YouTube and the Federal Way School Board | Letters

Letter to the editor

YouTube and the Federal Way School Board

Just recently I watched the last Federal Way School Board meeting broadcast and posted on YouTube on May 22, 2018. I was shocked to hear so many compelling and riveting testimonies by teachers in the Federal Way Public Schools. Now I understand why May 22, 2018, was the last time a Federal Way School Board meeting was broadcast and available on YouTube. There were over 200 people in attendance at that board meeting and many appeared to be teachers and students. Some of the attendees at this meeting were standing up and holding up signs.

When each teacher and staff member in the FW Public Schools spoke at public comment, they used terms such as “students terrorize other students” and “extreme violence.” One staff member at Sacajawea Middle School said, “100% of staff across the district are affected by discipline and extreme violence.” This staff member said, “this is a districtwide problem” and we are now at “crisis level.” The staff member said that these are “out of control students.”

Another teacher said to the school board told the superintendent, “You guys are failing us.” This teacher said, “Parents had horrifying stories about what is going on in the Federal Way Public Schools.” One teacher said, “Teachers are scared to come forward with problems for fear they will lose their job.”

Another teacher said, “100% of staff in the Federal Way school district are affected by discipline and safety issues.” Another teacher said, “We beg you to have a town hall meeting so that parents and teachers can engage with the school board.” The teacher went on to say, “Teachers are leaving the district in droves.”

A staff member said, “the assistant principal at Sacajawea Middle School was sworn at and called names.” She said, “Teachers and para-educators are sexually harassed on a daily basis by students.”

Another teacher began his public comment with the statement, “It is with sadness I am here tonight…” He said during recess at an elementary school, a student was hurtling basketballs from a hill, hoping to smash kids down below. He said that kids were being terrorized at recess by other students.

Superintendent Dani Pfeiffer, I can go on and on with more testimonies from this one school board meeting. You attended this meeting so you are aware of what went on during this school board meeting.

For the past 27 months, I have attended practically every Federal Way School Board meeting. I have been open and honest and transparent as possible when giving testimony at public comment. I have asked repeatedly, in a respectful manner, to have the school board meetings broadcast live so they can be posted to YouTube and other media. I have asked you and the school board to move public comment toward the start of the meeting. After watching this May 22, 2018, Federal Way School Board meeting on YouTube, I understand why those requests have not been honored.

Your IT staff has called me and said that I can watch or listen to the meetings via Zoom. You are doing the bare minimum to be accessible to the public. I cannot go to YouTube to watch a Federal Way School Board meeting. Why? Everyone from first grade on up knows about YouTube. It is universal. It is everywhere and easily accessible to watch.

Dr. Pfeiffer, is it possible the reason the Federal Way School Board meetings are no longer broadcast on live TV and posted to YouTube is because the district was embarrassed during that May 22, 2018, school board meeting by the compelling and riveting testimonials by many teachers and staff?

I respectfully request once again to please go to council chambers with the school board so these meetings can be broadcast on live TV and posted to YouTube. If you are proud of this school district and want the public to see how wonderful FWPS is, you would broadcast the school board meetings on every possible media outlet.

Geoffrey Tancredi, Federal Way