Was Superintendent David Murphy Fired?

On Thursday evening, Davis Joint Unified School District Superintendent David Murphy announced his retirement.

Reading from a prepared statement:

“Since February 1, when I turned 60, my wife Robbie and I have been discussing what would be best for our family and with our life… It is now an appropriate time for me to conclude a wonderful era of 35 years of public service and spend more time with my family while we are all healthy and happy.”

While he intends to retire on July 31, 2007, he announced that the Board of Education would appoint an interim superintendent now and he would immediately hand over all his responsibilities.

The speculation is now flying around the community that Murphy was forced out rather than voluntarily retiring.

Said former school board member Joan Sallee in the Davis Enterprise:

“I was deeply saddened to hear of Murphy’s retirement. … I am very sorry that the current school board did not see fit to retain his services. The district has suffered a grievous loss, at a time when we can least afford it.”

That is very indicative that in fact this was not a voluntary retirement.

This has been a tumultuous year for the school district with a number of different financial scandals. In November of 2006, the board halted construction on a new King High School building. Allegations were made at that time by Board Member Jim Provenza that “shoddy practices in the business office have cost us” money on the project. He further said, “I’m happy we have a new chief budget officer (Colby) and (we’re) cleaning up the mess we’ve had in the past.

Earlier this month the project was re-approved with money from redevelopment funds. Board member Tim Taylor cast the lone, “no” vote and he too made allegations about irregularities in board money use. “For me, the issue is some financially funky stuff that’s gone on to get us to this point. It has absolutely nothing to do with King High.”

Another scandal in the last year was the Total School Solutions scandal which led to the resignation of a number of administrators. Total Schools Solutions is a Fairfield-based firm run by Tahir Ahad, who served as deputy superintendent for business services for the Davis School District from 1999 through May. Employees who worked at Total School Solutions while at the same time working for the school district were perceived to have a conflict of interest and this led to new conflict of interest regulations within the school district requiring disclosure of other employers that school district employees work for. At one point, the employees at Total School Solutions were largely made up of administrators from Davis Joint Unified who were simultaneously on the both payrolls.

These are some of a long list of problems including the reemergence of the bullying and harassment issue nearly three years after a long and heated community meeting in 2004 where several hundred parents and students came forward at a Davis Human Relations Commission meeting held at the Veteran’s Memorial Center, to press for changes in district policy on bullying and racism. Those incidents led to the creation of a part-time School Climate Coordinator position now held by Mel Lewis. Since then the district has come under fire in the Fischer anti-gay harassment case and another similar case that has resulted in two law suits against the school. The district has now tightened up its disciplinary code.

Most recently we have the controversy involved with the potential closing of Valley Oak Elementary school and the recommendations handed down on Thursday by the Best Uses of Schools Task Force. That task force was appointed by the previous board. This is going to be another heated and tumultuous issue as the board now has to deal with that report and its fallout.

The previous board was fiercely loyal to Superintendent Murphy and his staff. In fact, on their way out, one of their last actions before new members Gina Daleiden, Tim Taylor, and Sheila Allen took over was to extend Murphy’s contract until July 31, 2008, which had for all intents and purposes tied the hands of the new school board. Something that deeply upset several of the members of the current board.

However it now appears that they were able to find a way to get rid of Murphy. Joan Sallee’s comment is informative because she was among the outgoing members that voted to extend his contract back in 2005.

The District has a tough task ahead. They need to hire a strong and competent new Superintendent who can effectively clean house of many of the other administrators who have become serious impediments toward furthering the educational system in Davis.

The public will unfortunately never know for sure why Superintendent Murphy has “retired,” just as they will never know for sure why Jim Antonen was fired or Jim Hyde was fired. This is unfortunate. The laws protecting personnel confidentiality make sense when we are dealing with rank and file employees. When we are dealing with individuals in the command structure such as Police Chief, Superintendent, or City Manager, those laws make less sense. There is a strong and compelling public interest to know why such high ranking and highly paid public officials have lost their jobs. Transparency in government demands it.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Budget/Taxes

44 comments

  1. The resignation phrase, “….for personal reasons and to spend more time with my family” is a soundbite that is well-understood by most voters. Inflicting unnecessary “hurt” on others is part of the admirable Davis ethos but in the case of our elected “Decision-makers”, the balance of these opposing values should weigh heavily in favor of giving the Davis voter the information to accurately assess the performance of their elected representatives.

  2. The resignation phrase, “….for personal reasons and to spend more time with my family” is a soundbite that is well-understood by most voters. Inflicting unnecessary “hurt” on others is part of the admirable Davis ethos but in the case of our elected “Decision-makers”, the balance of these opposing values should weigh heavily in favor of giving the Davis voter the information to accurately assess the performance of their elected representatives.

  3. The resignation phrase, “….for personal reasons and to spend more time with my family” is a soundbite that is well-understood by most voters. Inflicting unnecessary “hurt” on others is part of the admirable Davis ethos but in the case of our elected “Decision-makers”, the balance of these opposing values should weigh heavily in favor of giving the Davis voter the information to accurately assess the performance of their elected representatives.

  4. The resignation phrase, “….for personal reasons and to spend more time with my family” is a soundbite that is well-understood by most voters. Inflicting unnecessary “hurt” on others is part of the admirable Davis ethos but in the case of our elected “Decision-makers”, the balance of these opposing values should weigh heavily in favor of giving the Davis voter the information to accurately assess the performance of their elected representatives.

  5. “That is very indicative that in fact this was not a voluntary retirement.”
    I don’t see any reason to believe that. I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically. Once he made the decision to retire, the only question was whether he would stay on until his replacement was found or go immediately. I think you and others (including Joan Sallee) may be reading more into this than is there. Of course, you could contact some current school board members and try to pry some answers out of them.

    The last year or so haven’t been any more tumultuous than usual for the DJUSD. Davis school issues have always been contentious. I can’t think of a time in the last 20+ years when there haven’t been debates swirling through the community about the schools.

  6. “That is very indicative that in fact this was not a voluntary retirement.”
    I don’t see any reason to believe that. I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically. Once he made the decision to retire, the only question was whether he would stay on until his replacement was found or go immediately. I think you and others (including Joan Sallee) may be reading more into this than is there. Of course, you could contact some current school board members and try to pry some answers out of them.

    The last year or so haven’t been any more tumultuous than usual for the DJUSD. Davis school issues have always been contentious. I can’t think of a time in the last 20+ years when there haven’t been debates swirling through the community about the schools.

  7. “That is very indicative that in fact this was not a voluntary retirement.”
    I don’t see any reason to believe that. I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically. Once he made the decision to retire, the only question was whether he would stay on until his replacement was found or go immediately. I think you and others (including Joan Sallee) may be reading more into this than is there. Of course, you could contact some current school board members and try to pry some answers out of them.

    The last year or so haven’t been any more tumultuous than usual for the DJUSD. Davis school issues have always been contentious. I can’t think of a time in the last 20+ years when there haven’t been debates swirling through the community about the schools.

  8. “That is very indicative that in fact this was not a voluntary retirement.”
    I don’t see any reason to believe that. I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically. Once he made the decision to retire, the only question was whether he would stay on until his replacement was found or go immediately. I think you and others (including Joan Sallee) may be reading more into this than is there. Of course, you could contact some current school board members and try to pry some answers out of them.

    The last year or so haven’t been any more tumultuous than usual for the DJUSD. Davis school issues have always been contentious. I can’t think of a time in the last 20+ years when there haven’t been debates swirling through the community about the schools.

  9. Don:

    I don’t think I’m reading too much into this, a lot of strange things happened that I cannot put into print but they all point in one direction on this one. One thing I will point you toward is the lack of quotes from anyone involved in this other than the official statements.

  10. Don:

    I don’t think I’m reading too much into this, a lot of strange things happened that I cannot put into print but they all point in one direction on this one. One thing I will point you toward is the lack of quotes from anyone involved in this other than the official statements.

  11. Don:

    I don’t think I’m reading too much into this, a lot of strange things happened that I cannot put into print but they all point in one direction on this one. One thing I will point you toward is the lack of quotes from anyone involved in this other than the official statements.

  12. Don:

    I don’t think I’m reading too much into this, a lot of strange things happened that I cannot put into print but they all point in one direction on this one. One thing I will point you toward is the lack of quotes from anyone involved in this other than the official statements.

  13. Don.. I agree that this was probably Murphy’s “move”. The VO closing issue is on the “front-burner”. Murphy appeared destined to “take all of the heat” as well the inevitable finger-pointing that would create some uncomfortable moments for some on the current school board. He may have concluded that this probably was a good time for him to step out of the line-of-fire. I think that this was a mutually agreed upon step initiated by Murphy and welcomed by the School Board.

  14. Don.. I agree that this was probably Murphy’s “move”. The VO closing issue is on the “front-burner”. Murphy appeared destined to “take all of the heat” as well the inevitable finger-pointing that would create some uncomfortable moments for some on the current school board. He may have concluded that this probably was a good time for him to step out of the line-of-fire. I think that this was a mutually agreed upon step initiated by Murphy and welcomed by the School Board.

  15. Don.. I agree that this was probably Murphy’s “move”. The VO closing issue is on the “front-burner”. Murphy appeared destined to “take all of the heat” as well the inevitable finger-pointing that would create some uncomfortable moments for some on the current school board. He may have concluded that this probably was a good time for him to step out of the line-of-fire. I think that this was a mutually agreed upon step initiated by Murphy and welcomed by the School Board.

  16. Don.. I agree that this was probably Murphy’s “move”. The VO closing issue is on the “front-burner”. Murphy appeared destined to “take all of the heat” as well the inevitable finger-pointing that would create some uncomfortable moments for some on the current school board. He may have concluded that this probably was a good time for him to step out of the line-of-fire. I think that this was a mutually agreed upon step initiated by Murphy and welcomed by the School Board.

  17. “I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically.”

    I suspect that David Greenwald has this right. Yeah, he technically decided to retire. But Joan Sallee’s comments and the timing of this considering his rather recent contract extension suggest to me, as Greenwald says, that the Board did not want him to stay, that they made that clear to him. So his choice to “retire” was not all his own. Rather than working for a Board that did not want him there, he must have concluded that he’d prefer to step aside than force the issue with his contract. I’m sure he’ll have a nice pension and other benefits.

  18. “I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically.”

    I suspect that David Greenwald has this right. Yeah, he technically decided to retire. But Joan Sallee’s comments and the timing of this considering his rather recent contract extension suggest to me, as Greenwald says, that the Board did not want him to stay, that they made that clear to him. So his choice to “retire” was not all his own. Rather than working for a Board that did not want him there, he must have concluded that he’d prefer to step aside than force the issue with his contract. I’m sure he’ll have a nice pension and other benefits.

  19. “I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically.”

    I suspect that David Greenwald has this right. Yeah, he technically decided to retire. But Joan Sallee’s comments and the timing of this considering his rather recent contract extension suggest to me, as Greenwald says, that the Board did not want him to stay, that they made that clear to him. So his choice to “retire” was not all his own. Rather than working for a Board that did not want him there, he must have concluded that he’d prefer to step aside than force the issue with his contract. I’m sure he’ll have a nice pension and other benefits.

  20. “I think the board would have had to buy out his contract and probably would have had difficulty firing him if it wanted to — both legally and politically.”

    I suspect that David Greenwald has this right. Yeah, he technically decided to retire. But Joan Sallee’s comments and the timing of this considering his rather recent contract extension suggest to me, as Greenwald says, that the Board did not want him to stay, that they made that clear to him. So his choice to “retire” was not all his own. Rather than working for a Board that did not want him there, he must have concluded that he’d prefer to step aside than force the issue with his contract. I’m sure he’ll have a nice pension and other benefits.

  21. I believe that David was undermined by Tahir by recruitment of District employees to his private company. This had to have been a blow. And then to find out that the finances in the District were not being handled correctly at the same time that the employees responsible for oversight were jumping ship enmasse, had to be extremely tough.

    I think that David did well to bring the financial chaos to an acceptable resolution then leave is to be commended. There will always be a crisis or some kind of controversy in the District, whether it be what algebra book to use, bullying in the schools (a never ending situation), construction problems (recall problems with the contruction of Emerson Jr. High), staff problems, employee contract problems, budget problems, school attendance boundary decisions, etc. There is never a good time to leave that would not be connected one way or another to something that wasn’t going so well.

    I think that we are dwelling on this decision too much and, much like when Hyde left,, we should focus on who will be David’s replacement.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  22. I believe that David was undermined by Tahir by recruitment of District employees to his private company. This had to have been a blow. And then to find out that the finances in the District were not being handled correctly at the same time that the employees responsible for oversight were jumping ship enmasse, had to be extremely tough.

    I think that David did well to bring the financial chaos to an acceptable resolution then leave is to be commended. There will always be a crisis or some kind of controversy in the District, whether it be what algebra book to use, bullying in the schools (a never ending situation), construction problems (recall problems with the contruction of Emerson Jr. High), staff problems, employee contract problems, budget problems, school attendance boundary decisions, etc. There is never a good time to leave that would not be connected one way or another to something that wasn’t going so well.

    I think that we are dwelling on this decision too much and, much like when Hyde left,, we should focus on who will be David’s replacement.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  23. I believe that David was undermined by Tahir by recruitment of District employees to his private company. This had to have been a blow. And then to find out that the finances in the District were not being handled correctly at the same time that the employees responsible for oversight were jumping ship enmasse, had to be extremely tough.

    I think that David did well to bring the financial chaos to an acceptable resolution then leave is to be commended. There will always be a crisis or some kind of controversy in the District, whether it be what algebra book to use, bullying in the schools (a never ending situation), construction problems (recall problems with the contruction of Emerson Jr. High), staff problems, employee contract problems, budget problems, school attendance boundary decisions, etc. There is never a good time to leave that would not be connected one way or another to something that wasn’t going so well.

    I think that we are dwelling on this decision too much and, much like when Hyde left,, we should focus on who will be David’s replacement.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  24. I believe that David was undermined by Tahir by recruitment of District employees to his private company. This had to have been a blow. And then to find out that the finances in the District were not being handled correctly at the same time that the employees responsible for oversight were jumping ship enmasse, had to be extremely tough.

    I think that David did well to bring the financial chaos to an acceptable resolution then leave is to be commended. There will always be a crisis or some kind of controversy in the District, whether it be what algebra book to use, bullying in the schools (a never ending situation), construction problems (recall problems with the contruction of Emerson Jr. High), staff problems, employee contract problems, budget problems, school attendance boundary decisions, etc. There is never a good time to leave that would not be connected one way or another to something that wasn’t going so well.

    I think that we are dwelling on this decision too much and, much like when Hyde left,, we should focus on who will be David’s replacement.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  25. The problems that forced Murphy out, were not, in all instances, new ones.

    What did change, however, was the willingness of the Board to accept his autocratic, top down leadership style.

    His historic tendency to characterize critics of color in extremely negative terms was certainly condescending, and bordered on being racist. even if his primary displeasure with them probably derived from their interference with his relationship with the Board, and their publicizing of the District’s failures in this area.

    I think that the Fischer case (while recognizing that it is a sexual orientation case, and not a racial bias one) probably broke the camel’s back

    by the way, I don’t ever recall Murphy being great about tracking where money was going

    I remember being on the DCTV board, and the District was unable to account for how it spent franchise agreement money, at least that’s what I was told

    I also vaguely recall the City Council and the District having perpetual conflicts over similar issues during his tenure.

    –Richard Estes

  26. The problems that forced Murphy out, were not, in all instances, new ones.

    What did change, however, was the willingness of the Board to accept his autocratic, top down leadership style.

    His historic tendency to characterize critics of color in extremely negative terms was certainly condescending, and bordered on being racist. even if his primary displeasure with them probably derived from their interference with his relationship with the Board, and their publicizing of the District’s failures in this area.

    I think that the Fischer case (while recognizing that it is a sexual orientation case, and not a racial bias one) probably broke the camel’s back

    by the way, I don’t ever recall Murphy being great about tracking where money was going

    I remember being on the DCTV board, and the District was unable to account for how it spent franchise agreement money, at least that’s what I was told

    I also vaguely recall the City Council and the District having perpetual conflicts over similar issues during his tenure.

    –Richard Estes

  27. The problems that forced Murphy out, were not, in all instances, new ones.

    What did change, however, was the willingness of the Board to accept his autocratic, top down leadership style.

    His historic tendency to characterize critics of color in extremely negative terms was certainly condescending, and bordered on being racist. even if his primary displeasure with them probably derived from their interference with his relationship with the Board, and their publicizing of the District’s failures in this area.

    I think that the Fischer case (while recognizing that it is a sexual orientation case, and not a racial bias one) probably broke the camel’s back

    by the way, I don’t ever recall Murphy being great about tracking where money was going

    I remember being on the DCTV board, and the District was unable to account for how it spent franchise agreement money, at least that’s what I was told

    I also vaguely recall the City Council and the District having perpetual conflicts over similar issues during his tenure.

    –Richard Estes

  28. The problems that forced Murphy out, were not, in all instances, new ones.

    What did change, however, was the willingness of the Board to accept his autocratic, top down leadership style.

    His historic tendency to characterize critics of color in extremely negative terms was certainly condescending, and bordered on being racist. even if his primary displeasure with them probably derived from their interference with his relationship with the Board, and their publicizing of the District’s failures in this area.

    I think that the Fischer case (while recognizing that it is a sexual orientation case, and not a racial bias one) probably broke the camel’s back

    by the way, I don’t ever recall Murphy being great about tracking where money was going

    I remember being on the DCTV board, and the District was unable to account for how it spent franchise agreement money, at least that’s what I was told

    I also vaguely recall the City Council and the District having perpetual conflicts over similar issues during his tenure.

    –Richard Estes

  29. Thong Hy Huyngh was stabbed on the Davis High campus under Murphy’s watch even though the bullying against Thong and friends had been going on for some time.

    Over the years under Murphy’s watch bullying, homophobia, racist and derogatory comments were allowed to persist without serious consequences. It was always the same ol’ “kids will be kids” excuse. Nothing has happened until the current school board took action to revise the district’s policy.

    It was time for Murphy to retire. It was long overdue.

    Let’s hope they pick a good person to fill his spot that will have a backbone and hold principals and others in leadership positions accountable.

    Happy retirement Murphy.

  30. Thong Hy Huyngh was stabbed on the Davis High campus under Murphy’s watch even though the bullying against Thong and friends had been going on for some time.

    Over the years under Murphy’s watch bullying, homophobia, racist and derogatory comments were allowed to persist without serious consequences. It was always the same ol’ “kids will be kids” excuse. Nothing has happened until the current school board took action to revise the district’s policy.

    It was time for Murphy to retire. It was long overdue.

    Let’s hope they pick a good person to fill his spot that will have a backbone and hold principals and others in leadership positions accountable.

    Happy retirement Murphy.

  31. Thong Hy Huyngh was stabbed on the Davis High campus under Murphy’s watch even though the bullying against Thong and friends had been going on for some time.

    Over the years under Murphy’s watch bullying, homophobia, racist and derogatory comments were allowed to persist without serious consequences. It was always the same ol’ “kids will be kids” excuse. Nothing has happened until the current school board took action to revise the district’s policy.

    It was time for Murphy to retire. It was long overdue.

    Let’s hope they pick a good person to fill his spot that will have a backbone and hold principals and others in leadership positions accountable.

    Happy retirement Murphy.

  32. Thong Hy Huyngh was stabbed on the Davis High campus under Murphy’s watch even though the bullying against Thong and friends had been going on for some time.

    Over the years under Murphy’s watch bullying, homophobia, racist and derogatory comments were allowed to persist without serious consequences. It was always the same ol’ “kids will be kids” excuse. Nothing has happened until the current school board took action to revise the district’s policy.

    It was time for Murphy to retire. It was long overdue.

    Let’s hope they pick a good person to fill his spot that will have a backbone and hold principals and others in leadership positions accountable.

    Happy retirement Murphy.

  33. Actually, kids reflect their environment on this issue. So its parents (their own and the parents of friends and acquaintances) and other adults in the community that are more responsible for homophobic and racist bullying. So, it looks like your blaming David Murphy for not cleaning up after the rest of us well enough or fast enough or just enough.

    I’ve heard it said repeatedly that the biggest social problem in Davis is denial – denial that our kids are bullying each other, denial that our kids are using drugs and alcohol, denial that we have lower expectations of minority students or that minority students are disciplined more harshly than their white peers, denial that we ignore students who are average or middle of the road academically.

    I’m for keeping kids in school. The black student who calls another student “faggot” is an example of a real leaning opportunity. But don’t you know that the black student has suffered his own harrassment and bullying. Automatic suspension just doesn’t make sense here. Mediation or restorative justice might be better.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  34. Actually, kids reflect their environment on this issue. So its parents (their own and the parents of friends and acquaintances) and other adults in the community that are more responsible for homophobic and racist bullying. So, it looks like your blaming David Murphy for not cleaning up after the rest of us well enough or fast enough or just enough.

    I’ve heard it said repeatedly that the biggest social problem in Davis is denial – denial that our kids are bullying each other, denial that our kids are using drugs and alcohol, denial that we have lower expectations of minority students or that minority students are disciplined more harshly than their white peers, denial that we ignore students who are average or middle of the road academically.

    I’m for keeping kids in school. The black student who calls another student “faggot” is an example of a real leaning opportunity. But don’t you know that the black student has suffered his own harrassment and bullying. Automatic suspension just doesn’t make sense here. Mediation or restorative justice might be better.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  35. Actually, kids reflect their environment on this issue. So its parents (their own and the parents of friends and acquaintances) and other adults in the community that are more responsible for homophobic and racist bullying. So, it looks like your blaming David Murphy for not cleaning up after the rest of us well enough or fast enough or just enough.

    I’ve heard it said repeatedly that the biggest social problem in Davis is denial – denial that our kids are bullying each other, denial that our kids are using drugs and alcohol, denial that we have lower expectations of minority students or that minority students are disciplined more harshly than their white peers, denial that we ignore students who are average or middle of the road academically.

    I’m for keeping kids in school. The black student who calls another student “faggot” is an example of a real leaning opportunity. But don’t you know that the black student has suffered his own harrassment and bullying. Automatic suspension just doesn’t make sense here. Mediation or restorative justice might be better.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  36. Actually, kids reflect their environment on this issue. So its parents (their own and the parents of friends and acquaintances) and other adults in the community that are more responsible for homophobic and racist bullying. So, it looks like your blaming David Murphy for not cleaning up after the rest of us well enough or fast enough or just enough.

    I’ve heard it said repeatedly that the biggest social problem in Davis is denial – denial that our kids are bullying each other, denial that our kids are using drugs and alcohol, denial that we have lower expectations of minority students or that minority students are disciplined more harshly than their white peers, denial that we ignore students who are average or middle of the road academically.

    I’m for keeping kids in school. The black student who calls another student “faggot” is an example of a real leaning opportunity. But don’t you know that the black student has suffered his own harrassment and bullying. Automatic suspension just doesn’t make sense here. Mediation or restorative justice might be better.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  37. David Murphy showed no leadership on this issue, that’s what a school superintendent is supposed to do.

    And, I know that he was harshly critical of people like Sue Chan, Patti Fong, Tim Malone, Agnes Johnson, and others who were unhappy with his refusal to set a strong example, because I once heard a former school board member channel his displeasure with them to me.

    Agnes Johnson gave up, and took herself and her child out of Davis. It was no big loss to the District, I guess, just like the inability of Fischer’s kid to attend school wasn’t a big deal, either.

    In my view, there was a real bias here. All of these people of color were described as difficult, impossible malcontents, implicitly not real Davis people, as if longtime, predominately white Davis residents are never difficult and confrontational.

    But, then, they were his primary constituency, the people that he thought could cost him his job. He may have been wrong about that.

    Apparently, for Murphy, there was one rule for them, and another for people of color who expressed their displeasure with his unwillingness to take charge of the problem.

    I think that the current board understood this, and realized that a change was necessary to move forward, especially after the Fischer case.

    –Richard Estes

  38. David Murphy showed no leadership on this issue, that’s what a school superintendent is supposed to do.

    And, I know that he was harshly critical of people like Sue Chan, Patti Fong, Tim Malone, Agnes Johnson, and others who were unhappy with his refusal to set a strong example, because I once heard a former school board member channel his displeasure with them to me.

    Agnes Johnson gave up, and took herself and her child out of Davis. It was no big loss to the District, I guess, just like the inability of Fischer’s kid to attend school wasn’t a big deal, either.

    In my view, there was a real bias here. All of these people of color were described as difficult, impossible malcontents, implicitly not real Davis people, as if longtime, predominately white Davis residents are never difficult and confrontational.

    But, then, they were his primary constituency, the people that he thought could cost him his job. He may have been wrong about that.

    Apparently, for Murphy, there was one rule for them, and another for people of color who expressed their displeasure with his unwillingness to take charge of the problem.

    I think that the current board understood this, and realized that a change was necessary to move forward, especially after the Fischer case.

    –Richard Estes

  39. David Murphy showed no leadership on this issue, that’s what a school superintendent is supposed to do.

    And, I know that he was harshly critical of people like Sue Chan, Patti Fong, Tim Malone, Agnes Johnson, and others who were unhappy with his refusal to set a strong example, because I once heard a former school board member channel his displeasure with them to me.

    Agnes Johnson gave up, and took herself and her child out of Davis. It was no big loss to the District, I guess, just like the inability of Fischer’s kid to attend school wasn’t a big deal, either.

    In my view, there was a real bias here. All of these people of color were described as difficult, impossible malcontents, implicitly not real Davis people, as if longtime, predominately white Davis residents are never difficult and confrontational.

    But, then, they were his primary constituency, the people that he thought could cost him his job. He may have been wrong about that.

    Apparently, for Murphy, there was one rule for them, and another for people of color who expressed their displeasure with his unwillingness to take charge of the problem.

    I think that the current board understood this, and realized that a change was necessary to move forward, especially after the Fischer case.

    –Richard Estes

  40. David Murphy showed no leadership on this issue, that’s what a school superintendent is supposed to do.

    And, I know that he was harshly critical of people like Sue Chan, Patti Fong, Tim Malone, Agnes Johnson, and others who were unhappy with his refusal to set a strong example, because I once heard a former school board member channel his displeasure with them to me.

    Agnes Johnson gave up, and took herself and her child out of Davis. It was no big loss to the District, I guess, just like the inability of Fischer’s kid to attend school wasn’t a big deal, either.

    In my view, there was a real bias here. All of these people of color were described as difficult, impossible malcontents, implicitly not real Davis people, as if longtime, predominately white Davis residents are never difficult and confrontational.

    But, then, they were his primary constituency, the people that he thought could cost him his job. He may have been wrong about that.

    Apparently, for Murphy, there was one rule for them, and another for people of color who expressed their displeasure with his unwillingness to take charge of the problem.

    I think that the current board understood this, and realized that a change was necessary to move forward, especially after the Fischer case.

    –Richard Estes

Leave a Comment