APRIL 4, 2001
MAURA LARKINS WAS ASKED TO RETURN TO HER CLASSROOM
WITHOUT ANY INVESTIGATION.
Mr. Werlin seldom puts things in writing.
He made no written record that Mrs. Larkins was asked on April 4,
2001 to return to work, and that she did return to work after spring
He later told the clerk in the payroll office to record that Mrs.
Larkins had never come back to work at all in April 2001.
However, there is a document which confirms that Mrs. Larkins was
asked back. It is Exhibit 19, Dr. Donndelinger’s April 6, 2001 letter
Mr. Werlin’s April 4, 2001 letter to Mrs. Larkins (Exhibit 18) is an
example of an instance where Mr. Werlin violated his own policy of
not putting things in writing. Unfortunately, the document is
entirely deceptive. This April document states that Mrs. Larkins is
being placed on administrative leave in February! It deceptively
orders her to stay away from all district property, when the cabinet
of CHULA VISTA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT had already
made the decision to ask her to return to work. Mrs. Larkins
understood Mr. Werlin’s feelings of humiliation and frustration when
he found that the cabinet felt he had made a mistake on February
12, 2001. But Mrs. Larkins failed to perceive the depth of his anger.
Mr. Werlin’s April 4 letter is a clear attempt to create a hostile work
environment for Mrs. Larkins. In hindsight, Mrs. Larkins realizes
that she was doomed from the moment she received that letter.
She went back to work expecting that allegations that she was
going to kill people would subside. They did not. Werlin had been
working to create an atmosphere of hysteria at Castle Park
Staff members were not encouraged to welcome her back to
campus. Maria Beer’s notes (page 22 of Exhibit R 28—in evidence)
show that show Dr. Donndelinger said, “We are not answering
questions now. You will have a chance to air your concerns at a
mediated meeting.” Before Mrs. Larkins returned to work in April,
no meetings were held with teachers to tell them that the
allegations that Mrs. Larkins had a gun or that Mrs. Larkins had
behaved as if she would kill teachers groundless. Teachers were
not asked to retract their accusations. There was no effort to
prevent more false accusations, in fact, just the opposite effort was
made. On March 28, 2001, the administration told Jo Ellen
Hamilton and Kathy Bingham, “Maura Larkins’ behavior is
irrational. She is not permitted on campus or any campus until
further notice” (Exhibit 14 page 24).
Some teachers were nervous, perhaps out of guilt, perhaps because
Mr. Werlin whipped up fears with his story of March 27 spastic
behavior which he has never retracted. Petitioner now knows that
there were allegations that Mrs. Larkins had a gun. Mr. Werlin did
not deny these allegations. The District, in the entire year that
passed before voting for dismissal, never asked or allowed Mrs.
Larkins to hear the allegations against her or respond to them. Only
one teacher ever presented his allegations (See Alan Smith’s notes--
Exhibit R 24).
When Mrs. Larkins went back to work on April 16, 2001, Linda
Watson, in particular, had apparently decided to make up some
stories which would retroactively justify her February 12, 2001
phone call. She was clearly afraid of being found out to have made
a false accusation.
According to page three of Linda Watson's own notes in evidence,
she was worried about a lawsuit. And she managed to throw
herself into a tizzy with worries that she would have to take a lie
detector test. She did not get the lie detector idea from Mrs. Larkins.
"Mrs. Larkins understood Mr. Werlin’s feelings of humiliation and
frustration when he found that the cabinet felt he had made a
mistake on February 12, 2001.
"But Mrs. Larkins failed to perceive the depth of his anger."
|Instead of repairing his mistake, Werlin attacked the victim more
|Werlin couldn't admit he made a mistake.
|What happened at Chula Vista Elementary School District
|Maura Larkins' OAH Hearing
SAN DIEGO EDUCATION REPORT