1. #1
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    Default Standing Ovation for School Board

    You've got to give style points to this school board.
    04/5/06 - Posted from the Daily Record newsroom

    DAILY RECORD STAFF REPORTS

    MONTVILLE -- The principal of Montville Township High School was suspended Tuesday night for disabling fire alarms at the school.

    Dr. Steven Kramer was placed on an indefinite paid suspension by the school board, which adopted a resolution during its Tuesday night meeting.

    The drastic move came after Montville fire officials fined the school district $10,000 for repeated violations of the township fire code.

    According to the board resolution, the allegations against Cramer first came to light following a March 24 fire at the high school. The fire went unreported to police and fire officials -- as well as the school's fire alarm monitoring company -- because the system had been "intentionally modified to prevent such reports."

    Montville's Fire Official issued a notice of violation to the district on March 27 for disabling the alarm system and failing to notify the fire department of the fire. The district was ordered to fix the problem by March 28 or face $5,000-a-day fines.

    A follow-up inspection, conducted Tuesday, found the alarms were disabled again on March 29 and 30.

    Kramer's suspension takes effect immediately, pending the results of a district investigation.

    Kramer was hired in 2000, replacing Judith Rattner, who left after a year on the job to become the assistant superintendent in Berkeley Heights.

    Kramer was founder and principal of the Technical High School in Newark for four years before being hired in Montville.

    Kramer helped promote the district's high school expansion project, which voters approved by referendum in 2001. It's now being constructed. Kramer also brought programs to the school, such as the FIRST Robotics program and Cisco Networking Academy, which he carried over from the Newark school.

    Kramer was granted tenure in 2003, but not without some controversy. The superintendent and a number of school board members opposed renewing his contract, citing instances where he violated district policy.

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    That just goes to show you that education is no measure of common sense. You got to give the school board credit for swift, and intelligent, action.

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    Default

    suspend him? They need to fire the mutt. His job is to protect the students.

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    Default

    Wow, that guy is intellegent.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    suspend him? They need to fire the mutt. His job is to protect the students.
    They can't fire him until they suspend him and give him a hearing. You know, that pesky discipline process?

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    I recommend every department pay very close attention to schools in their venue. I can guaranty that there are problems EVERYWHERE.

    My personal favorite is when fire alarms are used as a scare tactic to pass a school budget. Only to watch and see that A. the alarm is never fixed or installed, and B. It is again brought up at every budget election to help along it's passing.

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    What was the reason for this crazy move ?
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    We had a school principal (now retired) who asked me not to have a fire drill within the first three days of school as required by the CMR 527 fire prevention regulatios because " it might disturb the children in the kindergarten class"...

    My answer was... "and you think a fire isn't going to scar them for life?"

    The fire drill went on as planned.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Probably on PAID administrative leave.
    Someone this despicable has no business being a steward for the educational system and its students anywhere!
    But he's not alone. He had to have had someone else disable it; a maintenance person, perhaps?
    Educated idiots like that can't change a light bulb.
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    Default could have gotten UGLY....

    that principal is sure lucky there wasn't at least a semi-big fire at that school, or worse, a student or teacher was injured or killed because the alarm wasn't on and they didn't know there was a fire!
    if you ask me, that (insert word) should have been fired, i dont care what the policy is. anybody that does something to endanger (sp?) lives should be punished HARSHLY.

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    Ok, this makes no sense. First he:

    Kramer was founder and principal of the Technical High School in Newark for four years before being hired in Montville.

    Kramer helped promote the district's high school expansion project, which voters approved by referendum in 2001. It's now being constructed. Kramer also brought programs to the school, such as the FIRST Robotics program and Cisco Networking Academy, which he carried over from the Newark school.
    Then he disables automatic fire safety equipment? Can I have some of whatever it is he is sniffing, cuz it must be real good.

    Just goes to show that you can have a billion "At-A-Boys" and stand head and shoulders above your peers, but one "Ah $&it", and its all over.
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    While I definitely do not agree with the tactic, do we know his side of the story? Was the system in disrepair and causing constant interruptions of the school day? Were they not able to get someone in to repair it? Was there construction in an area of the school that required it to be disabled?

    PS - I highly doubt any of these reasons are valid. I also know, we don't know what's going on. I am not a fan of nor do I recommend disabling systems.

    I agree with Malahat27, this does not make sense.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    While I definitely do not agree with the tactic, do we know his side of the story? Was the system in disrepair and causing constant interruptions of the school day? Were they not able to get someone in to repair it? Was there construction in an area of the school that required it to be disabled?

    PS - I highly doubt any of these reasons are valid. I also know, we don't know what's going on. I am not a fan of nor do I recommend disabling systems.

    I agree with Malahat27, this does not make sense.
    Even if it were true, remember, there was a fire in the school and he didn't report it to the FD or the PD.

    Little background. This same school, about a month ago, had an upperclassman arrested and suspended from school for the remainder of the year because he was choking out younger kids to the point of unconsciousness. He didn't report these aggaravated assaults either. The PD found out about them through parents of the kids who were injured. Kid was charged with Agg. Assault and will probably do some Youth Center time.

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    WWOOOAAHHHH... this guy certainly seems to have a few screws either missing or loose.............
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Default

    Like I figured, there is always more to the story.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I wonder if this is the principle at the school where the teacher blew his hand off with the explosive paper weight?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    This guy needs to get out of teaching, and get into politics, with all the cover ups he has got it together, just wrong profession
    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Even if it were true, remember, there was a fire in the school and he didn't report it to the FD or the PD.

    Little background. This same school, about a month ago, had an upperclassman arrested and suspended from school for the remainder of the year because he was choking out younger kids to the point of unconsciousness. He didn't report these aggaravated assaults either. The PD found out about them through parents of the kids who were injured. Kid was charged with Agg. Assault and will probably do some Youth Center time.
    For crying out loud: what's next?
    A math teacher helping her students cheat on a national math test?
    Oh wait; I think that happened.
    Nevermind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    For crying out loud: what's next?
    A math teacher helping her students cheat on a national math test?
    Oh wait; I think that happened.
    Nevermind.
    CR
    Sex with their students?

    Oh yeah.. that's been done!
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    Speaking of sex with students, what is it with these people? Do they think that if "He got caught, maybe I can get away with it", or what? There is yet another instance of this in the news from Brandywine today. Which makes the third or fourth report of such in the past 3 or 4 weeks.

    Are these people born stupid or do they have to work at it?

    Ok.. "Rant Off."
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 04-06-2006 at 01:02 PM.

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    I made a factual error in my last post. The first two assaults were not reported to police by the principal. The third was reported to police by an Assistant Principal at the school in the absence of the principal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Even if it were true, remember, there was a fire in the school and he didn't report it to the FD or the PD.

    Little background. This same school, about a month ago, had an upperclassman arrested and suspended from school for the remainder of the year because he was choking out younger kids to the point of unconsciousness. He didn't report these aggaravated assaults either. The PD found out about them through parents of the kids who were injured. Kid was charged with Agg. Assault and will probably do some Youth Center time.
    If you had a crystal ball, I bet you would find a lot more of these type incidents that go 'unreported'. We've experienced it here.

    Many principals are more concerned with 'looking good' rather than being good.

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    Principal's suspension brings out supporters
    Montville High teachers rally at the school
    Saturday, April 08, 2006
    BY JOHN WIHBEY
    Star-Ledger Staff
    Dozens of Montville High School teachers rallied yesterday morning in front of the school to call for the reinstatement of suspended principal Steven Kramer, who the school board said disabled the school's fire alarm system.

    Holding signs and chanting their support for Kramer, about 50 teachers lined the front sidewalk before classes began as passing cars honked horns at the demonstration. Most educators wore black as a sign of protest.

    "He became like a father figure to us, and he reminded us that education is about kids and teaching them character, values and ethics," said Mike O'Brien, a 38-year veteran history teacher. "People are sad, people are crying."

    Kramer did not return a phone call seeking comment.

    Board president Jon Alin said he could not comment on the rally and further steps relating to the Kramer case would be left to the superintendent's office. A new superintendent will be named Monday night.

    "The board is supportive of the teachers," Alin said.

    Kramer was suspended by the board Tuesday after fire officials fined the school district $10,000 for having a disabled alarm on March 29 and 30. The district had received notice of the problem on March 27, according to the school board.

    Authorities became aware of the issue March 24 when a small fire broke out in a school restroom. It was extinguished by a custodian, said Montville Fire Chief John Osborne.

    Teachers' union president Ellen Levitan said Kramer had not disabled the alarm's capacity to warn people in the building but rather disconnected the alarm's line that connects to emergency services. The loud bells and strobe lights in the building could still be activated, she said.

    The fire system service owner, township committeeman Art Daughtry, confirmed yesterday the alarm and lights would still go off if the alarm were disabled. He also said his service company would still receive a fire signal, though firefighters and police would not have been alerted.

    Yesterday morning, student Alexa Constandinou, a junior, held a "We Support Dr. Kramer" sign at the rally and said her principal deserves mercy. "We really do miss him," she said. "Everyone makes a mistake and this was a stupid mistake."

    Teachers and students said there has been a rash of prank alarms, with multiple school interruptions on a recent day.

    "It was a deliberate turnoff for the reason of 14 alarms in one day," Levitan said of Kramer's decision to disable an element of the alarm. "With the fire department, the thinking was we didn't want them to leave their job every five minutes."

    History and psychology teacher Erik Morrison said teachers' primary concern is that "the kids are taken care of" and allowed to focus on their education. But he wants Kramer to get a chance to defend himself.

    "He deserves his day to let the legal process work for him," Morrison said.

    Meanwhile, another fire alarm went off yesterday morning at the high school. The fire department came and students were evacuated, officials said.

    "We followed the exact procedures that we had in place for a fire alarm," Interim Assistant Superintendent Jacquelyn Cochran said.

    Chief Osbourne said it was a false alarm. "Evidently, it was a pulled box. It was an apparent prank," he said.
    *******************

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    Even in my part of nowhere USA the schools have video cameras in the hallways. Malicious activations become much easier to deal with when you have taped evidence of the perpetrator pulling a station.

    Kramer's supporters need to be reminded in no uncertain terms that there was an actual fire in the building, not just a bunch of "false" alarms.
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    Default Bad Publicity

    I have no idea what this guy could have been thinking of.

    My own experience with my school district is that they avoid bad publicity anyway they can. We've had our bomb threats and they want to draw as little attention as possible, I think they'd like one unmarked squad and one engine, we don't do things that way. My kids have come home from high school telling me that somebody had squirted lighter fluid in a locker and lit it, I'd worked that day and knew nothing about it. Same with trash can fires.

    One day a young man ignited a trash can in a rest room and a student called us from a payphone. I doubt the school would have called, fire extinguished quickly by a custodian. We did a follow up, used video surveliance to determine who did it. Of course once we knew the district called a meeting and immediately suspended the kid proclaiming that they wouldn't allow this in their schools. Sad thing was that after I worked with the kid a bit, it was a definite cry for help and while counseling was needed I wasn't sure the suspension was the best way to go. That's another story for another day. Of course I was then asked to stay out of it. (on a happy note, its been five years, the kid is doing great and is hopefully over his problems).

    On the other side, an elementary school had a fire in a trash can, got the kid, and the counselors worked WITH me to determine the issues and work with the kid. They were very helpful, and even asked for juvenile firesetter information.

    Unfortunately I think PR is sometimes more important then common sense for public agencies.

    Good story George.

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