That's the message in a guest opinion appearing in today's Courier Times. Here are some excerpts the letter submitted by Athena Graeber . . .
As a parent of three children and a taxpayer in the Neshaminy School District, I have been pondering the events unfolding in our school district. First and foremost, I want to say that I support the teachers in my district. I believe that they embody the American spirit and passion for fighting for what they believe in. They work hard every day to improve the lives of the students in our district. I look to them as role models for what the rest of our country should be doing.
What is that you ask? It is standing up for themselves and what they believe in no matter what the cost. Against those who cry out publicly against them. Ranting and raving about taxes and the costs of health care and other things that are troubling their lives. Our taxes pay for many things, not just teachers' salaries, yet no one is questioning the trash collector?
Many parents and students are up in arms over the extras that teachers are not providing at the moment, e.g. reference letters, websites, bulletin boards, etc. Even though I am not in favor of these tactics, I am intelligent enough to realize that the Neshaminy teachers are not out to hurt our children, but that they are making a simple point.
There is nothing wrong with standing up for oneself and fighting for what is right, fair, and just. I believe that is a trait that we call character. Let's support our teachers and help them get a contract.
You can read all of Ms. Graeber's letter by clicking here.
Also in today's Courier Times is an article which questions what impact, if any, the recent contract settlement in North Penn will have on the Neshaminy and Pennsbury negotiations. The article quotes Ritchie Webb as saying, "North Penn's ability to support increased salary and/or benefits may be different than here at Neshaminy . . . However, one thing we do have in common [is] communities are coming to the realization that there may not be a win-win solution available for public education. Either you restructure your labor costs, or cut education programs. We value all our employees, but ultimately we must insist on cost reductions in order to preserve our educational programs."
To that, NFT President Louise Boyd responded, "We've worked for decades to improve our earning potential and work conditions and we don't believe it's fair to arbitrarily strip away at our livelihood because of (school boards') failures to manage their budgets . . . Despite not having a contract for more than 702 days at Neshaminy, we continue to provide our students with the best education available. But like our fellow teachers in North Penn, we have our limits. We won't be abused."
And a little reminder to all readers about the rules of the road on this blog . . . When commenting, please keep it civil. Tensions are running high, and it's more important than ever we maintain some diplomacy. Being passionate in your comments is one thing, being insulting is another. Try to focus on the issues rather than the individuals. As always, I'll try to let your comments fly without editing them, but please monitor yourself so I don't have to.