(Mensaje se repite en Español)
(For a national view of public education reform see the end of this blog post)
How You Can Expect to be Treated by the National Education Association (when you need them most) by Daniel Geery
Following negotiations of our Master Agreement, in 1989, the Shelley School District hired a new superintendent, Val Edrington, well-known for his militaristic approach to things. Edrington was not pleased with my active role in the IEA and NEA. Shortly after his arrival that I was placed on probation, based on a long list of nonsensical allegations, such as "dominating grade level meetings," being absent when I was present, getting "blacktop smudges on PE balls," having inadequate lesson plans (though for seven years the previous administration commended my teaching and lesson plans), and for the content of a letter that was never published, wherein I questioned the superintendent's questionable history and activities in our district. Specifically, I had composed a draft of a letter about the shenanigans of the superintendent, took it to a local paper to see what one of the reporter's thought might need to be changed for it to be published. He kept a copy and took it to the school district's lawyer.
To my surprise and horror, a termination hearing was scheduled in May, 1991. I asked the Idaho Education Association and its Executive Director to send a lawyer to assist me. "We can't," they claimed--such an action, they said, would be "too costly." A kangaroo court proceeding ensued. No record was made that was suitable for review, I was fired, with no income and no recourse.It is difficult to convey in words how demoralizing and depressing this situation was. In this small community, social support evaporated. The mere firing of an educator meant to many that I must have done something horribly wrong to be terminated from a tenured teaching position (several of my peers, aware of what was going on, were deeply concerned, but at a loss as to what to do).