“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
Proverbs 29:2

"Indifference to evil is our enemy, for it negates everything that exalts the honor of man."
– Elie Wiesel

"Think of the life you are missing by not having the courage to be free. Thank God for the courage to think innovatively, to feel unique, to speak with conviction, to act differently."
– Rabbi Shoni Labowitz

"The essence of government is power, and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."
– James Madison

"The need to play God, or be in control, is what bankrupts the soul."
– Pastor William R. Grimbol

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
– Lord John Acton

“Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.”
– Lord John Acton

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
– Socrates

"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."
– Leonardo da Vinci

“Abuse of power isn’t limited to bad guys in other nations. It happens in our own country if we’re not vigilant. Those in power get jaded, deluded, and seduced by power itself.”
– Clint Eastwood

“Beware the abuse of power, both by those we disagree with as well as those we may agree with.”
– Dr. Ben Carson

“Constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.”
– Baron de Montesquieu

“Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.”
– Jean de La Fontaine

“Secrecy is the linchpin of abuse of power, . . . its enabling force. Transparency is the only real antidote.”
– Glenn Greenwald

“Laws become fragile under the influence of dictators.”
― Wayne Gerard Trotman

“He can switch from one view to another with frightening ease. I think it is a sign of being accustomed to such power that the truth does not matter because you cannot be contradicted.”
― Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
― Richard M. Nixon

“I don't like institutions that are beyond normal parliamentary scrutiny. It's an invitation to abuse of power, no matter how noble the intentions.”
— Stieg Larsson

“Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it.”
— George Washington

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
– Albert Einstein

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
– Albert Einstein

"The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns, but by men in suits sitting behind desks.
– C. S. Lewis

Save Ozark, MO Schools

Save Ozark Schools.  Make a change in the school district today!

Our Goal

To show the Ozark Voting Public

  1. That toxic administrators pose a severe threat to our fine schools,
  2. That the solution is to replace these administrators, and
  3. That the way to do that is to replace delinquent and complicit members of the Ozark School District Board of Education with attentive, concerned, and accountable public servants

The Ozark School District is presently

Stories of Teacher Abuse

Click below for some of the teacher stories from Ozark, MO. 

Shelly-Pettit

Shelly Pettit

Read Story

The-JROTC-Major

The Major

Read Story

Tom-Swift

Tom Swift

Read Story

Help Us

Save Ozark Schools

Ozark is a wonderful place to live, with much of its charm coming from its being a small town. But with all the virtues of small-town living also come the vices of small-town living. And chief among those is small town politics, in which relationships predominate over regulation, loyalty trumps law, and power protects power. Entrenched power retains its grasp through confederation with others in power. “I’ll watch your back if you’ll watch mine. And I won’t call you out if you don’t call me out.”

Ozark School District has a long reputation for having some of the finest schools in the state. This has made it an attractive prospect for top teachers looking for a new school, enabling it to continue growing ever better. This legacy is now in jeopardy as the school district suffers under tyrannical administration that drives out any teachers who resist its overreach of authority.

Since we started developing this website, we have discovered that NONE of the incumbent school board members whose terms expire shortly have decided to run for re-election. We tend to think that this is because, while they won’t break faith with their co-conspirators, they recognize that they are discovered and that this (both the school board and the present district administration) is a sinking ship they would rather exit while it is still afloat. Interestingly, another local investigator has reached a similar conclusion.

ozark-mo-finley-river

Our District senior administrators have arrogantly adopted an attitude of omniscience where opposing opinions are viewed as threats to their sovereignty. They pursue a “my way or the highway” approach to governing the district, employing strongman tactics to remove any teachers who object. Their attitudes and behavior have corrupted the administrative culture within our school district. District-level administrators model dishonest, abusive governance to their subordinate administrators and establish it as their expectation for those subordinate administrators. They even directly assimilate subordinate administrators into their retaliation schemes by authoring the abusive documents to which they affix their subordinate administrator’s signature blocks and by directing the subsequent steps of those subordinate administrators. Consequently, nearly all administrators at the district level have now knowingly participated in dishonest, abusive targeting of innocent teachers. Principals at several of our individual schools are likewise fully complicit. It will be impossible to restore trust and teamwork within the District without replacing every single one of these administrators who have actively participated in these abusive schemes.

Our senior administrators function like dictators, with unchecked power. In a proper arrangement, the school district’s board of education would direct, supervise, and restrain a superintendent. In Ozark they do not. School board members choose to either look the other way or openly enable this abuse of authority. When questioned, the Board has declared its absolute allegiance to the District administration, abandoning its responsibility to the students, teachers, and community that elected them. Both administrators and board members have shown absolute contempt for state law and board policy when it comes to driving out dissenting employees.

As a result, our teachers now live in fear. Good teachers are either being forcibly removed or are choosing to abandon the District. In response to an informal survey last year, 50 teachers responded with credible reports of harassment, intimidation, and abuse at the hands of district administrators. The superintendent establishes the abuse model and subordinate administrators then demonstrate their individual facility with it. It creates a toxic culture district-wide.

The general pattern is essentially this:

  1. A teacher or staff member speaks up about something that is wrong in the District. Doing so threatens, offends, challenges, resists, or simply complicates things for the administrators.

 (The trigger is EGO.  You can do many things wrong without repercussion; you just can’t challenge administrators in any way.)

  1. District administrators then levy false accusations against the teacher or staff member. They sometimes even fabricate evidence.  Most of the allegations are loosely based on a real occurrence but are deliberately and grossly distorted.  Administrators then refuse to consider any alternative explanation, mitigating circumstances, exonerating details, counter-evidence, witness testimony, etc.  Administrators then document their fabricated allegations in a “Professional Improvement Plan,” a farcical effort to give the employee an opportunity to improve their performance but really just a prelude to firing them.  (This is how the District attempts to insulate itself against wrongful termination lawsuits, by pretending they have legitimate concerns.)  Shortly thereafter, the District pretends to initiate a formal investigation against the targeted teacher or staff member, based on another spurious charge.  This then justifies their imposing a gag order, prohibiting the employee from talking about the case.  While they do this under the auspices of preserving the integrity of the investigation, there generally is NO real investigation taking place.  The gag order commonly vastly exceeds (and sometimes directly contradicts) law and serves the purpose of isolating the employee from peers and undermining the employee’s collection of evidence against the false charges.  District administrators then pressure the teacher to resign.  When that doesn’t work, they serve the teacher with a Notice of Deficiency, the final warning before termination.  And they step up their campaign of retaliation, harassment, and even entrapment in an effort to intimidate the teacher or staff member into resigning.  This is successful the vast majority of the time, as a teacher cannot afford to be fired, lest they lose their prospects for teaching again elsewhere.

 

If the District can compel the teacher or staff member to resign, the District is then fairly insulated against legal challenges, including due process challenges, as no legal authority will then have occasion to review their conduct.

  1. The targeted teacher or staff member commonly turns to the Board of Education for redress. The Board then refuses them audience, affirms their complete confidence in the District administrators and sometimes even joins the administration in harassing and slandering the disfavored employee.  The Board of Education joins the administration in defying both District policy and state law in their refusal to afford any semblance of due process to the targeted teacher or staff member.

To be clear, we are not suggesting that the Ozark School District is deficient in every way.  It remains a superb place to go to school.  But we are here calling attention to the tremendous damage that our district administrators are doing to the teaching environment in Ozark.  It severely erodes the learning environment.  We want to reverse course before further damage is done.

A teacher’s working conditions become a student's learning conditions.
– Missouri NEA

Photo Evidence of Mold the District Denies

About Us

Who are we and why are we so eager to bring negative attention to the Ozark School District?

We are a group of concerned district employees who have become convinced – as we are certain you will as well, when you acquaint yourself with the details – that the school district cannot be repaired from within. We have tried to remedy the problem by appeal to
authorities within the school district. But the authorities within the school district ARE THE PROBLEM!
We attempted to achieve course correction by appeal to the board of education.

Want to make a change in Ozark Schools?

Want to see how to make a change in Ozark, MO schools?  Here are a few ways you can help.

SIGN THE PETITION

Help make a change in Ozark, MO Schools. Sign the petition today. 

WE NEED A LAWYER

Perhaps the best way to hold a school district accountable is through the legal system. If you happen to know of an attorney that could help us, click below.

ADD YOUR STORY

Have a similar story to share? If you are a current or previous teacher, staff, administrator, or volunteer in Ozark, MO schools, you can add your story here.  

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