Scottie Griffin Resigns

cvilleyankee writes: “The School Board accepted the resignation of Dr. Scottie Griffin effective June 30. Dr. Bobby Thompson & Ms. Gertrude Ivory will act as superintendent during the transition period. A separation agreement was also accepted by the Board.”

Nothin’ against cvilleyankee, but can I get some confirmation on this?

Update: “Upset” writes that s/he was there, saying that at around 8:40pm, the school board announced that Scottie Griffin has decided to “pursue other interests.” I recommend bowling.

Update: The increasingly-on-the-ball Daily Progress has a story on their site, even though the meeting just got out, like, an hour ago. New facts include that the board accepted her resignation by a 5-2 vote, board chair Dede Smith cried after the meeting was through (“It’s been one of the hardest nights I’ve ever had”), and Griffin won’t actually give up the gig until June 30.

20 thoughts on “Scottie Griffin Resigns”

  1. I am UPSET NO MORE…that’s a second…about 8:40 the school board announced that Dr. Griffin had resigned to persue other interests.

  2. I left shortly after the announcement was made. Most of the people leaving with me were busy dialing their cell phones on the way out.

    I am interested to know if anyone who comments here stayed for the public comment after the meeting. I know Dr. Turner was still there when I left, which is not his usual style. I am interested to know if or what he had to say.

  3. I’ll be curious to see to what degree this diffuses defuses the situation. While her stepping down dodges the problem of firing her, I don’t see it eliminating the problem entirely. I can’t imagine that many people will figure that she stepped down of her own accord.

    Frankly, though, between Bob Gibson’s piece in Sunday’s Progress and The Hook‘s discoveries in this week’s issue (I can’t find the article on their website, but they got a copy of Griffin’s resume and — hoo boy — it’s a humdinger), I can’t see why she’d want to stick around. She’s essentially been exposed as, at best, incompetent. Seven jobs in ten years, four of them she left midway through the school year, two lawsuits (one of them brought by a black subordinate, FWIW), and no real accomplishments to her name… Why continue in this line of business?

    It’s a big world, and there are a lot of things that she can do professionally. Being a school superintendent just isn’t her bag.

  4. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to diffuse the situation, it may well escalate in the short term.

    I would agree that while the Progress and Hook articles were unflattering portrayals of Dr. Griffin, I don’t think they did much to sway the minds of those who believe that race is at the core of this issue. There is another article, however, that might. I haven’t seen the article myself, so obviously I haven’t read it, but it’s my understanding that the editor of the Tribune wrote an editorial saying Dr. Griffin should go.

    I hope that as a community, we use this as an opportunity to open up real dialogue about education, race and socio-economic status. I’d love to see the conversation started here in comments to earlier stories ripple out into the community at large. I hope that those people who so passionately defended their cause (on both sides) at School Board meetings will challenge some of that passion into classrooms, after-school tutoring, mentoring or some other way of becoming involved directly with our students.

    This has been a wholly unpleasant experience for all involved. We now must find a way to make lemonade with the lemons.

  5. I think a bunch of people on both sides of this “fight” who’ve posted here have found some common ground for moving forward; I hope that continues.

  6. Wow, I am shocked. We can look at this in two ways.
    1. It is racist- but it seems as though the people who write in on this blog are on the next level so that discussion although relevant is one that we need to bypass to look at other factors. I could be wrong but it seems we (not knowing skin color) can discuss this in a civilzed way…….If the super was white and the same facts came out what would be the reaction (I think of the UN nomination by the republicans right now)
    2. What does this community need? C’ville is not like other small university towns. We have shown that color does not have to be an issue in leadership (Cox) so we can either make it an issue or decide what is best- pull together and push for it or
    try to take a step that pushes for what integration has pushed for all along- a better world in the future. I personally believe we need an African American Superintendent that is a leader–someone with a PROVEN track record but we have to move quickly- Burnley Moran supposedly ( it’s a rumor so I have no idea of the facts) had an African American male in the runniing for principal but he pulled out due to ????????????????? a great loss. It will be interesting to see if it the extremists or moderates that win on this one.

  7. I was at the meeting. Turner did not say anything during the second public comment session. It was the usual stuff, with the exception of one CHS senior who was very poised at the microphone. He said the bottom line is that communication is what’s missing…too much talking to each other and not enough listening to each other. It’s the root of the problems. I agree with him.

    On another note, I highly doubt Griffin truly resigned. The board had several behind-closed-door meetings in the weeks leading up to this announcement. Those meetings were likely to talk about getting rid of Griffin. I’m willing to bet they told her she had two options: you’re fired, or you resign and walk away with some dignity and a chunk of change. Plus, that makes the board look innocent, too. I’ve seen enough “resignations” to know that in a highly profiled and controversial case like this, Griffin’s resignation probably amounts to being fired. Question is, will any board member admit that, and will he say what kind of a deal Griffin got? Probably not.

  8. I have no inside knowledge of the resignation. However if Bob Gibson article brought to light things that Ms. Griffin failed to disclose would that be a firing offense? For example if a form she signed said she was not involved in any ongoing lawsuit, would the recent disclosures give Ms. Griffin little wiggle room? Or put another way without the article on Sunday does Ms. Griffin resign so quickly?

  9. The simple fact is that this is going to be looked at in two very different ways depending on skin color. Someone made a comment earlier about Charlottesville having a black mayor. For one thing, despit being in the highest office in the city, Cox did not recieve nowhere near the amount of attention that Griffin has. I am sad to say that the black community will probably see this as just another racial incident.
    As someone who is black I would like to say that after reading about her past at this point I do not think that this is a race issue. Regardless of the super. something MUST be done to address the race issues in this town. Not just in the school system but in every realm of life. After taking a class on racial politics here at the university I have come to realize several problems with race relations in the US. I went into the class a skeptic. I came in believing that racism exists only in the minds of an ignorant few. The facts and statistics regarding housing discrimination, education, healt care, and other things simply says otherwise.
    Which brings me back to education. Does anyone not see the obvious hypersegregation in our city neighborhoods? According to a study conducted by Douglass Massey blacks are 53% more likely to be discriminated against in the housing process. According to him housing distributes not just land but the quality of education {among other things}. His study concluded that black schools with the same income demographic recieve LESS funding and are of lesser quality than their white counterparts. Look around town. It isnt your Burnley Morans and Greenbrier Elementary schools failing SOL standards. Its the Clarkes and Venables who have a large visible black population. I’m sure that other factors contribute to this, but as a community we need to stop hiding from this race issue. It will not go away just because we disguise it and try to hide it from the nation.
    From our DNA testing of every black male b.c they ‘fit the discription of the serial rapist”, Cop shooting himself in Rio Hill and saying it was a black male with blue jeans and a white shirt, to the beating of Daisy Lundy and the community questions HER instead of finding who did it, from our hypersegregated neighborhoods, to our unfairly underfunded black schools, racism is alive and kicking in this town. Maybe its not present in this particuliar case but I think its time for the community to open its eyes.
    That was liitle off subject but it gave me a chance to say what needs to be said.

  10. I would just point out that Greenbrier is 46% black and 46% white (2% asian, 6% hispanic) and Burnley-Moran is 62% white, 34% white, 1% asian, 2% hispanic. Venable is actually about the same as B-M–61% white, 32% black.

    So as far as large and visible, Greenbrier’s black student population seems pretty obvious. Even a percentage in the 30% range is pretty visible.

    A better comparison (since none of the city schools has fewer than 30% af-am students) would be the county v. the city schools. It’s certain county schools where you see percentages like 97% white (Broadus Wood in Earlysville), Meriwether Lewis (95% white) in Ivy, Crozet Elementary (91% white), Murray (90% white) in Ivy, etc. No county school has more than 28% black students–that’s Greer with 42% white, 28% black, and 21% asian. From Greer it just keeps getting whiter and whiter.

    The Murrays, Meriwether Lewiss’s, are the schools that are getting SOL scores in the 90th percentiles, NOT I would argue because the kids are white and therefore smarter, but because the kids are coming from relatively stable, well-off families (the white kids AND the few black kids in these schools) and therefore are well prepared for school and well supported at home. As I’ve argued elsewhere, economics seems to have much to do with this issue–if you can afford to buy a home or rent in Ivy, you’re likely to have kids that are well prepared for school and well supported at home in their learning. Whether you’re white or black.

    So for me, where racism comes into play is in the historical and institutional factors that have made it so much more likely that if you’re black, you’re not as well off (generally speaking) as whites. That, to me, is undeniably and artifact of institutional racism, as well as of modern-day racism–discrimination in the lending process, as Ryo_Road points out.

  11. Thank you Cecil for the clarifications. I was off on the statistics about city schools and comparing city v. county schools would be a better example. Economics has a huge part in all of this, but it just brings you back to the question “why are whites far more well off?” I just think its amazing how people deny that racism and discrimination still exists and how they underestimate its effects.

  12. The Tribune Editorial:

    The need for order
    As an African-American, I am sometimes reluctant to criticize other
    African-Americans, with the possible exception of Jesse Jackson and
    Julian Bond. It is often said that we blacks are each other’s worst
    enemy. We don’t seem to be able to get our act together and work as a
    cohesive unit like other ethnic groups. It is tragic but in many
    instances blacks are afraid, jealous and envious of each other, which
    can prove to be detrimental to the development of any type of program
    that could benefit the entire race.
    In order not to appear to be engaging in the “crabs-in the-barrel”
    syndrome, we turn our head and ignore certain things, and make excuses
    for “our people.” We excuse the actions of criminals, preferring to
    attribute their behaviors to racism, poverty, lack of opportunity and a
    myriad of other excuses, rather than looking at the problem in its
    totality. We blame the breakdown of our families on white people, the
    government, drugs, but seldom do we consider our culpability in these
    situations. All of the above may be factors, but we also must consider
    our contributions to these situations.
    We fail to talk about “ourselves” for fear of being castigated as
    “sell-outs, “wannabees,” and traitors to our race. Therefore, at least,

    publicly we will support fellow blacks even if we know that they are
    wrong and incompetent. But sometimes, we have to step away from the
    political correctness of color and try to be colorblind. It is almost
    impossible because our society is not colorblind, never has been, and
    never will be but we must endeavor to make decisions not based on color
    or gender, but on facts. Unfortunately, very few individuals, regardless

    of color want to deal with the realities of our lives. It is easier to
    be politically correct, to appeal to our warm and fuzzy side and to
    ignore the obvious.
    The fact is we have a problem in the Charlottesville schools. We have a
    high dropout rate, especially among African-Americans. We have a high
    percentage of African-American students unable to pass SOL tests that
    are required by the state. The millions that are being spent do not
    equal performance. Now, everyone is concerned about the achievement
    gap. The achievement gap has been there for years through several
    caretaker superintendents, who occupied the position until they could

    The problems concerning the gap cannot be attributed to Dr. Griffin.
    The only difference between then and now is that the state is
    threatening action and all children, black and white are affected.
    Having said all this, it is with deep sadness that I feel that Dr.
    Griffin needs to go. She should resign or she should be dismissed.
    Regardless of her intentions, which I am sure are admirable, she can no
    longer be an effective superintendent in our community. Every member of

    the school board should resign also because they have done a poor job.
    Black, white, brown or polka dot, Dr. Griffin should never have been
    hired. She has an abysmal record of having had 9 jobs in 10 years plus
    having been the center of controversy and disruption in past job
    situations. She apparently does not have a record of success.
    We depend on our elected officials and the various boards to make
    decisions for this community. The School Board has abdicated their
    responsibility by hiring someone who was not equipped to solve the
    problems, but rather has caused divisiveness, pitting segments of the
    community against each other, while doing nothing to solve the problem.
    The members of the School Board are given the responsibility of hiring
    the most qualified individuals to oversee our schools. They should not
    bring their personal agendas regarding feminism, racism, socialism or
    humanism into the decision making process.
    Whatever made this school board think that she could successfully manage

    our system, a system in trouble, which has a large segment of its
    student body, that has suffered from benign neglect for more than 20
    years? There is nothing in her record to show that she possesses the
    competency to be a superintendent in a troubled school division. Were
    the only qualifications that this school board considered was the color
    of her skin and her gender?
    The School Board must share in the chaos that has been created because
    they failed to do their job. It takes more than academic credentials,
    black skin, and the feminine gender to be an effective leader,
    especially during crucial times. They have done this community a
    disservice and they should tender their resignations immediately.
    This situation should give impetus to the drive to have an elected
    school board, one free of political influence and cronyism. We need a
    new school board and a new superintendent, individuals who can bring
    order out of chaos.

  13. Now that I am un-upset, I would just like to add my 2 cents. There is terrible racism in Charlottesville. I can not believe how few minorities there are at each school as teachers or in administration.

    But, and I finally think we can all see this, racism was not the issue with Scottie. She was the issue and a pattern of repeated behavior proved it.

    It was interesting to me, after all the hateful remarks that Turner has made, he came in last night, sat down and kept his mouth shut. Oh, at one point, he and his buddies went around by the stairwell and conferred, but still, he didn’t speak. I think he knew (as I have heard the Johnsons knew) that Scottie was not as she purported herself to be and he, in essence, backed the wrong horse. To boot, he, and yes, I blame Turner personally, created all this “racism” talk when that was never the issue.
    Scottie was the issue.

    And if Scottie had been white and her resume, etc., had come out…I do believe she would have been fired and it would have been reported by the news exactly the same.

    O.K., so now, where do we go from here? Well, we do need to calm down. Then Charlottesville does need to get more Blacks in the system in all areas except the custodial staff. The Charlottesville staff is too too white. Geez…you sit in some of these faculty meetings and it’s a sea of white. So something is defintely wrong there. There are qualified Blacks out there.

    Finally, I have to say how impressed I was at the way Ivory handled herself last night. I thought she was wonderful. She was poised, beautifully dressed, and well versed. I think she deserves a “good job done under trying circumstances”. I don’t think many people could have come in and taken over as well as she did. Of course, no one seemed to comment on that.

  14. Great points, Upset. (By the way, if you want to change your name to “No Longer Upset,” let me know and I can hook you up. :)

    With the dismissal of Dr. Griffin, we can’t pretend that a problem has been solved. On the contrary, her presence may yet prove a small blessing for Charlottesville — it has called attention to real issues of racial and economic discrimination that have long, long been present. I can only hope that a serious criterion for selection of a new superintendent will be their background in mediation in matters of systemic discrimination and performance differences that manifest themselves along racial and economic boundaries.

  15. Upset,

    I know you want so badly to be right about Dr. Turner and his “buddies.” I regret to inform you that you were incorrect. He, the Johnson’s and others knew what was going to happen this week two weeks ago. That knowledge did not come from Griffin either. He was not silent because his support for her has wavered, it’s rather arrogant for you to believe so (from my vantage point). This struggle has moved into phase two. Just keep your eyes and ears open.

  16. Reflector Editorial:

    Gibson’s Shot Misses, But the Game Goes On

    When I read Bob Gibson’s “Political Notebook” column in Sunday’s Daily Progress, I wasn’t a bit surprised. Gibson’s piece was a series of questions that called into question the work history of Dr. Scottie Griffin, particularly pointing out that she had settled a civil suit with one school district and was being sued by an employee that worked for her in another. Gibson brought to surface what many of Griffin’s detractors have hinted behind closed doors all along, that they had a problem with her prior employment history.

    His speculation however doesn’t tell us much. The fact that a civil suit against another school system was settled out of court doesn’t tell us much. If anything, it tells us that she must have had some grounds to sue since a settlement was reached. The fact that she was recommended by a controversial superintendent doesn’t necessarily mean that all of his recommendations and appointments were worthless. As far as the lawsuit filed against her, she may be vindicated; she may not. It would have been nice if Gibson had offered the other side of all of his questions, I would question the spin of his piece less. Here are a few questions for him: Did you talk to Griffin’s attorney to respond to Clay’s attorney? Why not? Did you find out if it were proved that she locked kids out of a breakfast program? Why not? If 30 students picketed outside a school asking that Griffin be fired, did you wonder where the other 300 or 400 students were with their parents? Why not?

    What Mr. Gibson has done is powerful beyond measure. It’s powerful because he is a respected writer for the local daily. It will influence people who don’t know better to focus on the wrong things as far as this issue is concerned. Of course, Mr. Gibson is free to ask all the questions that he wants. African-Americans don’t have to look too far back in history to see how the game plays itself out. I refer to the game called character assassination. The leader gets into power. For whatever reason the controversy ensues. When the opposition decides it is time for the leader to go, they set to undermine the leadership. To do so, they evaluate their current work with a fine toothed combed illuminating any issue that they think can discredit the leader i.e. management style, communication, bullying. The snowball grows and more people in opposition join in opposing every measure, every action of the leader. Meanwhile the power of the position is stripped away from them slowly but surely in an attempt to weaken their resolve. Those who support the leader come out passionately to defend him or her. They see the game that’s being played and they point it out. Meanwhile, politicians and other so-called leaders question the integrity of the leader publicly. A few in the opposition put in the time and work to scour through the leaders closet hoping to find the damaging personal information that discredit the leader for good in the eyes of the public. As the local controversy gets more intense, and both sides are clamoring for justice, the past history is revealed as a silver bullet to settle everything for everyone. In this case the silver bullet is two lawsuits and we know none of the details for one and half of the details for the other. The character assassination game has been done to African Americans so much that it is old news. Mr. Gibson took his best shot, however, he missed badly.

  17. Martindavis

    Maybe Turner knew all did the Johnsons. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.

    But did you read ALL of what I wrote. Forget Scottie. Forget Turner. You are right…Charlottesville does have racism here. I’m not from here and I was appalled at what I saw when I first moved here.

    You know, maybe, just maybe a “WHITE FOLK” might agree with what you are trying to say…it’s just the way you are saying it and going about trying to fix the problem.

    Did you read what I wrote about the makeup of the staffs? Did you read what I wrote about Administrations? But it isn’t just the schools. It’s the city. And it is very bothersome to me. Something does need to be done. But can’t it be done in a calmer manner?

    So, let’s all work to try and fix the problem. It will never be fixed to everyone’s satisfaction….but it surely can be fixed a lot better and work a lot better than the way it is now.

    One final thing. It does bother me that more Black Parents do not get more involved in their children’s learning. I understand how hard it is to hold 2 jobs (sometimes) and maybe be the sole support of your family.
    Still, your children are a responsibity. All children need to be loved for, cared for, valued, and nutured. Parents send the message of how much they value their children. When they don’t show up for parent conferences, school activities and so forth, they may not realized how this can influence, in a very negative manner, the effect on their child.

    So all of us need to work on doing whatever we can for today’s children who will be tomorrow’s adults. It’s going to take all of us to fix this problem.

    And if I am arrogant, well so be it. But I am also human and willing to give it a try and can listen.

  18. Martindavis- I have to say I appreciate your honesty and the perspective you add to the site. I enjoy the education you are providing me.

    I am also happy to hear that you did not support Griffin just because of her skin color. That means a lot because the perspective in portions or the community is that people stood up for her solely because she was African American. I will agree with some of your points and would like to add-
    at some point it did turn from the leadership was not what we need, the approach is very authoritative and abusive. there was not enough involvement, some did take the time to become involved in the community others did not- and issues were being dismissed to a level of character assassination. Dr. Griffin rarely even attended school functions- especailly those that were VERY integrated not helping her cause.

    I do think that the staunchist supporters should make a few phone calls to her past employers. I really believe that before support is behind a person whose background needs to be checked out- who REALLY is the person being really supported. Yes, Dr. Griffin did not get a fair shake BUT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, are people willing to stand behind someone with her track record? Black or white she was not a leader- a leader in my opinion would have been vocal- regardless of race when the going got tough. No leader should ever let her followers or staff be attacked with not even a word or stance taken in their defense. Does a coach let their players be attacked- black or white without making a statement?

    It is a tough time for us all- many of the staff under 40 came up through integration- not knowing what times used to be like and being taught that all people are equal. We never saw the segregation and don’t understand- yet we are caught in the middle of racist allegations. I beleive we are at a turning point that can really change the future for the better and those of us who are involved in this blog have the issues and our hearts in the right place to move our community to one that we can all be proud of. I, during the year, was concerned about bringing my children up in a community where there would be people who thought they were racist because of their skin color. I have decided to stay because I know that if all the parents like me leave- what will be left? My children need to learn to value each person as an individual. There are good people who are fromdifferent races and there are bad people who are from different races. Let us not put Scottie Griffin in a place that will separate the good people from working together to make this place truly progressive and a for other communities.

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