Rumors or Truth?

A small school district like ours has many benefits that are known to us all. But a big shortcoming is the speed at which rumors travel. As you know, rumors are not reliable. This post is my attempt to bring you the truth as far as I can provide it.

One of our members has been accused of unprofessional behavior and is presently on paid leave. This member (who shall remain anonymous) has been represented by a building rep, myself, and our local MEA uniserve director. All of us are working to bring resolution to this matter.

Whenever any one of us is accused of misconduct there are certain processes that must be followed by the administration and by the association. Those processes are ongoing by both parties at this time. It is critical that we all do our part — association officials and members alike — to ensure that this member’s rights are protected. I am doing my part, and you can do yours by refusing to engage in speculation and the forwarding of rumors and hearsay.

Personal matters should remain private for the good of all concerned. Your local and state association take seriously your rights, and everything that we can and should do for this member has been and is being done. Keeping confidentiality is critical to ensuring that an accused member is not judged prematurely. I want you to know this: neither I nor anyone officially connected to this matter as an association official will reveal private and personal details. I would want this treatment and I’m sure you would as well.

The other rumors burning like wildfire through out district concern budget problems and possible mid-year cuts. There is a funding problem that will greatly impact our district, but no decisions have been made. What we DO know is that mid-year cuts will probably happen. What we do NOT know is where those cuts will occur.

The administration has a contractual duty to discuss any cuts that will affect association members with the President and chief bargainer before those cuts are finalized and announced. That said, the administration also has to have proposed cuts approved by the school board. Neither I nor the school board will knowingly “leak” information about cuts before the affected employees are contacted by their immediate supervisor. If you have heard a rumor from a “reliable” source, remember that any source willing to gossip about someone’s job may not be trustworthy! And again, if you were the one to be affected by a budget cut, you would much rather hear the bad news firsthand and not via the “grapevine.”

Here’s something that is not a rumor: we have a great contract, excellent association representation, strong leaders, and outstanding members. When I think of all the changes that have been mandated by the state, the federal government, and our own curriculum, and how superbly we have stepped up to these challenges, I can declare the truth that we have great teachers, counselors, librarians and social workers in our local membership. No one really knows how hard we work and how much we care about the education of our students like we do. No one comprehends the stress we’ve been working under for the last few years like we do. I know your dedication, your hard work, your integrity and your concerns. I’m doing all I can to ensure that we have the rights of our contract upheld. You can do your part by being sure you uphold the responsibilities in that same contract.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to send an email or add a comment to this site.

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