Ramos denies retaliation, claims vindication

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BELOIT - Recently resigned Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) Principal Orlando Ramos said he disagrees with the investigator's conclusion that he retaliated against two assistant principals.

He is pleased the investigation cleared him on three of the four allegations, and as for retaliation Ramos claims he was only coaching the assistant principals on appropriate communication protocols.

"...I did not retaliate against any staff member for bringing concerns to the attention of Human Resources (HR). All employees have a right to bring their concerns to HR, and I would never stand in the way of anyone pursuing their rights in the workplace. In my supervisory capacity, I provided non-disciplinary letters of performance which were not recommended for employees' file. The investigator erroneously concluded that there were disciplinary letters in the employees' file," Ramos wrote in statements emailed to the Beloit Daily News.

When asked via email why the two women were recommended for transfer, or who made the decision, Ramos said the decision involved several personnel from multiple schools, not just the assistant principals or those from BMHS.

Ramos did not respond to a Beloit Daily News question asking for reasons why he resigned his post, given the investigation resulted only in a recommendation that Ramos receive a written warning about retaliation.

Ramos did assert the investigator's report vindicates him in regards to three allegations made by the assistant principals.

Ramos said there were spirited discussions but denied any personal attacks to employees, or yelling.

"The staff at Beloit Memorial High School are passionate about the amazing work they are doing for kids - myself included. That passion came through in our words and inflection at our meetings, without personal attacks. I have never yelled or screamed at anyone. We all engaged in spirited discussions about our collective work on behalf of kids." Ramos stated.

Ramos noted in his statements there were conflicting reports from employees in regards to what was perceived as yelling. Assistant Superintendent Darrell Williams, for example, said in a meeting he attended there was passion, but that it wasn't a shouting match or a personal attack on anyone.

Ramos said the other three allegations were cleared through the report.

He said the investigator determined by interviewing 16 witnesses on behalf of the complainants that he didn't engage in any workplace harassment.

"...In point of fact, the report states that I did not create a hostile work environment nor harass any employee," Ramos said.

Ramos said he wasn't surprised to be cleared of those allegations by the investigation.

"...I have always taken pride in dealing with all staff in a professional manner. I have provided staff at Beloit Memorial High School with supervisory delegation and constructive criticism, as is my role as a supervisor. The report points out that supervisory delegation and criticism are not harassment. The report also stated that there is no evidence in the record of any prior action toward the employees." Ramos stated.

Ramos said he feels honored to have served the students, staff and community of Beloit Memorial High School by supporting changes to improve students' academic achievement.

"Both Ms. Thompson and Mrs. Banks-Wilson stated to the auditor that 'things were getting better.' I have enormous respect for Mrs. Banks-Wilson and Mrs. Thompson, I believe they will make amazing principals someday. I would have been negligent in my duties if I did not address and coach the Assistant Principals on appropriate communication protocols," Ramos said.

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