Jul 5, 2015

Allegations Surface: DC Principal Receives Monthly Wine Shipment at NW Elementary School

Tubman Elem. School wine delivery
By Candi Peterson, WTU General Vice President

There aren’t many employers that would allow you to have your "wine of the month" shipment delivered to your job. Surely having a wine shipment sent to your elementary school likely will earn you a reprimand, even your walking papers.

When a local school principal (allegedly) received a monthly wine shipment from Last Bottle of Napa, California at her NW elementary school, here in DC– it caught the attention of a Fed-X employee who informed school staff. A picture of one of the wine delivery sent May 15, 2015 was provided to The Washington Teacher.

Pay attention to the shipping label on the box (pictured left)  which reveals the shipment was delivered to Amanda Delabar at 3101 13th Street NW, District of Columbia 20010, which is the address of Tubman Elementary school where Delabar is the principal. The label is stamped home pre-paid ALCOHOL and requires an adult signature.

One might ask what’s wrong with having wine delivered to you at your place of employment, which just so happens to be an elementary school? As an educational leader, principals are models of leadership for teachers and students and should maintain standards of exemplary professional conduct.

“If a principal would reprimand one of his/her staff for a similar type of offense then they too should refrain from engaging in such behavior”, stated a DC principal who wished to remain anonymous.

The Child, Youth, Safety and Omnibus Amendment Act of 2004  requires criminal background checks for certain DCPS employees who work with students prior to the commencement of employment, and reasonable suspicion drug/alcohol testing. This act led to the creation of the DCPS 2013 Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy which has certain provisions that also prohibit intoxicants at work.

Given that DCPS is committed to protecting the safety, health and welfare of young people in its charge, as well as that of its employees, a  safety sensitive employee (i.e. principal, teacher, school staff,) are prohibited from possessing a container of alcohol, while on duty (see Section 6 for prohibited conduct on page 10).

Under the 2013 drug and alcohol policy, the consequences are rather severe and gives DCPS the right to require a fitness for duty, place an employee on administrative leave, detail the employee to a non safety-sensitive position and or terminate any covered employee who engages in any of the prohibited conduct outlined in Section 6, 

We need to bear in mind that principals are people with the same follies as their staff.

As a side note, DC Public Schools has no problem administering discipline to teachers when found guilty of similar offenses.

Should principals be held to the same treatment as their employees, if found guilty?

What do you think would be an appropriate way to handle this situation ? You tell me. Feel free to write me at thewashingtonteacher@gmail.com

© Candi Peterson 2015


Anonymous said...

Good evening . As an educator, I feel that she should be removed from her position . Why is she having this delivered to the school as opposed to her home ? Is she planning to drink it at school? If I were a parent , I would call for her immediate removal . She is an educational leader and this is very inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I would be very concerned about this action. Even if she did not plan to drink the wine at school, having it sent to the school is against school policy. What other policies has she broken?

DCPS teachers and staff (excluding administrators) are held to a standard higher than the most conservative baptist church in the south! LOL!!! All jokes aside, it is imperative that administrators be held to the same high standard as teachers! DCPS employees can be drug tested at the slightest suspicion of impairment. To me, this delivery is beyond suspicion for this principal!

I have no problem with accountability, but everyone must be held accountable. It takes a village to raise a child. A drunk villager however is a serious problem! This principal needs to resign! DCPS needs to hold principals accountable and exercise better judgment when hiring school leaders!

Anonymous said...

This principal obviously used very poor judgement and should receive some type of reprimand but I don't think she should be fired unless it is shown that she is actually drinking the wine at school. I am assuming that she is having it delivered at school and not at her home because an adult needs to sign for it so it can't be just dropped off like other types of FedEx deliveries. Again, very inappropriate but not worthy of being fired.

Anonymous said...

Poor judgement on her part. I would take it into account along with other circumstances where she has made unprofessional and questionable decisions. For example how does she interact with families and staff? What is the percentage of effective and highly effective teachers compared to developing or ineffective? How does she score her staff's core professionalism? Is it harsher than usual? All of these would be considerations.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't this information sent to the news outlets and the newspapers????? This could be major! It needs to dealt with. Sam Ford with news channel 7, Bruce Johnson with channel 9 news, etc.

Anonymous said...

You all are very lenient on her. Let's be honest, if you did it you would have been fired in a NY minute! Just saying.

Anonymous said...

As an employer, I can't imagine having any problem with a win delivery to our place of work that did not involve consumption at the workplace. Get a grip, people, deliveries get stolen from front porches in this town all the time (including my own this weekend). It is a routine fact that many people who live in DC have deliveries sent to the work place in order to make sure they arrive safely.

As a parent, this also doesn't bother me in the least absent any evidence of use or abuse around the kids at the school. My kids can survive seeing a box of wine. If you are concerned about the example set, maybe you should consider whether treating even the sight of an alcohol bottle as an enormous taboo is a wise way to spend your time.

Anonymous said...

My three year old daughter will attend Tubman next month, so I read your post with some interest.

At first blush, I thought it was amusing that America's puritanical attitude to alcohol is alive and well 80-odd-years after the end of prohibition.

But then, I have to admit, I found a more sinister undertone.

Fair minded people could argue about your premise -- that it's strange to have wine delivered to work. I don't think it is, but set that aside, and set aside the fact that the actions of the "Fed-X" employee were morally (and legally) questionable. I think the post itself raises a number of questions:

First, as a parent, I asked myself: do you have any evidence that she is an alcoholic and/or unfit for her job?

As a professional journalist I find myself asking -- what is your motive for posting this? Did you think it raises an interesting -- if slightly esoteric -- debate about the necessity of signatures for wine deliveries? About DCPS policy toward those deliveries? About the application of alcohol possession rules? Or could it be that you have a very very thinly veiled political agenda?

Anonymous said...

If this principal is liked by Chancellor Henderson, nothing will happen. She will not receive a reprimand or lose her position. However, if a DCPS teacher had done the same thing (have wine delivered to a DCPS), he or she would have been put under investigation, drug tested, and fired. This school system protects its managers, no matter what corrupt, unethical, illegal, or morally reprehensible things they do. Teachers and others of lower rank are treated very harshly and shown zero sympathy. That's DCPS under Kaya Henderson and Jason Kamras.