Providence Schools administrator faces ‘toxic’ allegations in anonymous letter

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Providence School Board weighed in on an anonymous letter that outlined accusations of poor leadership from a senior advisor in the district.

The anonymous letter written by eight district leaders illustrated allegations of toxic leadership and abuses of power by Joan Jackson.

Providence Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez supported his advisor, calling the accusations distracting to the district’s success.

“Every minute that we spend focused on gossip and rumors, that’s time taken away from our students,” said Montañez at a school board meeting Wednesday. “Let’s stay focused on what’s important and that’s our children.”

The letter written anonymously claimed Jackson said, “Javier is just a figurehead. He just doesn’t get it. That’s why I make all the decisions.”

Providence School Board member Ty’Rell Stephens claims he has seen Jackson’s behavior first-hand and felt the superintendent hasn’t taken the accusations seriously.

“The administrators clearly stated why it was anonymous due to retaliation, due to things like that,” explained Stephens. “I do think that it was more defensive than, ‘Let me try to get to the solution’.”

Maribeth Calabro, president of the Providence Teacher’s Union, echoed a similar message to Stephens.

“In my 29-year career in the city of Providence, I have never seen a letter that had that kind of depth and information in it,” said Calabro. “At least give them the courtesy of listening to them and look into what they’re saying.”

Montañez in a letter to the district felt the accusations against Jackson make him seem unfit to lead. He also vowed to help those who do not support the district find other work.

Jackson has yet to comment on the allegations.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island