LHS Teacher Files Complaint

LaVergne High School teachers have now filed a complaint against the Rutherford County Schools Director Harry Gill Jr.   REA representative Pam Jones had recently filed multiple complaints on behalf of the educators at LHS in regards to Principal Dirk Ash.  The complaints had been investigated by the staff attorney Angel McCloud whose findings stated they were unfounded.   Jones now fights for the right for procedures in the complaint process be fair, unbiased and properly investigated, according to the DNJ.

“The REA believes what is of greatest importance in any complaint is the ability for the complainant to have sufficient steps to attain a proper investigation and ultimately a truthful and unbiased decision. The REA believes that good teachers do not need protecting by the adoption of an unfair complaint procedure. … Due to Mr. Gill’s eradication of the (school board) hearing step, the REA complainant (Jones) has no recourse. The REA believes that the current complaint procedure has been so severely altered by the Director that no complainant can have the reasonable expectation of fair, honest and unbiased treatment. “

This will remain an interesting chapter in the tenure of Mr. Gill because being informed of current policies is vital to teachers and staff, along with parents and students.

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15 comments for “LHS Teacher Files Complaint

  1. steve noe
    December 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I don't know Mr. Ash, BUT……….My son went to Lavergne so I have kinda followed this thing and tried to understand but someone please help me here. LHS has had some really bad leadership in the past and now someone is in there to try and clean it up, I guess before I pass judgement on the staff or Mr. Ash. What is it that Teachers and Parents want? Do they want it back the way it was? Do they want Mr. Ash to be a follwer and do what the treachers and parents say? I so confused, I even read somewhere , don't remember where though, but a student was writing his/her complaint. Now, the way I see it, If we send our children to a school and let TOTAL strangers teach them to prepair for the rest of there lives, then someone has to be in charge. When I was a student I was to be seen and not heard, do my work, be good and go home. SO AGAIN, someone please tell me in terms that a non college grad can understand.

  2. Renee
    December 4, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I'm an LHS parent. Yes, I see need for changes at LHS from what they had previously. I'm not against everything Ash has done/is trying to do. However, I DO think he and all the people he brought with him need to treat the students and teachers with the same respect they expect/want to be shown. From what I hear, that's not the case. Some of what he's changed or tried to change appears to just be because he COULD change it. My child is a senior athlete, honors student with excellent grades who is actively involved in several activities. She's not a trouble-maker at all, but she still doesn't want to attract any attention to herself from him because of the way he has presented himself and/or treated other people. Just doesn't sound like much of a "leader" to me…

    • Sherry
      December 4, 2010 at 8:55 am

      I couldn't agree more. Yes, some changes needed to be made, but when Ash runs off some of the best teachers LHS has, and institutes idiotic policies just because he can, that's definitely a problem. My daughter is also a senior honors student and even asked me to look into the possibility of her transferring. Who does that their last semester of high school?! She's miserable this year and is just trying to get thru the year and graduate. If she was any younger, I'd yank her out of there in a heartbeat.

      • LHSAtRisk
        December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm

        My son is also a senior and miserable, all thanks to Mr Ash and his changes – which are basically trying to turn a high school of young adults into a middle school with it's rules and procedures. My son is a striaght A student, he's taken summer school and night classes just to skip a grade to get out of there. Today he was told he had to take a math test (his night school class which isn't even completed yet) and it was cut and dry pass and graduate, fail and you don't. No warning, no time to study, nothing. So now I feel he deserves his money back for night school if it's not gonna count. (Yeah, good luck on that one happening – Ash is one of Gill's good ole boys). Yes some things needed to be changed, I agree, but we went from bad to worse! MR. EGO is in charge now and wants everyone to know it. His way or the highway. No discussion. I know Pam Jones, she is one of the best teachers you could ask for to teach your child. I back her 100%, and I'll bet my next pay check – if she tells you something you can bank on it. She doesn't embellish or make mountains out of mole hills. She'll be just another notch on Mr. Ego's belt, of the GOOD teachers that have left. Which is fine with him, since he brought his own which bow to his every whim. So he'd rather work turn his back on the young men and women who are really trying and focus on his own promotions.

  3. LHSparent
    December 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    My son is a Freshman and moved up from the middle school with Mr Ash. I've never had any problem with the way he runs things. He is strict but most f the kids now need that because they don't get it elsewhere. I see no problem with what he's doing, but that maybe because I didn't see the way things were done before. Change is never easy for adults – us older adults and especially the very youngest who are just learning to be adults. I have no complaints about him though. If the teachers are so unhappy they should find another job – there are plenty of qualified unemployed people who would love to have theirs!

    • Sherry
      December 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      That's actually a huge part of the problem. Ash is condescending and treats these kids like they're still 6th graders. I do agree that high school kids still need discipline, but his methods would go over much better with students AND teachers if he'd treat them with just one ounce of respect, which he doesn't. LHS has turned into one giant power struggle between the administration, teachers, parents and students. Guess who ends up on the losing end? The students.

      • LHSAtRisk
        December 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

        AMEN Sherry. You hit the nail right on the head. He wants to treat them like they are still middle students. Glad you have no issues with him LHSparent, cause the those of us who have been in this town for 20+ years remember the good ole days when this was one of the best school systems in middle TN. My oldest son graduated from there several years ago and we were proud, now we're just embarrassed.

  4. Elizabeth
    December 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

    my grandson will be going to LHS next year and I hope things get worked out before then…there is no reason why the administration, teachers, and parents can't work things out for the betterment of the students…after all it is the students who either benefit or suffer…just saying

  5. December 7, 2010 at 8:51 am

    We just met with Mr. Ash to talk about the issues. I have to say I feel somewhat better after talking to him. He would like and welcomes more parent involvement in the school. He said that he was moved to this school to clean it up and get the scores up on testing. LaVergne is at the bottom of the Rutherford county list for testing scores. This is my fourth daughter going through this school and the previous administrators didn't do a good job. So far Mr. Ash has stopped a gang who was charging $5 for sex in a bathroom stall, closed off some hall areas that were known to have trouble, generally cleaned up the school. Mr. Ash said that he's assigned out lockers to make sure that no groups could have lockers together so that no trouble would be started. Teachers must leave their classrooms between classes and monitor the halls. The teachers are held more accountable for what they teach. Like with anything there are going to be some who will hate the change and will leave or let go. Others will see that this is a good thing in the long run. I hope that Mr. Ash succeeds and that the teachers work with him. I guess we'll see what the rest of the school year brings.

    • LHSAtRisk
      December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      Right now all it is bringing is alot of bad feelings and a great big mess to clean up, and the students and select teachers are paying the price. His price….

    • LHSparent
      December 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      I agree that out of what he has done so far, the good dramatically outweighs the bad.

  6. December 8, 2010 at 6:34 am

    There is a fine line between being an authority figure as opposed to an authoritarian. The problem with a lot of administrators these days is that they are trying to win the approval of their students and as a result don’t really stand up for anything that they believe in. Students don’t want friendship they need guidance and direction. With that said, this guy’s rules seem controversial and it seems that enough people are standing up against him which does raise some red flags.

    • LHSAtRisk
      December 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      Very well said….

  7. SeniorLHS
    February 9, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I am a senior at LHS also and As soon as I heard Mr.Ash was going to become principle I knew it was time to get out.
    I have been in La Vergne since first grade, never struggled through, never had a problem with teachers, than I got to middle school when he was Principle also and had a lot of problems.I remembered how much I hated being at LMS & decided I needed to skip my junior year, & get out of there.

    Some of the things that are said, are very rude & disrespectful.I believe if you want to come into LHS, you come with RESPECT and you'll receive respect.We have not once witnessed respect at LHS.

    If you ask most of the seniors if they are enjoying their senior year, most of us will tell you absolutely not.Your senior year is supposed to be filled with excitement, people pushing you to strive for excellence to reach your goal to May 19.NOPE.Haven't gotten it.
    We get treated like 10 year olds at LHS, and that's absolutely wrong.Our school was not as bad as everyone made it out to be last year, or the years before.It was mostly MEDIA.But we have done nothing but file complaints about trying to make a change, and this isn't even the beginning of it.

    I saw a reply from LHSatRisk. I also am enrolled in night school, I took US History last semester, the asst. principle pulled me out of class, told me I had to be in a certain place to take a test.I didn't know WHAT in the world he was even talking about, I got there, asked what I was taking, & They said I was taking the test I had to take in order to graduate.
    No time to study, no heads up..Nothing at all.

    I've worked extremely hard to graduate early So I can just get out of there and move on with my life instead of having to wake up not looking forward to my day at LHS like i did my freshman & sophomore year, go to school every single day, listen to people who treat us like we should be in middle school, & give us no respect.

    And as one user said above, it's the student who end up on the losing end.

    • LHSAtRisk
      February 9, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you SeniorLHS for only proving what my son is going through. I could not agree more that your senior year should be all about excitement and looking forward to the future and being allowed to "be a senior with perks" you've worked hard and earned them. All I can say to you is the same thing I advised my son. Everyday you get through is one less day you have to be there in the future. Then you can move onto college (which he is doing right now with all the paperwork required) and having something to look forward to rather than dread everyday. I am sorry this is happening to you too, it should be one of the happiest times of your life, not a terrible memory that you will have for the rest of your life. Thank you Mr. Ashe for creating such a wonderful enviroment for our young adults – who are excelling in spite of you! Congrats Senior LHS for taking your future in your own hands. Stay strong, and live for a better day and happier times.

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