Deputy Superintendent Maureen Bright is responsible for district personnel matters. She screens prospective employees, negotiates teacher and other union contracts on behalf of the board and community and makes sure district employees follow contractual rules. She is very good at her job - which is why the HCT wants to get rid of her. It is heartless and despicable for the HCT to abuse the tragic events of Sept. 11 to try and achieve this goal, especially while admitting that the teacher at the center of this storm deserved the reprimand she received.
The HCT seems to believe that the contract they agreed upon with the school district is a one-sided deal. Certainly, they expect the district to live up to their part of the bargain. The teachers union expects their members to receive contracted salaries, benefits, work hours, etc. - but when it comes to their own contractual responsibilities, all bets are off. Last spring, the same complaints, letters to the media and attacks occurred when a few teachers claimed they were not being given credit toward salary increases for additional education. They, and the HCT, called the district unfair and uncaring. But the fact is that these teachers did not follow contractual procedure to receive this credit. At one point, the district gave the HCTs members a second chance to submit the proper requests retroactively and still, these teachers failed to comply. Even so, their personal irresponsibility did not stop them from complaining and attacking district administrators.
This situation is the same. The HCT admits that the teacher in question did not properly notify her supervisor of her absences and did not file the proper paperwork to receive pay for these personal days. So why are they outraged and surprised that the teacher was reprimanded? The HCT expects this community to heap praise upon a teacher who neglected her responsibilities to her employer and her students and vilify Deputy Supt. Bright, who did her job by speaking to a noncompliant employee. Am I the only one who sees something wrong here?
Several years ago, when my son was in tenth grade, the high school was plagued with repeated bomb scares. During one of them, after standing outside, coatless and with a cold in 12 degree weather, my son and another student walked a couple of blocks to my home. Both boys were honor students with exemplary records of behavior. I immediately notified the school that they were with me, and after a cup of hot tea, returned them to school, all within about ten minutes. As a result of this incident, both my son and I received a stern and lengthy lecture from the teacher on how wrong it was for him to leave school without permission. Both students received a grade of zero on a test being given at the time of the bomb scare and both served detention - in all, a much harsher penalty than a verbal reprimand. But no one demanded apologies or resignations from the teacher or administrators, no one wrote letters to the newspapers or issued news releases calling the teacher and district unfair and uncaring. These 15-year-old boys knew they had violated the rules, took responsibility for their actions and accepted the consequences - without complaint. Too bad the leaders of the HCT don't possess the character to do the same.