The Roseburg Public Schools board of education will not intercede with the decision not to retain Roseburg High School varsity girls coach Danielle Haskett, said board chairman Charles Lee on Saturday.

Lee said in a statement issued Saturday that he will not place the employment status of Haskett on Wednesday’s school board agenda. People are welcome to comment during the regular public participation portion of the agenda, as long as comments are kept within allotted time limits and are not critical in nature, he said.

“It does not make sense for us to second guess a judgment call the superintendent makes regarding athletics,” Lee wrote. “Holding a board meeting on the question of reinstating or renewing Coach Haskett, overriding the judgment of the superintendent, would be an example of such second guessing.”

Saturday’s statement comes as the full report from an independent investigation into the handling of the conflict involving Haskett and six former players has not been shared with the school board or school administrators.

Roseburg Public Schools Director of Human Resources Robert Freeman wrote in a Jan. 19 email to attorney Leta Gorman, who is representing six student-athletes who resigned from the team, that the school district does not have any documents or reports from Tim Keeley in its file. Gorman filed a request for the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office to intercede on Feb. 5. Gorman requested that all records be made public, including the report prepared by Keeley, a former school administrator and Oregon professor of school law; all correspondence Keeley had with the team, coaches, volunteers, members and parents; all documents and photos used by Keeley; and all documents and photos gathered by Keeley during the investigation.

“It is an outrage that elected officials of the district are not provided with key information and evidence to help them make a decision,” Gorman wrote in her appeal to District Attorney Rick Wesenberg.

Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Gerry Washburn said a decision on the request had been expected by Friday, but no ruling has been issued. Because of President’s Day on Monday, an answer would not come sooner than Tuesday at the earliest — one day before the Roseburg public school board meets.

Six volleyball players resigned from the team in September 2017, and soon after filed formal complaints against varsity head coach Danielle Haskett and assistant coach Kari Morrow alleging bullying and harassment by the coaches, allegations denied by Haskett. Morrow has not commented on the complaints.

The News-Review made additional public records request on Feb. 9 to Roseburg Public Schools into the formal complaints filed against both coaches; a report on the internal investigation; correspondence between superintendent Gerry Washburn and school board; correspondence between the superintendent and RHS administrators; and correspondence between the school district and the student-athletes who resigned and/or their parents.

A summary report of Keeley’s investigation was shared with the board chair and Washburn during a meeting on Nov. 29, 2017, and was discussed again during an executive session of the Dec. 13, 2017, board meeting. This report was made public on Jan. 9.

Gorman wrote in her letter to Wesenburg, “The investigation has been the subject of widespread public debate and comment. A matter of action is commonly understood to be ‘in the public interest’ when it affects the community or society as a whole, in contrast to a concern or interest of a private individual or entity.

“Parents of students in the district have a substantial interest in knowing exactly what happened and why,” Gorman wrote. “They have the right to know the type of coaching, guidance and supervision that is being provided to their children. (...) Parents have a right to know what teachers, coaches, volunteers, parents and staff were involved in the events, what they knew and when, and if they failed to comply with district policies and Oregon law pertaining to, at a minimum, reporting of harassment, retaliation and child abuse.”

Reinstating Haskett

Roseburg Public Schools released a statement on Jan. 25 that the superintendent made a recommendation to the school board that Haskett not be offered a contract as the volleyball coach for the 2018-19 school year, because new leadership is needed for the program.

Haskett told The News-Review at the time, “After four months of false accusations, two formal investigations, one within the district and one conducted by an independent investigator, I and my assistant coach were absolved of the original complaint, twice.”

The independent investigation focused on policy and procedural changes, but Keeley did note that “We understand how and why, during this volleyball program concern, students believed that they were not to communicate volleyball conflicts to their parents.”

The district does not currently have a policy describing the expectations of coaches.

Keeley recommended the district not restrict the ability of minor students to share all information with their parents, but that parents should not necessarily inject their thoughts on all matters with the coaches and athletic director.”

School administrators have not confirmed that Haskett and Morrow were absolved of wrongdoing and a report on the internal investigation was never made public.

“Many of the letters seem to assume that the decision to change the leadership in the volleyball program meant that there had been a finding of misconduct on the part of Coach Haskett. That assumption is wrong,” School Board Chair Charles Lee wrote in a statement. “The superintendent’s decision about staffing in an athletic program is not a decision that one side if right or another side is wrong, but it is a decision within his authority to determine how best the athletic program fits in with the mission of the school.”

School board’s role

School board chairman Charles Lee said he would not surprised to receive comments in public participation in support of Haskett as the board members have received numerous letters and other communications regarding the volleyball program prior to the meeting.

However, he points out that there are a few situations in which the school board can make personnel decisions, but this is not one of those decisions. The school board’s role is a policy-making body that direct the school district, develop a budget and hire a superintendent, he said.

A superintendent is selected based on experience, skills and judgment that best fit the need of the school district. Washburn acts as the board’s executive officer in administering policies for operation of schools and is available to the board as a consultant and adviser.

In addition to experience in school administration, Washburn has experience in girls’ athletics in public schools. He coached basketball for 10 years and was named 2010’s New Mexico’s 4A girls basketball coach of the year.

According to school policy, hazing, harassment, intimidation, menacing, bullying or cyberbullying by staff, students or third parties is strictly prohibited and staff in violation of the policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal. School policy also states that filing a false charges is also regarded as a serious offense and will result in disciplinary action.

Neither Haskett, Morrow, nor the six student-athletes were disciplined for their actions. Haskett and Morrow continued coaching through the entire season and continue to have the support of the superintendent and athletic director.

Sports reporter Sanne Godfrey can be reached at 541-957-4203 or via email at Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey

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Sanne Godfrey is a sports reporter for The News-Review.

(14) comments

The brutal truth

Shyster - I have elected to stand on the sidelines and watch this debate for quite some time now, as I am sure most people in the community have, out of a respect for all of the players on both sides of the issue. It is the players that matter most, not the parents or the coaches, certainly not the school administrators or the lawyers, who are sure to be the only parties that stand to gain here under the current course of action. However, I simply cannot stand for the truth to remain hidden or suppressed any longer by the small, special interest group that is willing to sue their way out of the mistakes made by teenagers. It simply shouldn’t stand and I think it should be aired out in the public eye once and for all. The real issue is: Your daughter didn’t get the amount of play time that you (or her) felt was “deserved “and she quit the team out of frustration. The girls (who quit) had discussed leaving the team for three weeks before doing it on that fateful day, and were quite vocal about their feelings to their peers, which got back to the other parents you should know. Now you are trying to make it better by ending the career of a coach and cast the belief that your little angel was forced into a poor decision to quit. Truth is, your daughter didn’t get much play time because she isn’t very good at the sport.
You see (and for those out there who don’t know) COMPETITVE volleyball has changed dramatically over the years from what it was. It is now a nearly year-around sport that young ladies (and young men in some regions) work hard to develop their skills nearly 10 months out of every year to not only compete with their peers, but to exceed as the sport develops. Your daughter didn’t. You allowed her to quit every time the going got tough in the sport, and allowed her to be lazy and sit out the club season where her peers around the state (nation) were working their butts off to improve at their chosen sport, AFTER the high school season was done. Compared to her peers under these standards, your daughter simply didn’t match up, sorry. But hey, at least she was on the homecoming court......
Also worth mentioning would be the fact that five of the six were not only severely lacking in talent for volleyball (as the entire community had witnessed year after year, but were too polite to say anything) they were not starters, nor would they ever be. The single exception is a younger player that while she viably shows some talent, she has grown up in an environment of never being told “No” while surrounded by the sense of entitlement that such a life creates. These are the true issues at hand here, and it’s is about time the public knows. Your smoke and mirrors and lawyers and threats can only go so far to hide the mistakes that will undoubtedly haunt your family for years to come. I wish you the strength to admit your mistakes (and your daughter’s of course) and stop trying to blame-shift the real issues. Allow those that have a true passion for the sport of volleyball to continue forth with a team and coach that has encouraged and promoted the best performance, ethics, and sportsmanship from the young athletes of our community for years that we are so proud of.


Dear "the Brutal Truth,"
The total ignorance of the statements that you entitle as the "TOTAL BRUTAL TRUTH" is beyond amusing. Do you know what "fake news" is? Supposed "facts" that are completely untrue. You hit the nail on the head. Before I spend my evening responding to your pathetic response in the paper and continue our discussion, I will move on to the latest article in the newspaper dated 2/23/18 and will meet you there.


Dear "Brutal Truth,"
Nice "rant." But, Sorry. NO TRUTH THERE!!. Again, you want to "crucify" the girls that were chosen by their 3,000+ peers at the High School to be part of the Home Coming Court by stating that "they were severely lacking in talent for volleyball as the entire community witnessed year after year (but were too polite to say anything) and declaring that "they were not starters . " I'll guarantee you 3 out of 4 hold 4,0 GPA's and there's most likely one or two Valedictorians amongst them. Also, I know them personally. They DO have talent .And your daughter? Oh, yes! She's a "starter," for sure. And her GPA? And was she chosen to be the Homecoming Queen? No? How about one of the runner ups?. Oh, No, again! Hmmm. And if she were chosen? Would you be singing a different song then? Memories of a lifetime vs. another sweaty volleyball game (that they would have loved to have played if not for the fact that they had been chosen to be part of the Royal Court?) So these "no talented volleyball girls," in your own words, "simply didn't match up" And "these are the true issues at hand here, and it's about time the public knows." Really?? And my family is going to be "haunted for years to come" if I don't admit " (my) mistakes and (my) daughters of course." I think you've had one too many glasses of wine before you opened your mouth. And if it's NOT the wine "talking" you really do need to take a look at your own "issues," Oh, and by the way. I DO have a true and real passion for the game of volleyball. It's the bu$$s^& politics embraced by both Danielle, the A.D. and the rest of school administration that needs to go. A new broom does sweeps clean. It's time for a "clean sweep." Don't be mislead by the 30+ friends that showed up for Danielle at the School Board meeting earlier this week. There's another 30+ x 100 that would like to see a new start. So let Danielle take her "true passion" somewhere else (and maybe you and your daughter can follow her). We need a new Varsity volleyball coach at Roseburg High School!!!


I find it interesting that while supporting your point of view you "site" (Copy and Paste) a California virtual academy duty of care statement in an attempt to justify your point of view.

First, in attempting to set a good example for youth (since the goal is to do what a "good teacher/coach should do), it's important to give credit to the people who's ideas you're using. In this case the site can be found at:

Second, and we'll use teacher for coach again and classroom for team, had you read further down your own resource there are two BIG points to address in the relationship between a teacher and student according to your own resource. First, "Teachers have the responsibility to foster a relationship of trust - while they have the rights of a parental figure, they must also try to encourage the relationship that a child would have with this parental figure." In the case of Roseburg Volleyball, the coaches (teachers) were "parenting" their players to be responsible and living up to a commitment to the team and their own obligations as being a part of that team. Since most people can agree that is a valuable skill, I don't think there is much to argue here.
The second thing (again from your own resource): "Teachers also have the right to suspend students from their class...if they consider the suspension warranted." "This is another way that teachers can foster the learning environment for all of their students, by removing the person who is causing problems in the classroom and distracting from any learning that might be taking place." Since it's important for the teacher or in this case, the coach, to build a good learning environment for the group, students (players) may sometimes need to be removed so that the group (team) are able to continue to learn. In the case that has been debated over the past months, the players chose to remove themselves which is well within their rights but to act in a way that removes the consequences of their choice and shift blame to others doesn't teach anyone a lesson other than it's OK to blame others when things don't go the way I want. If we're going to ask the teachers/coaches to be held to a high standard then the players, parents, superintendent and school board need to be held to an equally high standard which has not and continues to not be the case.


Thoughts -
Thank you for the copyright lesson, but it really wasn’t necessary in this instance under the fair use law. Next time, I will remember to use quotations in order to prevent any confusion. Also, thank you for sharing the entire article for anyone who cares to read it. It does make several other good points of the responsibility of a teacher/coach to students/players and parents. As for your view that the coaches were as you say “parenting”, dare I say that the sort of “parenting” used was unacceptable and therefore the coaches contract was not renewed? I’m not sure why you pointed out the matter of a teacher having a right to suspend a student as it doesn’t pertain to these circumstances. None of the six players did anything to warrant a suspension. Also, as you said they did exercise their right to leave the team. The more pertinent question here is, what happened to cause them to leave the team? It sure wasn’t because of a homecoming issue. Also, it’s alleged that a statement was made by the coach before the girls were taken into a hostile, locked room. “I hear you’re going to the superintendent against me, well have at it, you can’t take me down”. If this is the case, it seems pretty clear that the coach gave her permission to these girls to go talk to the superintendent. Thus, negating any problem with a violation in policy and procedure to be able to talk to the superintendent.


What a joke. Come on. Wake up. Or should I say, "Give it up?" I remembered a few moments ago a very important fact that has not been mentioned within this whirlwind of "controversy" as far as I know. The 6 young ladies that you wish to so quickly label as trouble makers or as "causing problems" for "rebelling" against the authoritarian rule of Coach Haskett, really did have a valid reason for choosing the Senior Prom vs a volleyball game in Bend, Oregon. As a reader, Google "Roseburg High School 2017 Senior Prom Night" and you will find the answer, "Why?" At least 3 of these "disrespectful" and "trouble making" volleyball players (who happen to boast 4.0 GPA's and perhaps even a Valedictorian or two scattered amongst them) were chosen by their 3,000+ student peers to be part of the "Royal Court" on Prom Night. What? Really? The "Night of a Lifetime" with memories that will never end vs. "one more sweaty volleyball game" that every player I'm sure, would have loved to play if it were not Prom Night and they had not been chosen as those special few. If Danielle were 100% honest, and had her daughter Morgan been chosen to be the Homecoming Queen or one of the runner-ups, I would guarantee you that she would have feigned illness or some other type of "emergency" which would have validated the canceling of the volleyball game in Bend so that her daughter could have attended the Prom. If you don't believe that last statement you also most likely believe that unicorns and fairies are real and world hunger has been solved. As I have advocated all along, be real. Wake up. The right choice has been made. And It really is time for a change. Don't forget. A new broom sweeps clean!


Thank you for Shyster for shedding light to the main disagreement in the entire situation and that of going to homecoming. I'm happy for the academic success for the young women as well as the social success that comes with being voted into such a position. There was even an accommodation stipulated for those young ladies who made it to court. The issue is and always has been the initial commitment to the team. There has been a conflict with homecoming ever year and that hasn't changed and yet every year, many young women with social and academic success are able to live up to their obligations as a teammate without scandal or disdain for the fact they have to give up part of this "once in a lifetime" event. What about those young women who put their commitment first, are they any less? Even in the scenario you described, there were 4 years for your hypothesis to be proven right and yet that never happened. I'm awake, looking at the reality of history, and in this circumstance there isn't anything to lead me to believe this outcome you want is best for anyone but these few.


And your daughter? Do't' even try to imply that you would not treat the situation differently had you own daughter been chosen to be the Homecoming Queen. Big FAT BS!!! If you say differently.


Baulderdash – you say that you have no personal interest in this issue and that you’re only a concerned citizen who is interested in education and incidences of injustice. I beg to differ with you on this. In all of your posts you seem to have come down vehemently on the side of the coaches. You say that you have no horse in this race. Honestly, I’m sorry to say that it seems that you have jumped on a horse backwards and rode off in the wrong direction in this matter. In your quest to dazzle us with your intelligence you have only amused us by your ignorance over the situation. I find it interesting that you say most people are not interested in hearing about the allegations of bullying and abuse, yet you say that you’re interested in education and injustice. Let me give you this to think about and let me remind you that coaches are also considered educators, so in the following paragraph “teacher” also applies to coaches.
Teachers are a special section of society. They are responsible for the education of society's youth. They are also responsible for ensuring that the students within their care are found within the most positive, safe and encouraging learning environment possible. If they cannot secure this, then teachers can be sued for negligence. They have a duty of care towards their students, and if this is betrayed, then teachers have a responsibility to face the consequences.
Let me assure you, the superintendent’s decision to not renew the coaches contract has placed the accountability at exactly the feet of the right people. Dr. Washburn got the negativity off of the team. So, let’s move on.


There is no doubt the patrons of the school district have a “substantial interest in knowing what happened” in the volleyball situation, as was stated by Leta Gorman, attorney for the six girls who quit the team in protest over a commitment to play at a tournament in Bend which conflicted with their desire to go to all Homecoming activities rather than the game and the dance. Most of us, I believe, are not as interested in the details of the alleged bullying as we are about how an unexplainable, unsupported decision to not renew a coach’s contract can be made by a superintendent, when after two investigations, and a statement by the school board chair, the coaches under question were absolved of any and all complaints.

And now I am wondering why a statement would be made by the school board chair that a decision by the superintendent in this matter cannot be questioned because it is a matter of personnel, and not one of the few personnel decisions the school board can make. I heartily disagree, considering the independent investigator’s report found the only guilty party in the initial complaint process was the superintendent who interfered in the process in violation of District policy. Yet, it became a different personnel issue because the same guilty party in the initial process, Mr. Washburn, is now recommending a new policy that indirectly takes the onus away from his irresponsibility and places it upon those whom the complainants alleged had a “bias,” in other words, the building administrators who found no substance to the initial complaints. This is convoluted at best, and very transparent at the least.

Why shouldn’t the public be able to ask questions about the decision-making process for which the independent investigator said was ignored by the superintendent?

Mr. Lee says the superintendent was selected because of his experience, skills, and judgment that “ best fit the need of the school district.” The same is true of all principals and the athletic director, the building administrators whom Mr. Washburn ignored initially in the process and in his final decision.

If, indeed, it is the superintendent’s decision making authority that helps him determine how best the athletic program fits with the school’s mission, isn’t it only fair the public be allowed to ask what his idea of the school’s mission is, and what he characteristics of a coach fit that mission?

Doesn’t the superintendent serve under the direction of the elected Board of Directors? And doesn’t the public vote for the Board of Directors? When was it decided that elected officials could not be questioned about decisions they make, or that their subordinates make? I do not think that is the way things work in a community that places a high value on accountability in a democracy.

Mr. Lee’s letter is another confirmation of the dysfunction in the decision-making process this school district has encountered during this school year. An unjustified complaint about bullying has turned into a public fiasco because accountability was placed at the feet of the wrong person.

I recommend getting it right at the next school board meeting by allowing discussion which might lead to a more justifiable decision.


Hey, Danielle! Oh, wait. I mean "Baulderdash," as much as I have wanted to sit back and say nothing further, your comments to Sunday's newspaper article beg for a reply.

Again, quit distorting the record!!! You were NOT absolved of anything. "The independent investigation focused on policy and procedural changes." Period! Notice the quotation marks? Furthermore, "school administrators have not confirmed that Haskett and Morrow were absolved of wrongdoing and a report on the internal investigation was never made public." Wow. That's pretty clear cut. And one must ask why has the school administration failed to turn over any of these records as pointed out by attorney Gorman. I mean, she's so frustrated that she has asked the local District Attorney to intervene. Doesn't sound like a "fair and open" resolution to the matter has occurred to me. Including your claim of "total absolution," i.e. being found to have conducted no wrongdoing., "twice." Without beating a dead horse any further, your statement that "most of us ... are not interested in the details of the alleged bullying as we are about how an unexplainable, unsupported decision to not renew a coach's contract can be made by a superintendent. I must say that I, along with a whole lot of other people in the community, ARE interested in the details which (as noted above) have not been revealed. And as for Superintendent's decision to seek a new coach, if you didn't know, Oregon is an "At Will" employment state which means an employer can let an employee go at any time, for any reason, if he or she so desires. It's totally legal. So, as they say in France, Ferveur de novier ne dure pas ("A new broom sweeps clean"). It's time to move on.


Shyster: It seems your reading for comprehension skills need some coaching.I did not say the coaches were absolved twice, but rather said after two investigations they were absolved, which they were when 1) the superintendent ruled the complaints were unfounded, and 2) Mr. Lee’s letter says the complaints were unfounded and there was no finding of wrongdoing. After that brief point I focused my comments upon the decision-making process that seems somewhat convoluted, and asked several questions concerning accountability, the flawed decision-making, and the norm connected with public hearings.
I am, as any reader could decipher, only interested in due process. As I conveyed to you the last time you chose to mock my comments, I don’t have a horse in this race. I’m just a citizen interested in education and issues of justice.

Neither do I speak French, but if I need a broom, I’ll borrow yours.


Shyster: As I explained to you in the comments section the last time you mocked me, I don’t have a horse in this race. I’m simply a concerned citizen who is iinterested in education and incidences of injustice. I was not writing to comment on Haskett’s non-renewal, but rather on the content of the original article regarding the public participation session at the next school board meeting. I’m sorry you took my comments so personally, as it now appears you do have a horse in the race, as well as an ax to grind.

I’m sorry I don’t speak French, and thank you for offering me your broom, but I’m fine with a car.


The Peter Principle is a concept in management theory formulated by educator Laurence J. Peter and published in 1969. It states that the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate's performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence". Yes, Chair Lee, new leadership is needed - at the highest level - as you stated, you hired the superintendent…I assume you can also non-renew his contract. Perhaps you can grant this agenda item in “closed session?"

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