Our Mission is To Protect Our Children
re: The Scandal Engulfing the Show Choirs of Burbank High School
I am a parent and member of the community, and I, along with other parents have formed an impromptu group we are calling Parents For Safe Learning. Like most everyone we have spoken with, we are concerned in the extreme about what we have been reading about Burbank’s famous show choir director and the operation of the Burbank High School show choir program. It is essential to us that we are not seen as a witch-hunt and that we are reasoned in our approach. It is extremely important to note that we are addressing the texts written by Brett Carroll and sent to his arranger/collaborator, Josh Greene over a five year period from December of 2010 to April of 2016.
Mr. Carroll has been placed on administrative leave by the district. We know this from the article in the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/socal/burbank-leader/news/tn-blr-me-leave-20170120-story.html. We also know this from the notes sent home to the parents. Mr. Carroll’s texts, which should be read by all parents so that they can form their own opinion on this matter, can be read here: https://semichorus.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/tresonas-going-after-brett-carroll-and-bhs-for-sexual-improprieties/
While some in the community have argued that Mr. Carroll’s thoughts, which are contained in those text messages should never have been made public, but this is a difficult bell to unring. If one subscribes to the argument that this is just two guys talking, and that the activities that Carroll describes and the actions he admits to taking are no big deal, then the rest of our concerns will fall on deaf ears and we respect the right of everyone to speak their mind on the issue even if we disagree.
However, these are texts between a school teacher, Brett Carroll and Josh Greene, a vendor to the the Vocal Music Association who designs the shows, teaches classes on Carroll’s sick day absences when Carroll is consulting at other schools for money, and had, up until 2016, a great deal of contact with the students. Certainly not as much contact as Carroll, but unfettered access to the students, nevertheless.
We believe that a school teacher should be held to a higher standard.
We believe that a teacher who boasts of attending sex shows featuring donkeys having sex with girls in Mexico and telling his colleague that he will take him to these shows as soon as show choir season is over can not also be the same individual that we entrust to teach our children during the day.
We believe that a teacher who make selections about who should be in his show choir, based upon the color of their skin, their sexiness, his perception that they are prepubescent has no place in a show choir made up of underage students, and that Mr. Carroll has no place in the teaching community.
We believe that a teacher who would knowingly allow inebriated adult musicians to perform with underage students has no place teaching those same students. Alcohol and sexual assault go hand in hand, and the fact that students were exposed to this risk is unacceptable.
We believe that targeting students for sexually suggestive choir roles based upon whether or not they come from a two-parent home and whether their will be less push-back from a single parent is wrong. We believe that sharing personal information about students with the arranger to the program is also wrong.
We believe that a teacher who earns his living teaching at Burbank Unified School District should not be calling in sick to go teach at other schools as a consultant and asking his colleagues in the choir program to not disclose that he is out of town so that his bosses do not find out. Earning greater amounts of money as a consultant while simultaneously defrauding the district and depriving the students here of his vaunted teaching skills while he is consulting other choirs should not be tolerated.
We believe that the offer to supply narcotics, amphetamines, and prostitutes to his arranger, while boasting of his own use of prostitutes can not be the same man we entrust to teach our children during the day.
We believe that Carroll allowing Greene to forge an employment record on Burbank High School stationary that was used to create a false credit record represents a teacher whose understanding of right and wrong make him unfit to stand in front of our children as a teacher.
We believe that a teacher who makes multiple slurs against Asians, Gays, Lesbians, and Latinos has no place being in front of our children to teach the multi-cultural and diverse members of the student body.
We believe that a teacher who fixes competitions so that his choir is not penalized for going over time limits is no example to set for our children.
We applaud the school administration for taking appropriate action against Carroll and for placing him on administrative leave, but this is not enough, and we believe there is nothing to discuss. Any risk to our children from Carroll’s contact with the children is unacceptable. We are all in favor of having a strong arts program and a great show choir, so we must ask ourselves that In the City of Los Angeles, in the city of Burbank, how hard is it to find a new show choir director?
We know that Mr. Stanley, the band teacher, was placed on Administrative leave on December 12, 2016 and presumably dismissed, so it seems as if there is scant oversight of the music programs at Burbank High School.
If, like us, you want your voices heard, I would urge you to write to the superintendent, Dr. Matt Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org and make your opinions on this matter known. You could also contact the school board, and their email addresses are available here:
Parents For Safe Learning