The cause of Art Siebens, the popular A.P. biology teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School who was fired this summer, has hit what appears to be a dead end and will most likely end up in the courts.
School officials have steadfastly refused to explain the dismissal, citing the bureaucrat's best friend, the rules that bar public discussion of personnel matters. Protests from Wilson parents and teachers reached the desks of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, who said in a television interview yesterday that a review of Siebens' personnel file (which he said he read with Siebens' permission) showed nothing that warranted dismissal.
"There's nothing in there that would lead to that conclusion," Gray told NewsChannel8. "By all accounts he is an absolutely extraordinary biology teacher."
But when Gray met with Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee on Aug. 6 to discuss the matter, he apparently got nowhere.
"We've gotten to a brick wall on this," Dawn Slonneger, Gray's chief of staff, told D.C. Wire today. "They just refuse to reinstate him."
By Bill Turque