Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dear Teachers...

Greetings to all,

Throughout this week I have had a number of conversations with various teachers in response to my previous post.  All of them told me that they were one of the Motivated; those who want to do something but have their reservations.  The conversation typically begins as follows-

"I really want to do something.  I am tired of being treated this way, but I'm afraid.  I'm afraid that the district is planning some kind of punishment for calling in, and I don't want to put myself in that position."

Here is my answer to all of you who are afraid:

"Good.  You should be afraid.  After all, the Dallas Independent School District has a pretty distinct history of bullying DISD employees for all sorts of reasons, real or imaginary.  The fact that you are afraid tells me that you recognize this fact and are not oblivious to what is happening to our district.

Of course you should be afraid.  Don't you think I am afraid?  I wish you could have spent ten minutes in my shoes that day I came to work after my blog hit the news.  I spent the entire day waiting for someone to walk into my room and relieve me, with a note in their hand summoning me to the office.  I couldn't eat my lunch, I fought to keep the shaking from my hands creep into my voice, and no amount of anti-perspirant could keep my underarms dry.  I was a wreck, but I survived.

Calling in on February 29th will take some courage, but no more than the courage that I have already demonstrated.  I have done what few others could gather the courage to do, and that is start the conversation.  I am not asking any one person to do more than I have already done myself.  No one can honestly say that they are in more danger of repercussions than I am.  After all, I started this mess.

If you are too afraid, I understand.  Go to work on the 29th and let others stand their ground.  But keep this in mind when you clock-in that day-  the next time the district takes away one of your days off, or extends your contract hours, or freezes your pay and couples it with a hike in your medical care costs you have no one to blame but yourself.  The time to stand up is NOW, and if you refuse to add your voice to that of your colleagues, or if you are simply too afraid to stand up for yourself, then you deserve everything that happens from here on out.

I am not asking you to quit your job.  I am only asking that for one day you stand up for yourself and for the future of our district.  If that is asking too much, than perhaps I have more faith in you than I should."

On another note - there is an on-line petition asking the district to reverse the 45 minute extension.  I encourage all of you to follow the link below and add your signature.  The more of us that sign, the greater our chances of being heard.


In these last few days before the sick-out, expect to hear from me more frequently.

-Mr. Jones
  

5 comments:

  1. I'm in! Change has to start somewhere and with somebody! This is a national problem setting the American worker back a century. It's all about intimidating people to keep the power concentrated in the hands of a few. We have to help reset the course.

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  2. And don't forget, the addition of the 45min is the administrations attempt to make teachers the scape goats for the poor performance of the students in the district. Its them saying its your fault for anything bad that happens in the district. It protects their job which is, point in fact, the very highest paying job they have ever had or will have. By doing this they shift the attention away from themselves when, in reality, they don't really need to. Its the parents and the local culture that is most to blame. The parents of this district have gotten the district they wanted and the kids they wanted, or indiscriminately produced. I think both teachers and administrators are doing very nearly as much as they can for the kids in DISD to learn and look good doing it, but the "clientele" has to want to learn. The clientele has to want their kids to succeed and be successful. Too many parents couldn't give a rats a$$ about what happens to their kids, it seems. Or they really do care, but now that they are the third and fourth generation of "we pass you" and counting; they simply haven't the tools or the scruples to achieve it.

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  3. In_Need_of_LeadershipFebruary 23, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    I support the sick out and plan to stay at home. Our administrator just told us that we are losing a general ed position. The recent email from Alan King says that people will be moved around...what is the purpose of this? When you shut down 11 schools; plan to open six more; issue non renewal of contracts; get rid of custodial staff..how much sh*t are we suppose to take? When is it ever enough? The school board doesn't have to go to work wondering if the principal will call you in the office to tell you have to attend some bullsh*t job fair because they eliminated your position at your school??

    If I could work for another school district...you better believe I would leave!!!

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  4. I have been following your call for a sick out on Feb 29th, and although I agree with the idea that it is time for changes in DISD, and other districts as well. Where we differ is in the delivery of such changes.

    In 2006 myself and a few brave teachers, and others in this profession made a call to WFAA Channel 8 to report how we were being denied due process, the results was a small incident called cage fighting, grade changing scandals, and the removal of several bullying Principals. We all had agreed to speak with the reporter from WFAA, but when it was all said and done, the we turned out to be only me. My name is Frank Hammond, and in 2006 I stood up against DISD, and requested for changes to be made in the district, and yes, I knew I would loose my job, but in the fallout, the bullying principal soon lost his job as well, and is now no longer allowed to work in this profession, anyone ever heard of a principal named Donald Moten.

    The point I am trying to make here is that it is time for members of our profession to stop being afraid to stand up for what we believe in, and put a face behind the calls for changes to be made at DISD.

    Instead of calling for a sick out on Feb 29, 2012, members of this profession should draw a line in the sand and tell the district that members of this profession will not show up on the day of the state mandated test if the district continues in its plans to shut down 11 schools, extend the work days, and continues to support Administrative Bullying. This must involve all the share holders such as parents, students, and others who will be affected by the decisions coming from DISD.

    Most of all put a face on your movement, and ask for all members of the unions, along with non members to support this cause. It is time for the members of this profession to show central office that the real power of education lies with the teachers, and other members of this profession. We must understand that the message DISD, and other districts must understand that there is strength in numbers.

    I can now be heard on my show called The Watchfuleye every Monday from 3 to 4 pm on DFWiradio.com where we talk about one subject, and that subject is Administrative Bullying.

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