Duval County School district investigations to speed up?

Some want to know why process is so lengthy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Parents of Duval County students want to know why school district investigations can be lengthy.

At a news conference Monday, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has made it clear he'd like to speed up the process. That has some wondering if it will happen.

A new principal is walking the grounds at Windy Hill Elementary School nearly a year after district investigators outlined FCAT violations prompting the demotion of former principal Sharon Sanders.

"It makes me very concerned to see that all this stuff is happening, and my kids just started going here this year," concerned mother Lexus Griffin said.

Griffin is one parent who wants to know why the district didn't act sooner, especially after the recent arrest of former teacher Christopher Bacca on child sex abuse charges.

According to Vitti, the district report on the FCAT testing violations investigation sat untouched until he received it from the Human Resources department shortly before winter break.

"Obviously, I took the job in mid-November, and Ms. Young rightfully gave me the report and said this has been sitting on my desk and there was not action taken, but you need to be aware of the investigation. The report was finalized," Vitti said.

The latest dates listed on the report are in March of last year, which makes former School Board member Tommy Hazouri wonder why something wasn't done earlier.

"It shouldn't (take so long), and it should've been resolved," Hazouri said in a phone interview. "And I think it's just the culture, it was the culture of the last administration. It was a hurry up and wait."

Vitti said at the news conference Monday that he wants to make a change to pick up the pace of future discplinary actions. And parents like Griffin are eager to see if he'll keep his promise.

"Hopefully, hopefully he does," she said.

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