D.J. Tice: Why weren't those teachers fired? Well ...

  • Article by: D.J. Tice , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 23, 2009 - 10:33 AM

The disciplinary process for public workers is a thicket that can thwart a proper response.

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notmetooAug. 22, 09 6:59 PM

I thought you were gone.

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umeducatorAug. 22, 09 8:52 PM

As a person who has been a Minnesota public school teacher and administrator, I'm deeply disappointed in "the system." As Tice suggests, the system does not appear to put the needs of students first. Employees have rights but the public education system is supposed to be first be for students. Recent cases show that this is not the way things are working here.

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natrefAug. 22, 09 9:59 PM

What's worse is that these are teachers that are in charge of kids and they victimized a child. The techers got off way too lightly.

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Kathy_BrandtAug. 22, 0910:55 PM

many years ago, my heart went out to this young man. I was in 6th grade and was very quiet and shy. This teacher physically, verbally and mentally abused me until I truly began to believe I deserved such treatment. All these years later, I still struggle with self-esteem issues from that year.

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richie1Aug. 22, 0911:30 PM

As a teacher for 33 years I can remember hundreds of times where the teachers were the only ones keeping the spirit and self-esteem up for certain students who were different, interesting, and generally marching to their own beat. Virtually all of my peers love that kind of student. They are the ones who think for themselves, have compassion, and have a kind world view-you know-the opposite of several helth reform protesters I noticed. It's just too bad that the 1% of teachers who struggle with appropriate behavior get so much press.

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killermebeAug. 22, 0911:30 PM

If it's this hard to fire two obviously counterproductive teachers can you imagine what the gang task force situation will look like in a year? None of those guys are going to get more than a reprimand.

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tdroogAug. 23, 0912:27 AM

....cogent explanation of how the system works, and how it lets taxpayers down. Nice job, and a quality of journalism that is seldom seen in this paper anymore.

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ripmntsAug. 23, 09 1:03 AM

The parents of students in that school should refuse to let the students attend the classes those two supervise. Tell the administration the reason for your decision; you refuse to let your child to be taught by an idiot.

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bikemilesAug. 23, 09 3:55 AM

I'm now retired from civil service but I recall when the State of Minnesota first passed a gay rights ordinance. It specifically excluded any mandate for domestic partners benefits. Almost before the ink was dry the City of Minneapolis and it's (then) library system concluded they were "discriminating" by not giving domestic partner benefits. The Hennepin County AFSME bargaining unit sought to include domestic partner benefits in an upcoming labor contract if the Minneapolis arrangement was found to be legal. Half the people in the office wanted to know if this would require a "financial co-sign" by both domestic partners. I asked a union steward I worked with to check. She said the union was very hostile to the question and wanted to know who asked so they could file a harassment complaint against them. This union steward refused to give names and we did some checking. At Minneapolis, 90% dropped out of domestic partner benefits when they found out that "financial co-sign" was a requirement. The MN Supreme Court eventually ruled that the gay rights law applies as written without mandatory partner benefits. .... The Strib had a story about a group that was seeking a Minneapolis homeowner to challenge the City of Minneapolis employee domestic partner ruling. I called and was told that even though I was a Minneapolis homeowner I might risk my job if in the challenge. They used a retired homeowner. ....The point is that without protections civil servants can be subjected to a lot of pressures. ....... My Longfellow neighborhood has a lot of gays, nice people. A lot of the supposed "gay activists are and always have been Marxists who high jacked the cause.

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MarkGislesonAug. 23, 09 7:23 AM

do these cases go to arbitration? Who made that decision and why? That certainly wasn't the case when I was in school. Then school boards owned up and took responsibility. If the teachers union pushed for arbitration in previous contract negotiations, they were wrong. If this is a school board position, they were wrong. Arbitration is a failed system that begins with the premise that our legal system is broken. All such cases benefit from sunlight. Arbitration is like pulling down all the shades and letting a stranger call the shots. Especially in matters involving school personnel, privacy vanishes almost immediately. The court process shines light on the innocent and wrongdoers alike, helping to clear the air as real justice is dispensed. Arbitration lends itself to rumors and more rumors, destroying the reputation of all parties, guilty and innocent alike. No, the legal system doesn't always work out like it should, but arbitration almost never does as the very concept is invested in compromise instead of justice. It would be nice if there was a follow up story explaining when and why schools switched over to binding arbitration to resolve these matters.

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