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Former superintendent responds to retired custodian

 


Issues raised by retired custodian Ray Wells before the Grand Coulee Dam School District board were largely part of his job description and were misdirected, former school superintendent Dennis Carlson stated.

Wells had appeared before the school board in June to complain that issues he raised while he was still employed by the district were largely ignored.

Wells had shown the school board members a stack of complaints he said were given to elementary Principal Lisa Lakin and stated that no one ever got back to him on the issues he raised.

The complaints largely had to do with an elementary school restroom, where he had stated that he found excrement on the floors and soiled underpants in the refuse container.

Carlson said at the July 24 school board meeting that both Lakin and he had met privately with Wells and explained that cleaning the restroom was just part of his job description.

It was a case that processes were not followed, and going directly to the school board was not part of the process, Carlson contended.

“After meeting with principal Lakin and myself, if Ray didn’t think his concerns were being handled, he should have taken them to the union; that’s the agreed-upon process,” Carlson said.

Wells had been janitor at the old middle school prior to being assigned as custodian at the new elementary school. He had worked 15 years in the Grand Coulee Dam School District and several years at other school districts.

Wells told the school board that he thought the district needed a restroom monitor at the elementary site.

Carlson stated that younger students are different than junior high students and that custodians face separate challenges.

“We have some elementary students that still use outdoor toilets at home and are unfamiliar with porcelain utilities,” Carlson stated.

The process would have required Wells to take his complaints to the principal and then to the union, Carlson said. The union, after talking the issues over with management, then would get back to Wells. That was the process.

Carlson also stated, “It would be unreasonable to hire restroom monitors.”

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