The Salt Lake City School District’s parents are getting ready for Tuesday’s first day of classes for their children. The new school year’s room, locker, and teacher allocations will be given to the students. They will also receive a great deal of uncertainty. The first black person to lead a Utah school district, Dr. Timothy Gadson, was put on paid administrative leave in July. Soon after, one of the biggest school districts in the state lost its leadership team when Dr. Gwendolyn Johnson-White, his immediate subordinate, resigned.
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According to information obtained by Crisis In The Classroom, Gadson was suspended due to complaints about his conduct at work, his hiring of individuals with a questionable background, and a trip he took to visit a Christian private school in Arizona. The board learned that the university had funded the trip, but Gadson asserted that he had reimbursed the university for its costs.
Gadson and the board decided to use mediation to resolve their differences in August. Teacher Amanda Sutton acknowledged that the memory of the confrontation between Dr. Gadson and the school board lingers as she gets ready for a new group of first and second graders. It’s definitely a distraction, according to Sutton, a 13-year veteran of Open Classroom in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood.
However, Sutton claimed that the superintendent had little impact on her in terms of her regular teaching. My teaching team and I simply believe that we should continue doing what we’ve always done, Sutton said. The future of Dr. Gadson is still up in the air. The board and superintendent have agreed to mediate their dispute, but no start date has been established.