Star Principal Under Fire

Gutierrez to hear interview

Dr. Linda Besett, the Wood Gormley Elementary School principal who told SFR that WG was "firmly addressed" to use the controversial Treasures curriculum, appears to be facing questioning from SFPS Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez for her comments.---

Besett emailed SFR and copied Gutierrez and Assistant Superintendent Denise Johnston with a request to obtain the audio file of her interview with SFR. Besett wrote that she "would like to share [the interview audio] with our superintendent, Bobbie Gutierrez to assure her that I had no ill intent in agreeing to the interview."

Besett's letter is cordial and does not state that SFR misquoted her, but rather that she would like to "clarify some statements in the article" because "maybe I didn't communicate with clarity." In the audio, SFR asks Besett whether a rumor that she was reprimanded for not adhering closely enough to Treasures is true, and she replies that she was "not reprimanded, but was firmly addressed," which was the language quoted in the article. Later she explains that she was told fidelity to Treasures was "a non-negotiable."

SFR is posting the entire interview online (above).

"I think it's very inappropriate that Bobbie asked for that material," SFPS BoE member Steve Carrillo says. "I think the article spoke for itself and informed readers can make their decisions."  

SFPS Board of Education VP Glenn Wikle says, "I think people should have a right to say what they want to say...I think Linda's record speaks for itself," He adds that he has heard concerns about retaliatory behavior within the district before.

"Should there be any retaliation [against Besett] I believe the board would move swiftly—well, I can't speak for the board, but I would move swiftly as a board member to see that anything that was perceived to be retaliatory was investigated," Carrillo says.

Gutierrez did not immediately return a call for comment.

"We need to have a dramatic change in direction in the district," Carrillo says.

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