Emails Reveal BOE Chair Baraka More Concerned with Her Reputation than the Safety of Bridgeport Children

An interesting email exchange between Superintendent Paul Vallas and Board Chairwoman Sauda Baraka reveals that Baraka is more interested in saving her hide than protecting students in Bridgeport schools.

The series of emails revolve around the recent release of three videos tapes showing former Tisdale Elementary School Principal Carmen Perez-Dickson dragging two kindergarten students down a hallway.

In an email to Superintendent Vallas, Baraka demands the names and positions of staff members who supplied the tapes to the parents whose children Dickson victimized:

“… According to channel 12 news the parent, who distributed the tape, reported that she requested, and received the tape, from the BBOE in November 2013.

Please inform me of the name and position of the BBOE employee, consultant, attorney or agent, who released that tape on behalf of the Bridgeport Board of Education…”

Because, clearly the issue here is that Bridgeport parents now get to see what Baraka thought only merited suspension, not the board’s awful judgement.

In response to Baraka, Vallas revealed that the state Department of Children and Families had informed the district that the parents of the students involved had a right to the tapes:

“…It does not matter in the least who physically released the tapes to the parents of the children touched by Ms. Dickson. The Connecticut Department of Children and Family Services advised BPS that the affected families are entitled to the tapes, and it is apparent that my staff simply complied with this directive. Thus, as I stated on the telephone this morning, I refuse to conduct a witch hunt for the particular person who merely fulfilled a directive from a state agency, simply because some on the Board are now uncomfortable with the media attention they are receiving as a result of what it was warned would be at the very least a controversial decision, if not a highly unpopular course of action. “



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