NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph called for security when approached by the News4 I-Team on Thursday to ask him questions about employees under investigation and his scathing review from board members.
News4 has been asking for an interview with Joseph, but he’s said no.
When the News4 I-Team’s Lindsay Bramson tracked down the director on Friday, he directed his bodyguard that the I-team is approaching.
It’s what some are calling a toxic culture. The Nashville Metro Public School District is under scrutiny less than one week into a brand-new year. The head of security and two former principals all under investigation.
“Dr. Joseph, good morning. How are you? Can I ask you a few questions?” Bramson asked Joseph, who walked off.
News4 had been asking for weeks for an interview with Joseph on some serious issues.
In the evaluations, first obtained by the I-Team, board members Jill Speering and Amy Frogge criticize Joseph for his spending.
A Metro school board member openly criticized the schools' leader in a scathing review, and she's not the only one with major concerns.
They also blame him for the fact dozens of teachers and principals have left the district.
“I’d like to ask you about your recent evaluations. Two of them were poor. Is there anything you can say about that?” Bramson asked Joseph.
News4 also wanted to ask Joseph about two former principals accused of sexual harassment and an internal investigation into leadership concerns for the district’s head of security and why another member of the security team resigned just before school started.
Instead of answering, the security guard moved in to block News4 from following him.
News4 has confirmed with Metro Nashville Public Schools that James Wheeler, the executive director of school security, has been placed on administrative leave.
“You have a head of a department currently under investigation, is that concerning to you?” Bramson asked. “Anything you’d like to say to parents? Is there a reason why you won’t just answer a few simple questions?”
Later Thursday afternoon Joseph called the News4 I-Team saying the reason he couldn’t talk is that he had a meeting that he had to get to.
Sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination are just some of the allegations that have been made against an Antioch middle school principal.
He said from this day on he will make someone from the district available each time an interview is requested.
When asked why he wouldn’t sit down for an interview prior to Thursday, he told Bramson it’s too early in the process to discuss both the evaluations and the investigations.
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