Riverside and the rest of America, wake up. This ordeal with an experienced, beloved teacher from Hauser has been so wrong (“Longtime D96 teacher retiring after all,” News June 25).
Having been a reporter, teacher, and an educational administrator, I can say that the paper took a slanted angle on the story without truly understanding the issues. The teacher never got to explain her side of the story before being humiliated in front of her students (made to pack up her belongings as her students watched in total confusion).
The administration reacted way too soon without seeking to understand what was at the heart of this situation. No administrator took time to learn all students who came unprepared to class that day were asked to call their parents from the classroom phone for help in getting their assignment notebooks.
No one cared to understand that when one student called, it was the teacher, not the student, who was blamed by a screaming, uncivil, disrespectful parent for their child’s educational issues, thus triggering the whole chain of mishandled events.
What a shame for the parents and wonderful junior high students of Riverside who, in the end, are the real losers. Maybe next time, the reporter might want to dig deeper to find the real story about what is threatening America’s teachers and schools.
Maybe the school board needs to address the actions of an inexperienced superintendent that insensitively mishandled the situation for the teacher and students. Maybe the community needs to know that this teacher received hundreds of emails, cards and letters of support, then those voters need to head to the polling place and elect wiser representatives for their schools.
Lots of problems here that should be handled, but this was not one that should have ended with a teacher retiring to get away from the extreme emotional and physical pain this has caused her.
Now other teachers will live in silent fear of both parents and administrators. Believe me, they will; they are. Once trust is broken, it is not easily repaired nor replaced. Good and caring teachers will find something else to do rather than risk this pain. So sad for the children of Riverside. What an educational tragedy for society.
Pamela Kuda Quinn