Petition Closed
Petitioning City Councilor Frank Baker and 22 others

Superintendent Johnson has lost the public’s trust and must resign or be fired immediately

from on .

On June 17, 2011, Boston Police faxed Boston Public Schools Superintendent, Carol Johnson, a police report on the arrest of Rodney Peterson, principal of the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science in Roxbury, on a domestic assault charge. The report states that Peterson choked and punched his wife in their kitchen, and that the victim was heard screaming, "You're holding me against my will," and "You punched me in my stomach." Peterson’s wife had given birth to their first child by caesarean section only weeks earlier. Punches had left dents in the refrigerator. A guilty finding was decided on Aug. 8, 2011. Peterson was ordered to complete a batterer’s intervention program, as a condition of his sentence to one year’s probation.

Superintendent Carol Johnson responded in the following ways: She informed no one outside her office of the charges. She wrote a letter to the judge in support of Peterson. She told Peterson that he could keep his job as principal, “as long as the news media didn’t find out,” according to a Boston Globe source briefed by Peterson. She renewed a 3-year contract for Peterson. She sent him to be trained as a schools superintendent. Finally, she recommended him in glowing terms to the Memphis public schools system, where both she and Peterson had served together in the past.

When these facts were exposed in the Boston Globe on July 8, 2012, Supt. Johnson stated: “I stand behind the decision.” Her spokesperson stated that Supt. Johnson continued to see in Peterson “great potential as a school leader,” and wouldn’t rule out his continued employment in BPS. Following public and media outcry and demands for her ouster, the Superintendent now states that she made “a mistake.” Mayor Thomas Menino has thrown his support behind her, stating that her apology is sufficient, and that her conduct does not send a bad message to students.

Parents of Boston Public School students strongly disagree. Superintendent Johnson’s actions, and the Mayor’s support of her, send a shockingly bad message, both to students and to administrators. And they send an alarming message to parents: by retaining and advancing Peterson, Superintendent Johnson made the choice to take dangerous chances with the safety of public school students and staff, in Boston and elsewhere.

Enough is Enough!

Superintendent Johnson’s handling of Peterson is not a defensible “mistake,” but rather the very worst in “a pattern of bad decisions,” decried by John Connolly, Chairman of the City Council’s Education Committee, and including a chaotic series of school closures and re-locations, recurrent busing crises, the stocking of expired cafeteria food, and state funding lost by mismanagement. Councilor Connolly calls for the Superintendent’s ouster, and we join that call.

Superintendent Carol Johnson has lost the public’s trust. She must resign or be fired immediately!

Letter to
City Councilor Frank Baker
Mayor Tomas Menino
Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools Dr. Carol Johnson
and 20 others
City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley
City Councilor Bill Linehan
City Councilor Tito Jackson
City Councilor Mark Ciommo
Boston City Council President, At-Large Stephen J. Murphy
City Councilor At-Large, Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education John R. Connolly
City Councilor Matt O'Malley
School Committee Main Office Boston School Committee
City Councilor At-Large Felix G. Arroyo
School Committee Member Mary Tamer
City Councilor Charles C. Yancey
City Councilor Robert Consalvo
City Councilor Michael P. Ross
School Committee Chair Rev. Gregory G. Groover, Sr.
School Committee Vice-Chair Michael D. O'Neill
School Committee Member John F. Barros
School Committee Member Meg Campbell
School Committee Member Alfreda J. Harris
School Committee Member Claudio Martinez
City Council Main Office Boston City Council
I just signed the following petition addressed to Superintendent Carol Johnson, School Committee Members, City Councilors and Mayor Tomas Menino:

We the undersigned demand that Dr. Carol Johnson resign as the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. Should she choose not to resign, we call upon the Boston Public Schools Committee to hold a meeting to vote to dismiss Dr. Johnson from her position as the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools.

Dr. Johnson has shown a clear pattern of unwise, politically-motivated, and uninformed choices that have put the children of Boston Public Schools at risk.

During her time as BPS Superintendent Dr. Johnson has:

- mishandled school closings, resulting in the loss of State funds;

- pitted schools and neighborhoods against each other in a mad scramble of school moves;

- allowed expired food to be fed to the children of BPS;

- failed to manage school busing to the extent that a huge percentage of students were not getting to school in a timely, safe manner, or at all;

- paid thousands of dollars more for school books than the going rate, and awarded contracts without due process.

But the latest and most disturbing revelation is that she allowed a BPS headmaster who was guilty of domestic violence to remain in his job.

Superintendent Carol Johnson has lost the public’s trust. She must resign or be fired immediately.