Don Gaetz: "It's very unfortunate. There is nothing good here."
Farley shows displeasure
Arden Farley broadcast his aggravation at his appeal hearing to the Okaloosa County School Board on Tuesday. A flustered Farley packed his bags prematurely, tore down his visual presentation and answered a phone call while Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson's lawyer and board members objected to his prepared rebuttal. The argument was that Farley's presentation was irrelevant to the hearing, which was focused solely on his suspension without pay.
'There is nothing good here'
Former Okaloosa County School District Superintendent Don Gaetz attended Tuesday's hearing. Gaetz said after the meeting that the state of the Okaloosa County School District is "just sad."
"It's very unfortunate," said Gaetz, a former Florida state senator. "There is nothing good here. There is sexual harassment being claimed, criminal activities, felony charges, child abuse and scandal. This isn't what this great school district should be focused on."
Also in attendance was former School Board member Howard Hill, Florida State Attorney Investigator Tim Sheldon and Eddie Perillo, father of Noah Perillo, who was allegedly abused by former Kenwood Elementary School pre-K special education teacher Marlynn Stillions.
Jackson, Smith, Bryant silent
Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson said nothing during the hearing, although the attorney hired by the school district to represent her, Franklin Harrison, did.
Stacie Smith, assistant superintendent of human resources, who Farley accused of "dropping the ball" in the Stillions investigation, was not called to speak during the hearing.
Also silent was School Board member Tim Bryant who, unlike his fellow members, did not join the discussion of Farley's suspension. He did, however, second the motion leading to Farley's appeal being squashed.
Spokesman and union director absent
School district spokesman Henry Kelley, recently investigated for harassment allegations, was not at the hearing. Neither was Greg Butler, executive director of the Okaloosa Education Staff of Professionals, who has refused to comment about the union's position on the Stillions investigation.