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(3:15 PM) Faculty, Staff Vote ‘No Confidence’ In JHS Principal

Jamestown High School P-J file photo

Jamestown High School faculty and staff have voted “no confidence” in Principal Dr. Rosemary Bradley.

The votes, held Thursday, came after a Nov. 6 incident that forced an emergency lockdown that was described as the “tipping point,” Stephanie Sardi, Jamestown Teachers Association president, told The Post-Journal.

On Thursday, 86% of Jamestown Teachers Association union members employed at the high school supported a vote of no confidence in Bradley. The vote, totaling 90 participating members, saw 77 in favor and 13 against. Three other unions — including paraprofessionals, secretaries and custodial staff at the high school — also held similar votes.

On Nov. 6, the high school entered a lockdown procedure following physical altercations among students. Jamestown police responded to the incident and charges were pending as of Tuesday.

“The way that was handled was dangerous for everybody involved and we just needed to address that,” Sardi said.

Multiple students are facing charges, most for disorderly conduct, pending further investigation, police said previously. Because the students are under the age of 18, the charges will be filed through Chautauqua County Family Court.

The Jamestown Public Schools District released a statement on the faculty and staff votes. It read: “District Administration received a letter from the executive board of the Jamestown Teachers Association, on behalf of JHS faculty, expressing a vote of no confidence in one of our building administrators. A vote of no confidence is a symbolic, non-binding vote taken by the membership of a union as a way to express their concerns to district leadership.

“Jamestown Public Schools take any concerns from our school community, including our teachers, very seriously. District administration will continue to work with the Jamestown Teachers Association to determine how to resolve their concerns.”

Sardi cited “a lack of trust and support for teachers, as well as poor interpersonal relationships between Dr. Bradley and her staff, and poor decision-making in general” from Dr. Bradley as the reasons for holding the vote.

“It has left teachers in the building with a sense of low morale and a deep concern for the safety of their students,” Sardi continued.

Along with the vote, the faculty gathered specific incidents and comments from the educators regarding Bradley’s performance as a high school principal. Among those comments received were “specific examples of a lack of consistency in dealing with student behavior, teachers and staff members being admonished in front of students, a lack of proper consequences for poor student behaviors, a general lack of availability to staff members and even directing them to simply not write discipline referrals when students were misbehaving,” the association said.

A vote of no confidence is a non-binding vote from school employees to express their discontent with administration to the Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education, “which employs high school Principal Dr. Bradley and ultimately oversees all aspects of the school.”

Sardi said members from the association will present additional concerns to the school board at the board’s next meeting Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at Jefferson School.

This story will be updated.