Wednesday, February 09, 2022


At the February 8, 2022 meeting, School Board member PATRICK THOMAS CANAN, an experienced local trial lawyer made himself a witness in a civil rights investigation of St. Johns County Schools when he responded to parent and student concerns by going to St. Augustine High School, looking at and sniffing the St. Augustine Wrestling Team mats, announcing that the mats were safe.  I await revelations about what possessed Mr. Canan to play Mr. Know-It-All, disdain meeting with the Wrestling Team Captain and his father, while making false statements about mold testing by the Health Department, and purporting to have a superior nose for mold.

There was no Health Department mold testing, and it does not test for mold.

CANAN also falsely stated "no other parents have complained," as if this were an answer.

SAHS wrestlers, half people of color, spent 90 minutes on November 8, 2021, working with coaches to remove mold from mats negligently stored in j.v showers, which sibilant School Superintendent TIMOTHY FORSON falsely claimed were inoperable.  

There is no work order to turn off water to the showers. FORSON lied, again.

I've asked for all documents on TRICKY PATRICK "DUCKS" CANAN's flummery, including any certification for this snooty, cynical public serpent's "sniffer."  

Yes, I did.

The name of our School Board's Tallahassee Florida School Boards Insurance Trust insurance defense law firm is SNIFFEN & SPELLMAN. You can't make this stuff up.

Watching St. Johns County School Board respond to environmental justice and children's health concerns at St. Augustine High School is painful, like watching a duck make love to a football.

PATRICK "DUCKS" CANAN, we hardly knew ye.  

God forgive you.

Here's my Request No. 2022-52:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin <>
To: <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>
Cc: <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>
Sent: Wed, Feb 9, 2022 11:25 am
Subject: Request No. 2022-52: MOLDY SAHS WRESTLING MATS School Board Member Patrick Thomas Canan misstatements at February 8, 2022 Meeting

Dear Messrs. Canan, Upchurch, Forson, Sniffen and Spellman:
1. For each and every one of the several statements of supposed fact that Mr. Canan made at the February 8, 2022 meeting concerning moldy St. Augustine Wrestling Team mats, would you please be so kind as to provide all documentation?
2. Please provide any written evidence supporting the statement that "no other parent complained" about moldy mats.   
3. Please provide the legal authority or basis for supposing that "no other parent complained" is relevant, or admissible or an affirmative defense to possible School Board civil rights violations and negligence in storing mats in showers. Open Records responses have already established that there was not any work order to cut off the water supply to the j.v. showers.  See January 24, 2022 School Board response to my Request No. 2022-23 from Ms. Amisha Kearse and attached January 28, 2022 letter from our School Board's Tallahassee law firm, Sniffen & Spellman.  The lack of any work orders to shut off the water to the j.v. showers where the mats are stored is inculpatory evidence.  It explodes the Superintendent's preposterous pretext of dry storage in showers. It renders Superintendent Forson's assertion that the were somehow "inoperable" to be "inoperative" (as Ron Ziegler, Nixon's spokesman, said, about Nixon White House lies on the June 17, 1992 Watergate burglary). 
4. Please provide the exact date, time, duration, context, and circumstances of Mr. Canan's reported visit to SAHS "about ten days ago" to view and sniff the St. Augustine Wrestling Team mats, including a list of and correspondence with anyone who accompanied him on his visit, and all related documents, including photos and videos.
5. Please provide a list of any witnesses that Mr. Canan interviewed.  If none, please so state.  If any, please their names and provide copies of witness statements, notes, correspondence or e-mails. 
6. Please provide any evidence that Mr. Canan or anyone else ever attempted to speak with Mr. Gene Griffin or his son, Mr. C.F Griffin, the Wrestling Team Captain, or any coach, parent or student with knowledge of the mats' condition since they both spoke to the School Board at their January meeting.
7. Please provide any evidence of any payment to. consultation with, or efforts to enlist, any professional consultation with any industrial hygienist, environmental health scientist, architect or engineer about the feasibility of building some sort of a climate-controlled storage area or shed, or redesigning the interior space of the admittedly "old school" so as to store new, clean wrestling mats in a cool, dry place, which is the standard of care.
8. Please provide any explanation for Mr. Patrick Thomas Canan stating that "It's an old school" as if the school's age were somehow a legal defense to negligent maintenance and mat storage practices, or in any way excuses or justifies continuing willful wanton negligence and breaches of the standard of care for storing wrestling mats in a cool dry place (not showers).  Does Mr. Canan reckon that a history of discrimination and disinvestment in low-income and. minority students' education somehow justifies or excuses moldy mats for the SAHS Wrestling Team?
9. Please provide all communications to and from Mr. Canan. on the subject of moldy mats, including but not limited to communications with the Upchurch and Sniffen & Spellman law firms, or school board or government attorney organizations. .
10. Please provide any internal or external response to the written request to place the moldy SAHS Wrestling Team mats on the School Board agenda, which another Board member from another district responded to last month by stating that agenda items had to be submitted a week ahead of the meeting.  Why was the SAHS Wrestling Team mats subject not put on the agenda for February, as requested?  Who decides what goes on the agenda? Our School Board meetings are such models of efficiency that you never properly address citizen concerns, allowing problems to fester (and mold to grow on mats stored in showers).
11. Please provide any documents explaining why Mr. Canan never communicated with Mr. Griffin and his son about their concernsimperiously not disclosing his visit to Mr. Griffin in advance of the meeting. Mr. Canan. you waited until Mr. Griffin and I spoke to the School Board in public comment February 8, and then you belatedly reported on your Stealth look-and-sniff visit, waiting to do so until in a public, televised meeting.  You and Chairman Mignon have stated it "this is not a debate," thereby obviating any meaningful dialogue or communication with citizens, including the complaining victims testifying about environmental health hazards at an "old school," depriving them of their First Amendment right to petition for a redress of grievances, inhibigting their ability to respond to  false assertions. Did Mr. Canan's objectionable cheap shot theatrical tactic violate our right to know?  This mendacious misbehavior is called "sandbagging" in the legal profession. It would be sanctionable as "discovery abuse" in a civil case.  Mr. Canan's was discourteous and violated the reasonable expectations of probity of an elected public official and licensed Florida attorney  Where was the comity, courtesy or respect for students' and constituents'  civil and constitutional rights?  What possessed Mr. Canan to stiff the whistleblowers while indulging in an unexplained Stealth visit to sniff the mats without asking Messrs.Gene and C.F. Griffin to accompany him on his look-and-sniff visit, or at least to have disclosed his findings (several of which are demonstrably false).
12. Were any students ever interviewed by Mr. Canan?  (In respect for their privacy, would you please be so kind as t redact their names from any documents released to me as a journalist)?
13. Please provide any photo or video evidence of Mr. Canan sniffing the mats, or any training or certification in mold detection for Mr. Canan or his "sniffer."
14. In the future, Messrs. Canan and Forson, would you please be so kind as to honor your oath and cease and desist from --
  1. retaliatory behavior in retaliation for First Amendment protected activity?
  2. pettifoggery? 
  3. sandbagging? 
  4. attempted gaslighting? 
  5. unscientific assertions about environmental health, particularly mold,
  6. marginalizing?
  7. public mockery?
  8. cheap shots?
  9. material false statements? 
  10. negligent or fraudulent misrepresentations? 
  11. patronizing parent and student concerns? 
  12. condescension?
  13. poor communications skills?
  14. inept inspections of school facilities? 
  15. governmental guesswork?
  16. quick-and-dirty unscientific, unprofessional groundless assertions (called "dry-labbing" in science and "warm fuzzies" in engineering)?
  17. lax research and investigation skills? 
  18. legal and educational malpractice?
We in the reality-based community object to the St. Johns County School Board's inept response to St. Augustine Wrestling Team moldy wrestling mats.  

Our St. Johns County Commission Chair, Henry Dean, says that he "would not set foot on a mold-contaminated wrestling mat."  As a former Iowa high school wrestler, Mr. Dean knows what he's talking about.   In sharp and marked contrast, Messrs. Forson and Canan are untethered to truth.

Superintendent Forson, you smiled after hearing the misstatements that Mr. Canan made February 8, 2022,  I am reminded of what FDR said

"Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales.
Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.

Thank you.

With kindest regards, I am,


Prior blog posts on District 5 School Board member PATRICK "DUCKS" CANAN's perfidy:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017


        Wednesday, June 08, 2016


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