Wagner investigation in its third month
HARLAN – Applause broke out on two occasions at Monday’s school board meeting following speeches by teachers Brent Tucker and Randi Daniels, who said they and others were there to support the school board, which currently is awaiting the conclusion of an independent investigator’s report regarding allegations made against HCS Superintendent of Schools Justin Wagner.
Daniels and Tucker stood in solidarity with approximately 45 current and former teachers in a showing to the board that they support the investigation and the board’s efforts, and to silence rhetoric from a few people at recent board meetings that question the costs of or need for the investigation, and who painted school teaching staff as “whiny” and “disgruntled” employees.
On November 19, 2018, upon recommendation from legal counsel, the school board chose attorney Rick Franck, Denison, as an independent investigator to look into concerns raised, including but not limited to allegations of sexual orientation discrimination, medical privacy intrusion, financial and leave issues and a general “toxic” workplace for some staff.
Legal counsel advised the board that the independent investigator would provide the expertise in a neutral and objective fashion, and would present the board with factual information and analysis addressing the allegations against Wagner, some of which have been outlined in news reports in the Harlan Newspapers, and others presented directly to the board.
It has been nearly three months since then, and school staff at Monday’s school board meeting addressed comments made by those community members -- at Monday’s meeting, past board meetings and other public forums -- who have questioned the need and cost for the investigation, and who have called staff disgruntled and whiny.
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