Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Shocking Hypocrisy of Dr. Means

By Jeff Simpson 

In a case that has caught local attention, the Mequon- Thiensville School district placed Mrs. Krista Lesiecki, a math teacher in the district for 18 years, on administrative leave earlier in the year, and recommended her termination.  

While the details are sketchy on what actually happened, the one fact that is indisputable, is that it was a single disagreement between Mrs. Lesiecki and one student and her parents.   

The Superintendent of Mequon-Thiensville, Dr. Demond Means(yes, that Dr. Means), sent a letter to the community that included no details, but did include this line

In the letter, the district's superintendent said, "When alleged behavior is egregious in nature, swift and immediate action from our administration is necessary."
Let's be perfectly clear here:

Never once has she been accused of threatening the students safety or any physical harm.   It appears to be a personality/philosophy disagreement between teacher and student.   Mrs. Lesiecki even requested for all hearings/meetings to take place in open session so the public would know exactly what was done and said.   Which does not seem to fit the "egregious" label that was quickly placed upon her.  

Since Mequon-Thiensville and Dr. Means have made their point perfectly clear that a public institution of learning is no place to have philosophical/personality disagreements, it is interesting to me that they are allowing Dr. Means as commissioner of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program(the Republican takeover of the Milwaukee Public Schools bill), and he accepted.   

For those of us scoring at home, lets dig a little deeper.  

* Republicans in Wisconsin have cut more money from public education than any other state in the country.   Apparently not Egregious. 

*  The GOP legislators provided Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee with a 30 page “K-12 Omnibus Motion,” and gave them approximately one hour to review it before starting debate at 8:15pm and passing the motion in its entirety at almost 2am. Not a single item in this bill, that was rammed through the middle of the night, was raised a campaign issue in the last election.    Apparently also not egregious.   

*  In this bill, Rep. Kooyenga(R-drinks alot) and Sen. Darling, have given the power to County Executive Chris Abele the power to take over the Milwaukee Public Schools and hand them over to unaccountable charter schools.  (Must read  post on the bill here). None of the three have a single education credential between them(Abele did not even finish college) and yet they are trumping the elected school board members in the MPS.   Apparently also NOT egregious.  

None of these facts bother Dr. Means as much as one conversation between teacher/parent/student gone bad.   With a  public education friend like that .....   Mrs Lesiecki did have plenty of support from other means though, including a facebook support group over 2000 members strong

Now it appears that Mrs. Lesiecki has decided to put this horrible chapter in her distinguished career behind her, and has agreed to a settlement with the district.  

A longtime Homestead High School math teacher who faced a Monday disciplinary hearing over an alleged interaction with a student and her parents is stepping down under a settlement reached with the Mequon-Thiensville School District on Friday.
Krista Lesiecki will remain on paid leave through the end of the 2015-'16 school year, after which "her employment with the district will conclude," Lesiecki and the district said in a joint statement issued Friday afternoon.

While I wish Mrs. Lesiecki well in her future endeavors, I would recommend that we as a public education community get together and discuss what is and is not egregious in relating to our schools and education system these days in WI.  


  1. We must remember Walker made it gospel that teachers deserve no respect as they are paid with taxpayer dollars and Walker believes only his special interest donors are deserving of those taxpayer funds! Walker has been on a mission for the past 5 years to destroy public education in Wisconsin K- college and in the process has held teachers and professors up to public ridicule and scorn! The only hope to save public education is to vote Walker's Republican legislators out in mass during the 2016 elections!

  2. What makes people think there weren't previous complaints? I had her as a teacher and she was by far the most prejudiced teacher against males and students who she assumed to be anything but a bleeding liberal. I am confident in the fact that over half of her former students consider her a bad teacher in the way she teaches and in the way she acts in class to students. Some people claim she is a teacher who challenges her students to think, I consider her lazy and inconsiderate. She loves to make things feminist and racist issues when those things have the least amount of importance in regard to the issue. They shouldn't have given her a payout, they should've taken away her free retirement and let her teach and told her that she had to earn her benefits back.

    1. I feel bad for you. I know how much righties in WI are victimized on a daily basis. Its hard to be a righty in WI you have no power and now outlets for your ideas.

      The only thing I am not surprised about though is how you play the victim card instead of having a public debate. I know the only real response righties have when someone disagrees with them is to try and get them fired. At least you know your ideas and philosophy are unarguabley bad for WI.

    2. Its really a challenge to have any opinion on this case, because nobody has stated any of the complaints against her. What concerns me is that you are willing to take her side regardless. It leaves me wondering if you consider it acceptable for a teacher to be pushing an agenda when teaching kids, liberal or conservative.

    3. Actually IMBR what she did is rather insignifacnt to the point of the post. Dr. Means called what she did egregious, yet is now unaccountably taking over part of MPS..... As the saying goes, I dont think that word means what you think it means.

      As for "acceptable to be pushing an agenda" would you like to explain that? should teachers not have opinions, philosophy, moral values? when can they come out?

      Can you not hear opposing viewpoints or are you just not interested in hearing from anyone who doesnt walk lock step with you? Are we not in education to expand your mind?

      give me a break on the pushing an agenda BS.

  3. The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath..,.....'T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown ...." (Shakespeare)

  4. The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath..,.....'T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown ...." (Shakespeare)