First of all, I want to thank everyone who has demonstrated their support so far. I'm glad to see so many of you ready to speak out against what you see happening to our schools.
I want to address a couple of issues that have come up:
1.) Some are unsure exactly what my goals for this are. Let me state it clearly here and now - I do not want the sick out to happen. Preferably, I would like to see the board come to its senses and begin including us, the educators, in the discussion on how we move forward as a district. Being on the front line, we see multiple cases of waste that, if given the opportunity to point it out, could save the district millions. Yet, we do not feel as though the district wants our opinion. (A simple e-mail can put you on administrative leave.) The forty-five minute extension was a clear demonstration to me that the board has no real clue as to what we do nor what kind of time we really put into our schools. How many of us will be willing to stay behind for tutoring after a nearly nine hour work day? How many of us will want to go above and beyond any longer? Our students need us to give them more than what they can get in a standard school day, so please allow us the energy to do that.
2.) It is unfortunate that I have to remain anonymous, but the current climate at DISD makes it nearly impossible to speak your mind without fearing a notice that you have been "riffed." I will remain so until it becomes clear that I will not be forced out of the job I love for calling attention the the district's problems, I will do so.
3.) Yes, organizing strikes in Texas is illegal. I reviewed the law after my initial, emotionally-driven post. Let me be clear. We are not holding out for demands. In a strike, workers refused to return to their jobs until management gives in to demands. That is not what is happening here. If people choose to miss work on February 29th, they will return March 1st, regardless of whether or not the board does anything we ask. No one is going on strike. Besides, I am not organizing anything. I am merely stating that I think a sick out is called for and all those willing to participate, should. I would like to see 33% participate, but I have no way of checking on just how many are willing to call-in. I am not keeping a log, or list, or registry of participants.
4.) Finally, I hope that people know that ultimately this is all about education. If the sick-out happens, people will see a glimpse of what public education is becoming. Our districts are making policies that are forcing the talented teachers to look elsewhere, and eventually the only ones left behind will be those with no where to go. Is this the system that will drive our nation into the future, or off a cliff?
One last note. I am getting a lot of e-mails and Facebook friend requests. Keep them coming. However, I will not answer any e-mails or messages between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm. After all, I have a job to do....
Oh, and here's the news story from Channel 8.