NORTH SHORE SCHOOLS FEDERATED EMPLOYEES STATEMENT TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, NOVEMBER 7, 2013
I rise to address the Board in the exercise of Federation rights under article XVI of the teacher contract. Like all teachers and community members, I received the message you sent when tonight’s agenda stipulated the conditions under which you will permit people to address you. Please be assured that my comments will stay within those parameters. Given such assurances, I request that the Board and Administration will hear me out.
I am here to communicate the deep frustration of your teachers, secretaries and teaching assistants. We are extremely concerned about your conduct in several related areas:
1. We continue to advocate that all teachers, in accordance with due process and basic principles of fair play, be permitted to do their jobs without fear of reprisal. Slow-moving and callous indifference to individual dignity cannot be tolerated.
2. We are puzzled that this Board, in tight fiscal circumstances, would elect to pay anybody for services not rendered when there is zero evidence to justify such a course of action. Wasteful disregard for community resources should not be tolerated.
3. We are wondering when, if ever, this Board will take a firm stance in defense of its teachers against untruthful, baseless attacks. Students have been empowered to slander teachers at will with little to no consequence. Timid complicity in the face of reckless student behavior should never be tolerated.
4. As champions of academic and political freedom, we are appalled at your repeated recent efforts to silence teachers and stifle free speech. In 1969, the Supreme Court reminded this nation that, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Heavy-handed contempt for basic civil liberties cannot be tolerated.
My colleagues and I pride ourselves in sharing our expertise and passion for learning each and every day with our students. But, our collective enthusiasm has been shaken by your refusal to support our colleagues and by the recent suppression of fundamental rights. An atmosphere of fear, insecurity and low morale has taken hold of the teaching staff in all five school buildings. The actions of this Board and this administration can either accelerate or reverse this trend. We will see.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of all Teachers, Teaching Assistants’ and Secretaries in the North Shore School District.
North Shore Schools Federated Employees
BACK TO ARTICLE
BACK TO BOARD NOTES