Why a Teacher would boycott anything?

Our Mayor has sunk to a new low.

It really is sad that the New Bedford Educators Association has had to resort to rallying its members in this way. I totally understand why they have to boycott using their collective buying power to get the attention of the school committee and our community. It’s a shame that not even that it seems has worked to bring the attention to the department’s real problems.

Mr. St. John wants the Mayor, the Superintendent and the School Committee to LISTEN to the real problems. These problems include ineffective mid level management, principals with little regard for discipline and individuals with personal vendettas and those who haven’t a clue how to handle personalities and manage people, students and adults alike. Instead, they continue to dismiss these issues. At meetings the discipline and grievance hearings are hurried, punitive and largely without effective evidence as the new administrators working for Dr. Durkin are challenged to make changes in the most harsh and undiplomatic ways, and during the School Committee open meeting the comment period was buried at the very end, basically dismissing its importance.

Teachers do their best day in and day out, working with some of the most challenging student populations in decades. We live in a culture where many youth would rather “Google” the answer than take time to memorize it. Of course this is all dependant on whether these students even feel the desire to come to school at all and if there is any presence in the home helping them understand the importance of an education. Teachers also have to manage a new transient ethnic population who drops in and drops out of our system without notification, time and again.

Dr. Durkin, Mayor Mitchell, I urge you both to hear what they are telling you and to not simply dismiss the concerns as “saying anything to save their necks.” These people are dedicated. They do not deserve the kind of treatment and disdain you have for them. There are voices on the School committee who you need to listen to as well, there is another one coming in January too. You must not dismiss these elected officials because you have an agenda. The week before Christmas, telling 200 people to get their affairs in order? They are fired. It’s just another example of how challenged you and your administration has been at dealing with people. Leading requires an ability to work with people, something I have yet to see during your tenure Mayor Mitchell. Maybe that is why when the educators complain about poor management you turn your nose up, perhaps you simply wouldn’t recognize it?

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