Friday, October 8, 2010

Dissension amongst the ranks

With the growing number of teachers showing disagreement with the NFT-mandated WTC action, something like this was bound to happen. Regrettably, this alleged incident took place in a classroom in front of students.

The Courier Times' Christian Menno reported the following:

Students witnessed a verbal altercation last week between two teachers regarding one's participation in a recent back-to-school night function, according to several parents at Neshaminy High School.

Superintendent Louis Muenker confirmed that the administration is investigating an incident that took place at the high school, but added that he could not comment further because it involves personnel.

"Apparently, the one teacher came in and proceeded to scream (at the other teacher) in front of a classroom with about 30 students watching," said a parent of a student who was in the classroom during the alleged exchange. "A third teacher overheard this and (intervened). When the principal found out on Monday, every student was called down to the office and asked for a statement."

The parent added, "Now the students are being put in the middle of all this. I mean they're right there. My child was there to learn and the only thing the students learned that day was union bullying."

According to the parent, the teacher who allegedly initiated the confrontation has been involved with ongoing negotiations on behalf of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers.

According to the state's Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators, a professional educator may not "knowingly and intentionally deny or impede a colleague in the exercise or enjoyment of a professional right or privilege in being an educator" or "use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional decisions of colleagues."

PLEASE NOTE - While this matter is under review, I cannot comment or speculate on what happens next, nor can I permit use of any names of the people involved. As always, your comments must adhere to the usual rules of civility. Thank you.


William O'Connor said...

The following comment submitted by Str8 Shutr has been edited for content:

This proves what many of us have known all along. Rather than respect the differences of a teacher who thinks about the students first, they invade his/her class and yell at them right in front of the kids. This was one of the nft negotiators too so you can just imagine what our school board has been putting up with throughout these wasteful negotiations.
I can not wait to hear how the nft spins this. Considering that in over 2 years they still refuse to negotiate for teacher insurance payments, I am sure they will have no trouble in rationalizing this behavior.

Do you hear that noise Louise? That grinding sound that has gotten louder? It’s the second wheel that just came off your wagon. It’s all falling apart right around your feet. The teachers have blindly followed you and you’ve left them with a scorched Earth. I’ll bet if the Board put up their original offer from 2 years ago that the rank and file would overwhelmingly take it now.
To all you brave teachers out there it’s time to stop being the silent majority. One true hero has stood up to the tyranny of your leadership. You can end this whole dispute NOW in two simple steps. Step 1 – Disband your union. Step 2 – Ask the Board to reoffer you the proposal from 2 years ago. Even though I think it’s too generous I bet the Board would gladly accept especially if they could be done with this union.
Teaching is among the most admirable professions. We all used to believe that. You can help make us believe that again. Teachers – BE SILENT NO MORE!


KClarinet said...

To Str8 Shutr:

Beware what you wish for.

Teaching in a large school system isn't simply individual teachers in their insular classrooms teaching students who are exclusively "theirs." If you gain the "victory" you so strongly hope for by breaking the union and turning the staff's hostility inward to destroy its cohesiveness, you'll have damaged the process of teaching and learning in ways that may take decades to to repair.

And, by the way, you're wrong in your golden assertion that "Teaching is among the most admirable professions. We all used to believe that." Maybe *you* once believed that, but if it had been true for most Americans, unions would never have been needed nor would they have gained traction in the first place.

Someone on each side of this needs to decide that it's time to find a solution that "works" for everyone and stop the cascade of oneupmanship that is making this situation worse instead of better.

acs said...

KC says: "Someone on each side of this needs to decide that it's time to find a solution that "works" for everyone and stop the cascade of oneupmanship that is making this situation worse instead of better."

This is such a naive statement that many continue to make. It translates as taxpayers and students get the shaft again. Any compromise beyond the board offer means more deficits and then program cuts to get rid of teachers thus degrading our educational system. Time for NFT to concede and that is the only answer this time as they have gouged our district for the last decade. William please do not let this union ruin NSD more than they already have.

Jack said...

ACS, now who is being "naive"?

If both sides are at the table, School board (NSB) and teachers (NFT), who is representing the taxpayers and the students? Who is the NSB representing?

Let them do the job they were elected to do!

Brian said...

I am not an expert on these types of situations but I have to say this...

Although I believe there are many great teachers within our school district I don't feel comfortable with my children being in NSD at this time.

How am I supposed to believe that our teachers can honestly pose as a model that I want my children to look up to? Some of the best and brightest teachers we have are hiding in the shadows for fear of this type of retaliation. So these teachers model cowardly behavior. Then we have the other side of the equation showing the model of a bully.

What about dedication to your profession. I now that the type of work I do is very different from that which teachers do (keep in mind my spouse is a teacher so I am not blind to the teachers perspective) but it would be unfair to my employer, my colleagues, and my customers to go to work everyday knowing I was not going to give my best. Sure everyone has bad days, but I never go into a day thinking "I'll show up on time, just barely do what is required, and get out of there ASAP". If I did I would not have a job for very long, and to feel comfortable doing this because your union is telling you to is a sad statement on who you are as a professional.

Teachers I beg you to find yourselves. Remember why you chose this profession. Stop allowing yourselves to be bullied. Become the role model that we all want you to be. Parents want to support you, but you have made it impossible. Give us a reason to believe in you again!