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School District Uses Loophole to Ignore Judge’s Order, One Student Juggled Between 3rd and 4th Grade

HERNANDO – On Monday RNRF met with three mothers and their daughters in front of Chocachatti Elementary to discuss the outcome of their meeting with Principal Lara Silva.  Students Madelynn Kinkade, Hailey Everett, and Maddison Hohman were all denied promotion to the fourth grade, after they opted out of the Florida Standards Assessment test.

Despite all three students being on the honor roll, the Hernando County School Board decided to withdraw them from the award winning magnet school and offered them the opportunity to advance if they go to their zoned school.

The HCSB’s decision goes against what Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers ordered on Friday, when she demanded that Hernando County Immediately promote the children and stop causing them injury. CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL STORY

Yesterday, we spoke Amanda Hazard regarding her son Zachary who attends Suncoast Elementary. Turns out, Zachary is another student victim caught in the middle of a juggling act between the 3rd and 4th grade at his school.

Amanda says after receiving word of the Judge’s decision last Friday, she was confident that her son could go to school Monday and join his fourth grade class. Initially, Principal Scott Piesik allowed the promotion and Zachary attended class Monday as a fourth grader. Excited about the news, Zachary even made a sign and held it in front of his school that said “I made it to fourth grade!” But Zachary’s excitement would soon turn to disappointment once again, after his mother delivered the devastating news that he would be going back to 3rd grade the following day.

We contacted HCSB spokesperson Karen Jordan to confirm the reversal and she said “That is not true.” But after presenting Jordan with the letter sent from Principal Piesik, she refused to respond to any more questions.

Below is the letter sent to Amanda by Principal Piesik:

Mrs. Hazard,
I received a Motion For Stay from the Second Judicial Circuit Court dated
August 26, 2016, with this motion your son will be enrolled in third grade
for the 2016-2017 school year.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter

Thank you,

Scott Piesik
Suncoast Elementary
352-797-7085, ext. 405

Turns out, the District’s attorneys discovered a possible loophole that would allow and “automatic stay” on the Judge’s order, subsequently overriding her orders based on the pending appeal. The fact that a motion for automatic stay is binding raises even more legal question on its validity without a Judge’s ruling.

Amanda says “all they are doing is harming the children by not obeying the Judge’s order.” Fed up with the District’s noncompliance, Amanda has decided to give up on the school board and has enrolled her son in a private school.

I asked Jordan to explain the “loophole” and why the school refuses to obey the Judge’s order; she replied, “Despite the obvious bias in this statement, I can correct your accusation of applying a “loophole”. When public entities appeal a court’s decision, an AUTOMATIC stay is triggered. Jordan went on to say “The school district is following the order in a deliberate and proper way.”

Due to the overwhelming response from Hernando County residents over the District’s handling of the FSA situation, RNRF has decided to offer the following poll questions regarding the HCSB’s performance.

[yop_poll id=”5″]    [yop_poll id=”6″]

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  • The great thing about homeschooling is there is no peer pressure and the student does not have to worry that teachers do not have the time for one on one consultations. My daughter left school and became home schooled. She did very well and the best part is they can test each subject at their own pace. No worrying about having to learn everything at once. This may be the future of education. It is cheaper in the long run and no stress on the student. This school system is nothing less than a way for politicians and school board members to fatten their wallets but give nothing back to the public. If millions of dollars of lottery money goes to education than why do teachers still have to buy supplies each year for their students as well as the parents. So where is all this money going?

    Monday, 5 September 2016, 1:57 pm
  • Dang sp different

    Friday, 2 September 2016, 9:36 pm
  • The school board needs to follow the judges ruling, all of us would have to right? After all they aren’t queen and kings. Sad for the children.pertiod, glad my children are grown and grandchildren learn in a differnt state

    Friday, 2 September 2016, 9:35 pm
  • The parents damaged their kid’s by not letting them take the test and moving forward to the fourth grade. The HCSB is not responsible for the damage that has been caused to these poor children. It all began when the parent’s refused to have them take the test. Therefore the parent’s need to take responsibility and understand that the rules are the rules.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 8:03 pm
  • Many districts flag out refused to do the portfolios and/or redefined what a portfolio consists of, Billy. You should get a copy of the Judge’s Order and read it. She spanked Hernando and Orange Counties especially for this.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 4:30 pm
  • Poor Billy, good suggestion, however you ended your comment with negativity. It doesn’t matter if the law, or courts are involved. HCSB won’t follow the rules anyway. Never have, and never will.

    The school board should be embarrassed. Shit, they embarrass me whenever I tell anyone which county my kids are getting educated in. Well known as one of the worst school districts in the state. This is what give Florida education a bad name, like who we have on board here.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 2:32 pm
  • To all the parents with children in the 3rd grade. If you wish to opt out of the standardized testing. Go to your childs teacher now and request a portfolio assesment. It is the proper way to get out of the test. It is basically the old school grade book. Then you dont have to involve courts, lawyers and have poor Billy embarrassed.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 1:46 pm
  • I have 4 children in this district and all 4 received an above average education which is certainly not reflected in this poll. However CES sent out a satisfaction survey every year my kids were there, and they received great results. There’s a reason parents line up to get their kids in. My kids also took all the required tests and passed with no problems (even my ESE student). Btw, years ago when the state left the education totally up to the teachers, kids were graduating without knowing how to read or write. While most of the teachers do an outstanding job, there’s only one way to confirm this….by testing the students on the material. But regardless of how you feel about the tests, parents need to teach their kids to do whatever it takes to be successful and follow the rules. If they want to protest something, don’t do it off the backs of you’re innocent children! If they would have done some pride swallowing their kids would have taken the test and would be among their 4th grade peers right now. These parents are selfish and neglectful. If you can’t expect the district and the schools to enforce the rules then the education system would be useless. Try enrolling your kid in a private school and see what happens when the rules aren’t followed.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 12:22 pm
    • Oh so it’s ok for the school board to find a “loop hole” in the law and they don’t have to abide by a judges order? These kids, when they are put into the 4th grade, they are going to be behind.

      This poll is accurate. Hernando County Schools SUCK!!

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 2:05 pm
    • Since you brought up private schools (Can speak on Catholic school)…. Private schools have a different type of standardized test. They are tested at the beginning of the year (around late September/early October). Results show teachers what they should cover during that year. It is to test what to teach not what has been taught. Private schools also teach a grade level ahead. Comparing the two are like apples to oranges. They are run differently all the way around. I would have NO problem having my children take standardized tests in private schools vs that crap test public schools offer! Teachers have a lot more flexibility teaching in private schools.

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 4:38 pm
  • What about students with IEPs? They are being punished for having disabilities when they are retained. Research shows that the risks outweigh the benefits.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 10:44 am
  • Board stiff, try using your real name instead of your porn name, though I suspect you are associated with the “able” administration. Clearly you’ve missed the point because everyone agrees that the teachers, who taught and graded these students all year, should count more than this test. I won’t bother with the rest of their points, there are numerous articles available if you are ever bored and feel like reading something.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 9:42 am
    • Heck I thought Board Stiff was Gus, since that’s the nickname he’s gotten in the area from cheating on his wife. Those actions go back for years and they have not stopped. He’s a womanizer and I know some of his “flings”. Yeah, Gus, you want me to keep going and bring up names guy? I will be happy to share the knowledge.

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 2:12 pm
  • Children who proved their worth with As and honor roll work, as judged by their qualified teachers (who we should just let teach, and NOT to a standardized test) should move automatically to the next grade. Shameful that a school system can pick and choose who to arbitrarily abuse and what laws and legal rulings they feel like following. And then use taxpayer money to appeal endlessly when they are found in the wrong? Shameful.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 9:23 am
  • This a flagrant disregard for the law. I am disgusted that people in our education system that are supposed to protect children and have the child at the center of the decision making, are choosing to cause this young man such pain. I find it to be emotionally abusive. Retention is a proven ineffective strategy for helping students anyways. It only serves to create drop outs. If a child is retained they are 60% more likely to drop out. If they are retained twice in their school career the drop out rat is 100%. IT ALSO COSTS THE TAX PAYER $10,000. These kids are not even struggling learners? WTH? The absurdness of the testing system in Florida is astounding. GREEDY testing companies are laughing all the way to the bank. No one cares about the kids in a system like this, and the actions of the educational system in this situation proves it. EVERY school board member and superintendent in that county should be FIRED today.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 8:19 am
    • Yet they push other students through, with failing grades. Or, as you said in another post, they tell them to drop out. Springstead High School did this with my nephew. What types of educators do we have, that encourage kids to drop out of high school?

      Look at the amount of money these outside companies make off of our schools (we never had hired hands on our field days, to play music and stuff, or whatever fundraising event that was at CES). And they ask parents to bring so many supplies in, which is paying for the kids who can’t afford to buy their own school supplies. That’s what PTA is for, or it was when I served on the board not that long ago. Look at the amount of monies being made on these tests that are creating high anxiety not only for the students, but teachers as well.

      HCSB is not setting a very good example for these young kids. They are proving that bullying works, and they continue to bully the parents and students.

      We need a volunteer board and I promise, half of these dead heads we have sitting there no would have not one ounce of interest in sitting on the board. I’ll do it, for free!!!

      Now we have the one convicted board members best friend on board. Yikes. We’re screwed and these poor students of this county are in for hell. Now, with Linda teaching both school and college in Tampa, when’s she going to have time to do what really needs done in the county she refuses to work in? Yup, and there were idiots who voted her in.

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 1:51 pm
  • County administrators and school board members are only unterested in themselves! This has been proven over and over again! The kids, teachers and schools come last! Disgusting! One of the big problems in Hernando County is that the school board is a paid position, this causes every idiot to run for office.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 7:54 am
  • While I don’t agree with the school system here, I do have to say that the parents did not do enough research on the matter before they reacted. I too considered having my child opt out of the test but after further research, my child did take the test. Why? Because it clearly states if the test is not taken the student will not be promoted to the next grade. While yes, a student can opt out but it does not make the rules and regulations obsolete. Rules are rules and the school followed them. Now, the parents went court and won…. Congrats on that! The rules and regulations are now different and the schools need to fall back in line and follow them. Parents keep fighting but in the meantime pull your kids, homeschool them so that when they finally are able to rejoin their classmates in the proper grade they will not be behind

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 7:49 am
  • Let’s promote these students by lowering the standards for the sake of parents being able to say their kid made it to the fourth. Then we can have stickers printed that say “proud parent of a undereducated kid” or “your kid is smarter than my kid”. The parents really need to look in the mirror since they knew what would happen by allowing their child to avoid taking the test. Stop lowering the education bar. Teach these kids accountability. Thank you parents for allowing your kids to settle for lower achievements.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 6:58 am
    • Can’t wait for these idiot activists to tell the colleges that their kids are opting out of the SAT/ACT. Is the system somewhat flawed?…Yes. Is punishing/using your own kids to beat the system good parenting?…NO. That sickening, dramatic photo display in front of Chocachatti Elementary shows what “small time” these parents, and Lemons, truly are.

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 8:22 am
      • Chocachatti Elementary absolutely sucks. On the bus route 123 last year, it was one of their students who harmed others and it was the bus drivers (Beth’s) son who did this. They protect their staff, and their child. If it were my kid that caused so much chaos last year, he’d have been arrested or something would have happened. A week or so later, he attacked kids at the school. Nothing, Notta, Nil happened to that delinquent child or his school transportation employee mother. Oh but they called Grandma to take care of the kid while the traumatized kids could be driven home by an upset parent, the bus driver. No, the kids safety does not come first at this school, nor does educating them. That Pat woman in the front office…she’s a biotch, just like the head honcho (who doesn’t know anything) whom she is brown-nosing.

        Some people test better than others. Even people like Einstein failed the college admission test.
        4. Einstein Failed his University Entrance Exam

        In 1895, at the age of 17, Albert Einstein applied for early admission into the Swiss Federal Polytechnical School (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule or ETH). He passed the math and science sections of the entrance exam, but failed the rest (history, languages, geography, etc.)! Einstein had to go to a trade school before he retook the exam and was finally admitted to ETH a year later.

        These are all people who went into education for the money because their antics show all of us they most certainly are not in this for the students wellbeing.

        The schools and board are nothing more than bullies. They will get hit with a huge lawsuit, that you and I as taxpayers will have to fork out. Screw that. I’m moving!! We need to go back to electing the superintendent, instead of letting the bozo’s who hired this winner continue on the horrid track they are on.

        Thursday, 1 September 2016, 1:42 pm
  • Hello get the facts,Did you stop and wonder why the other 900 students passed.Maybe these parents should stop trying to write the curriculum.And let the teachers teach.And allow a very able administration to run this top notch school.You got your 15 min. now move on.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 6:39 am
  • What I really don’t understand is when someone is running for an office in Hernando County School System they want the people to believe that they are for our children, but what I have found out is that when you need them;you can never speak directly to them.

    Thursday, 1 September 2016, 1:41 am
  • Shameful! The children have proven their mastery and the judge agreed. Quit wasting taxpayer money simply for retaliation! The District and the DOE blatantly disregarded the law and the children are being punished for these assinine adult decisions! Who would have thought that the District and the DOE would be the schoolyard bullies! If this was truly about the best interests of the children, they would immediately be promoted within their chosen schools.

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 9:24 pm
  • everyone needs to call this principal and let him know how you feel

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 8:43 pm
  • I guess they are above the law they don’t have to listen to the judge

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 8:12 pm
  • I am FED UP with this county and the shenanigans they get away with. Now these idiots are messing with our young generations education. Matter of fact, it was in the year 2000 that my kid was held back, as a high honors student because of one too many days absent. Her father died and they still make her repeat the grade again. I homeschooled her and she graduated with a scholarship. I recommend parents start homeschooling their children and let this school board take the hit financially. If you are able to, please consider it. These people do not have the students interest at heart, instead they continue to pad their pockets with outlandish salaries.

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 7:27 pm
    • I have been fed up with the Hernando School System for years now….. my daughter struggled with illness and lose and they did not care. They were not there to push her but instead encourage her to drop out and that was told directly to me as well as my child in a meeting………When I asked if there was anyway she could graduate I was told slim and it wasn’t worth it for her. She would have to keep taking those damn tests until she passed and get more credits….I fought with them so often I was sick to my stomach. She is now a sophomore in college with nearly a 4.0 average and all while working a full time job. Parents, don’t stop fighting for your kids because the Hernando County School Board sure as hell doesn’t give a crap…You know what your child is capable of so do whatever it takes and your child will be successful. DO NOT ever buy into there nonsense. No Child EVER needs to told the best thing for them is to drop out and it happening all the time

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 7:51 am
    • You are right! They are messing with education and our tax dollars too, every time they retain a student it cost over $10,000. This school system should be ashamed of themselves. I would file a civil suit for pain and suffering. They talk to kids about the definition and pain that a “bully” can cause. Well maybe they should practice what they preach and stop hurting kids.

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 8:08 am
    • I am so glad you could homeschool. Our kids are under attack in our schools. If any parent can figure out a way to homeschool, do it for the sake of your children. Pray for our kids.

      Thursday, 1 September 2016, 8:16 am
      • I also encourage homeschooling. If you parents can find a way, please do it. It’s way cheaper in the long run, and much less strenuous on the students. Hernando County School Board does not have the childrens best interest at heart.

        Fire the whole damn bunch and get a group of volunteers on board. Elect the superintendent again too.

        Thursday, 1 September 2016, 2:10 pm
  • Romano is just like Hillary not wanting to face the he music but instead putting her minon Jordan out to do her talking (when she will in fact talk to you).
    Shameful that we the taxpayers are paying these hacks for the less than stellar job performance.

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 7:10 pm

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