Oh, it took a biggun to get past my couple of weeks of writers block following being unable to type (first diagnosed as Cubital Tunnel, later confirmed as simple tendonitis.) Oh and what biggun it is!
About 11:20 am this Friday twitter delivers this announcement from the @Chronicleherald – “BREAKING: HRSB super Carole Olsen’s husband leaked the Fells video to Frank, she admitted today. MORE LATER“
My immediate response was “SHE MUST RESIGN”. Moments later someone else on the web messaged me to say she offered to resign, and the HRSB Board did not accept her offered resignation.
Okay, I am far from a fan of Carole Olsen. Those of you who may have followed wayemason.com (the more egotistical predecessor to Halifax Politics dot ca) may recall I had a small but significant role in the south end and later peninsula wide school fight, getting the school board fired, and then gutting the ill conceived “Imagine Our Schools” process.
So yeah, let me declare a conflict of interest, because Carole Olsen was simply the leader of the bad guys for almost four years of bitter politics and fighting for what we thought was right. If you want to know more about that fight, check out Citadelschools.ca It is an understatement to say I am not a fan.
So I will admit that I am wondering about my own reaction. In my mind, of course she has to resign. Her husband leaked email that was highly confidential and possibly damaging to one of her employees. The admitted motivation of this leak was to support Olsen’s now revealed stance that Fell’s should be fired.
Am I wrong? Are past dealings clouding my judgement? I don’t think so.
Let’s leave aside Fell’s character, long service to the community, and long history of speaking truth to power when it needed to be done.
The Superintendent did not agree with her bosses decision.
She wanted to fire Fells, but the elected Board, her employer, voted not to fire him.
Her husband logged into the computer and emailed the confidential video to the media. His stated aim was to support his wife’s view that Fells should be fired.
We only have Olsen’s word that she did not know he was doing this. I for one don’t care one way or the other.
This action has opened herself and the Board up to lawsuits and litigation, and it has also now cast doubt over the willingness of this most senior staff person to support her elected Board, and as importantly, to support her staff.
How do HRSB principals feel today, knowing that personal employment information, private and between them and their employer is not secure, that their ultimate bosses spouse might decided to violate that employment confidence in an effort to destroy staff or managers who don’t tow the line.
How can she be allowed to stay in this position now? She is the Superintendent. The boss. The buck stops with her.
The Board should accept her resignation and move on.