Why is Superintendent Vitti punishing staff for doing their jobs?

Last summer when school grades came out it was a disaster.
Duval’s school grades plummeted at an unprecedented rate. The school board then
extended the super’s contract and did so some nine months before they had to.

If the super’s job is to raise school grades then he
has arguably been a failure.

That’s why it is really amazing that he has
disciplined two staff member for doing their jobs.
The first is Oscar Harris an assistant principal at Westside
High School who was suspended for 30 days for breaking up a brutal fight.  The way I see it Mr. Harris, 52 years old,
put himself on the line to protect other students and staff and instead of
being thanked he was hung out to dry. Should Mr. Harris have let the kids beat
each other into a pulp?

Then there is Cheryle Ferlita, the former district academic services director over
reading language arts for grades three through five.
Her job was to help
reading coaches and teachers prepare their children for the state tests and she
was demoted to reading coach and her grievous sin was doing her job. She passed
on a reading prompt that was similar to one that was on the test. Did the
district want something different?

Teacher morale is rock bottom and I am sure staff
being punished for doing their job is not helping things. Time and time again
the super has also said denigrating things about the district’s staff now he
has taken to punishing them for doing their job.

The super has powerful friends in the city. The business
community and the elites love him but should that be enough? I mean isn’t his
job to improve things, and he might not get it but punishing people to success
is not going to get the job done.  

19 Replies to “Why is Superintendent Vitti punishing staff for doing their jobs?”

  1. The real problem with our schools is the animal like wild behavior of SOME of our students. Schools need to identify these students, offer them help and if the behavior continues kick them out. Students can't learn and teachers can't teach because some these kids are nothing less than feral.

    1. Yeah, it's a small but powerful SOME. They need to be counseled and removed if necessary. It would also help if the Code of Conduct were followed in any way. At my school, it isn't. We have no restorative justice, though it is listed as a consequence on some referrals. There is a lot of "pretending to discipline."

      Vitti also doesn't follow progressive discipline with teachers, which is contractual. Where's DTU? Why is Vitti allowed to ignore judges?

  2. I know that we are down to zero discipline. There are at least 3 or more fights every day. We have had staff physically threatened or actually pushed aside by students, and the administration does nothing. In my nine years, this year has been the worst. You can blame teachers and staff, but really the Code of Conduct has tied the hands of everyone. All Vitti cares about are the discipline statistics, not an actual lack of discipline demonstrated by the students. The students know, so they regularly take advantage of every situation to the point where they mock our administration. The kids will swear at our administration and they do nothing. They just walk away, and then expect teachers to hold students accountable in the classroom. It is a sad time in Duval.

  3. What no one is realizing, and I have said this before, is that all school districts have been pushed toward these policies by the Federal Department of Justice and Department of Education. Check this out: ed.gov/news/speeches/rethinking-school-discipline

    1. Not really. Compare St. Johns' Code of Conduct to Duval's:


      When I get students from GA and look at their cums, I see they were disciplined there. It's definitely a Duval problem and always has been.

  4. Vitti is a charlatan. He has literally thrown the teachers to the wolves. I dislike Vitti as a super.

  5. I had not been at school 30 minutes before being insulted and called something other than my name. If I were to say something back, there would be hell to pay.

  6. I requested the ability to impose after school detention at the beginning of the year. The administrator looked at me as if something was growing out of my head. Its like they want the kids to run wild. I was told by a VP to: "teach around it".

  7. Teaching kids that they can run wild in school with no consequences is spilling into the community. Now they shooting each other in the streets. I don't think the cops are going to "build positive relationships" with them. I think they'll just arrest them.

  8. Sometimes the behavior gets so bad I wonder if I'm involved in some type of social experiment in lab. If you go over to St Johns or Clay, different ball game.

  9. More wild kids= more people who won't posses the work ethic or education necessary to become tax payers. They will be tax takers. More programs for the flithy democrats. Most of the westside looks like a third world country because of the "program" type of folk who didn't care about school when they had the chance. Its really pathetic. I'm sick and tired of seeing young black men being allowed to act like animals. As an older black man I know theyre pigs on their way to the slaughter. Yeah, white kids act up to, but in my 12 years, young, low ses, inner city black males are the worst. School is their only real chance and admin enables their nasty ignorant behavior by not imposing constructive character building consequences.

    If we dont do something now, Jacksonville will make Detroit and Chicago look like good places to live in 15-20 years.

  10. What do you call oss in dcps? VACATION! They come back to school and make up their work. If a student is suspended, he should receive zeros for all of the work he has missed during that time. Yeah it will make a few dropout, but the alternative is your local neighborhood he.

  11. It is all because of how it looks statistically. If struggling, low ses students act up, schools get accused of racism if they offer consequences. Conversely, many teachers I have worked with struggle with managing the same students I work with, yet I have no trouble. Overall, it is a more complicated situation than people think, and it takes more than just blaming the students or teachers. Kids respect you if you demand respect, which DCPS is not currently demanding. God forbid DCPS actually stand up to the 3-5% of students who make teaching impossible at so many of our schools. I know I would not have stayed if the policies were the same when I started. I needed support, not condemnation.

  12. Teachers should not have to build relationships or command respect. Does it help? Yes. Students need to learn that you should respect people because…they are people. Not because you like them or think they are cool. Teachers and police officers command what is called socially legitimated respect– they dont have build anything. People who do not understand that are social misfits, like your rioters and looters; those students conduct "quiet" riots during instruction. Thats why these students especially a lot of inncer city low ses young black males are dysfunctional. Everything is not going to fun (you running your yap endlessly, calling it group working and blaming the teacher when you can't pass the FCAT).

    I think the lack of discipline is by design. We need a permanent underclass to keep this class thing going.

  13. Apparently that's what happened to Mr. Warren at Arlington Elementary. Since his school was to have a Math Coach because they met the percentage not being proficient. However he did not receive one. I am not sure how he asked but Vitti did not like it and he was demoted. This was the same principal that lead the school to an A a few years ago and brought back by Vitti to Arlington this school year. Same thing happened to Wayne Van Doren. He was the K-5 Math director.

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