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Did a Buffalo school principal repeatedly forge a parent's signature? Check out the documents.

As noted in today's story by Deidre Williams, Timekia Jones, a teacher's aide and former parent representative at Harvey Austin School 97, has alleged that the principal of the school, Brigette Gillespie, forged Jones' signature on multiple documents, including the state-mandated School Comprehensive Education Plan and other Title I documents.

These documents require a parent-representative's signature because each school is supposed to prove that they involved all school stakeholders, including parents, in certain school-based decision-making and planning. Jones states in an affidavit that her school principal forged her name on documents and never involved her in any decisionmaking process, contrary to what is required of School Leadership Teams that are supposed to collaborate in every school building.

Jones' affidavit is part of a larger complaint to the state by the District Parent Coordinating Council that parents are routinely shut out of school-level and district-level decision making.

So is it true? Did a Buffalo school principal repeatedly forge a parent's signature just because she didn't want to endure the inconvenience of actually involving parents in school improvement planning? You be the judge.

Below is Jones' affidavit, which attests to her version of events and includes a copy of her signature and the signatures she contends were forged by Principal Gillespie. Note her actual signature on the fourth page of the affidavit, then compare that signature to the ones that are supposedly hers on exhibits A and B.

PS: The Buffalo school board will hold its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. tonight in Room 801 of City Hall. We will be live blogging the meeting so return to the School Zone later today and join us. 

Timekia Jones affidavit

 

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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