Tuesday night’s disciplinary hearing notice from Dayton Public Schools to Superintendent Rhonda Corr spells out the many reasons the district is considering firing her. But it does not include accusations of racial discrimination/harassment mentioned by the school board last week.
A separate report on those accusations, made by former DPS administrator Markay Winston against Corr and new Acting Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli, was also released by the district Tuesday night.
Attorney and compliance officer Beverly Meyer concluded that Lolli (who at the time was associate superintendent) did not commit any violations of board policy. Meyer concluded that Corr violated one board policy and board regulation concerning nondiscrimination/harassment.
The full report contains 13 numbered complaints from Winston, although the claim that Corr “marginalized” Winston is actually 19 separate subcomplaints, taking the number of specific accusations past 30. Meyer interviewed numerous DPS employees about the accusations to arrive at her findings.
Meyer wrote that Corr’s use “of what African American witnesses describe as colloquial ‘black talk’ in private meetings with them is racially insensitive or race-based conduct that is directed at them and has the effect of insulting or stigmatizing them and thus violates Board policy.”
Meyer also wrote that Corr’s habit of loudly calling out to Associate Superintendent Shelia Burton, who is black, as “Shelia Louise,” although Louise is not her middle name, was offensive to multiple African American employees, but not to all of them, and not to Burton herself.
Meyer wrote that Corr’s repeated use of the name could be seen as either racially insensitive, or more seriously, as race-based harassment.
Meyer recommended that the Board of Education “take such action as is necessary to cause Respondent Corr to cease referring to Dr. Burton by an incorrect name and to cause Corr to cease engaging in colloquial speech directed at African American employees. Such action should include, but is not limited to, mandated policy training and review of the District’s harassment policies.”