boardmembers revealed efforts to downplay criticism and shut out news media inquiries during what appear to be non-noticed serial meetings of the board held online in violation of the Brown Act, a state law.

Johnson’s speech theft is one of a flurry of plagiarism incidents involving school officials in recent weeks. In several of the cases, the educator involved resigned. In one instance, a Massachusetts school principal resigned for plagiarized verbiage used in an internal school memorandum.

Johnson hasn’t attended the last two board meetings. He has stated that he will read his written apology at the Sept. 10 meeting.

The complete agenda:

NORTHERN HUMBOLDT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 

McKinleyville High School Multi-Purpose Room 

STUDY SESSION 

5:30 p.m. 

1.0 OPEN SESSION 

 

1.1 Call to Order

1.2 Flag Salute

1.3 Roll Call

2.0 INFORMATION ITEMS 

 

2.1 MHS Automotive Shop tour

3.0 ADJOURN TO REGULAR MEETING 

REGULAR MEETING 

6:00 p.m. 

AGENDA 

1.0 OPEN SESSION 

 

1.1 Call to Order

1.2 Flag Salute

1.3 Roll Call

2.0 AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS 

3.0 PUBLIC COMMENTS 

3.1 District Employees 

Individuals speaking on matters not listed on the agenda are asked to step forward to the lectern and state clearly their name and address. Individual speakers shall be allowed three minutes to address the Board on each non-agenda item.

3.2 Non-Agenda Items 

Members of the public may comment on non-agenda matters. No action may be taken on topics not listed on the agenda. Individual speakers shall be allowed three minutes to address the Board on each non-agenda item. The Board shall limit the total time for public input on each item to twenty minutes.

3.3 Agenda Items 

Individuals will have an opportunity to speak on items on the agenda before Board discussion on that item. Individual speakers shall be allowed three minutes to address the Board on each agenda or non-agenda item. The Board shall limit the total time for public input on each item to twenty minutes.

4.0 COMMENTS FROM MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BOARD NHUHSD Governing Board Agenda September 10, 2013 page 2

 

5.0 CONSENT AGENDA 

Notice to the Public 

All matters listed under this category are considered to be routine by the Governing Board and will be enacted by one motion on a roll call vote. There will be no separate discussion of these items. However, if discussion is required, that item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered separately.

5.1 Approval of Minutes of August 13, 2013, Regular Meeting

5.2 Approval of warrants

5.3 Approval of ASB warrants

5.4 Receive and file monthly financial report

5.5 Receive and file monthly department class averages

5.6 Accept and receive donation of a 2008 Buick Enclave valued at $8,500 from General Motors Technology Donation Program to the MHS Automotive program

6.0 INFORMATION ITEMS 

6.1 Student Board Representatives

6.2 Bond Update

6.3 Opening Day Enrollments

6.4 Summer School Report

6.5 Summer Maintenance Report

6.6 Northern Humboldt Professional Development Plan/Opening Day Feedback

7.0 PUBLIC HEARING 

7.1 Public hearing on Resolution 1/2013-14, Sufficiency of Instructional Minutes

7.2 Public comment on the NHUHSD Public Disclosure Summary

8.0 ACTION ITEMS 

8.1 Consider possible actions in response to Dan Johnson’s June graduation speech in light of his written statement and subsequent community and Board member concerns

8.2 Approval of Changes in Certificated and Classified Personnel

8.3 Recommend approval of Resolution 2/2013-14, GANN Limit Appropriation

8.4 Recommend approval of the 2012-13 Unaudited Actuals

8.5 Recommend approval of the agreement with NHUHSD and CTA for the 2013-14 school year

8.6 Recommend approval of the agreement with NHUHSD and CSEA for the 2013-14 school year

8.7 Discussion and possible action on electronic board packets

9.0 COMMUNICATIONS 

10.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS 

10.1 Regular Board Meeting, October 9, 2013 6 p.m., McKinleyville High School multi-purpose room.

11.0 FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS 

12.0 COMMENTS FROM SCHOOL SITE PRINCIPALS 

13.0 COMMENTS FROM DIRECTOR OF FISCAL SERVICESs NHUHSD Governing Board Agenda September 10, 2013 page 3

 

14.0 COMMENTS FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

15.0 COMMENTS FROM SUPERINTENDENT 

16.0 COMMENTS FROM MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BOARD 

17.0 ADJOURNMENT TO CLOSED SESSION 

THE BOARD WILL CONSIDER AND/OR TAKE ACTION UPON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS INDICATED BY (X):

[ ] PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT APPOINTMENT 

[ ] PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT 

[ ] PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION 

[ ] PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE/DISMISSAL/RELEASE 

[ ] CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR 

[ ] CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL 

[X] CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR – EXISTING LITIGATION 

[ ] COMPLAINT AGAINST PUBLIC EMPLOYEE 

[ ] CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – ANTICIPATED LITIGATION \

[X] EXPULSIONS 

A. Review terms of expulsion for Student #89/2012-13

B. Review terms of expulsion for Student #4/2013-14

18.0 RECONVENE TO OPEN SESSION 

18.1 Announcement of action taken in Closed Session

19.0 ADJOURNMENT 

NOTICE: Any writing, not exempt from public disclosure under Government Code Section 6253.5, 6254, 6254.3, 6254.7, 6254.15, 6254.16, or 6254.22, which is distributed to all or a majority of the members of the governing board by any person in connection with a matter subject to discussion or consideration at an open meeting of the board is available for public inspection at the Arcata High School and McKinleyville High School Libraries or the District Office. Please call Tammy Pires. Superintendent’s Secretary at (707) 839-6481 if you have any questions.

In compliance with Government Code section 54954.2(a) Northern Humboldt Union High School District will, on request make agendas available in appropriate alternative formats to persons with a disability, as required by Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12132), and the federal rules and regulations adopted in implementation thereof. Individuals who need this agenda in an alternative format or who need a disability-related modification or accommodation in order to participate in the meeting should contact, Tammy Pires, Superintendent’s Secretary at (707) 839-6481.

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