Oct 10, 2009

21 Teachers Laid Off From DC's Ballou Senior High School

Where is our WTU President when we need him ?

Pictures are two of a series of photos taken at Ballou Senior High School to document OSHA complaint. As I have stated four of our Washington Teachers Union (WTU) board members were laid off in this recent reduction in force. One of them is Robert Willis who was not only a WTU Executive Board member but also a WTU Building Representative for Ballou Senior High School teachers and related school personnel. My understanding is that Robert and Ballou teachers were instrumental in filing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaint about the hazardous conditions at Ballou. Perhaps advocacy of these Ballou teachers contributed to their recent layoffs . Certainly from where I sit these layoffs had nothing to do with performance as Mayor Fenty suggested but more to do with teachers who were outspoken and advocates for students, teachers and schools. Here's to you Robert and Ballou teaching staff as well as former union reps. for working to make Ballou a better school over the years!

Here  is an October 10 email that I received from a teacher colleague from Ballou who recently was laid off.Candi: I just wanted you to know that DCPS is still RIF'ing teachers at Ballou SHS. I heard from one of my colleagues yesterday that she also was RIF'd. The count is now 21. " Anonymous Teacher- Ballou SHS

I am gravely concerned that the WTU lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of laid off teachers by WTU Prez George Parker has not been made available for review. Unfortunately to add insult to injury our October 10th WTU Executive Board meeting has been cancelled by Parker. It is also troubling that in the October 8 WaPo article, Parker does not present as a strong leader who is transparent and forthcoming about what has happened to DC teachers. It is hard for our members to have faith in Parker when the press quotes him as saying: "Parker was not completely conversant with its contents when he spoke to reporters after briefing teachers at Metropolitan AME Church on M Street NW. He first claimed that "at least half'" of the fired teachers are 45 or over" but minutes later said that they might be 35 or older." Now is not the time for Parker to continue back peddling and seem unclear about the facts. The WTU has to be ready go into attack mode or risk losing a significant share of its membership. I like a lot of other union members are wondering whether Parker is up for the job.

Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring Candi Peterson blogger in residence


Abbey Adele said...

At Ballou, we all know that they have been doing a lot of things to let the veteran teachers know: 1) African-American teachers are not valued, 2) the administrations along with the youner teachers working with them to change test scores behind the close doors among other criminal acts are getting away with it, fooling our Ballou kids and doing unjust to the DCPS students. 3)If a veteran teacher speaks up at Ballou for anything, you will be put on their termination list because Ballou is in a good location for privatization/KIPSY School takeover. Remember, right now, they will pamper our DC students, give them pizza, candi, and money to accept them in southeast and other parts of the city, but at the end after the new developers/army of white new teachers/thieves get all what they wanted, then they will turn their back- Just like they did to Africans in their country.
Also, be advised, Robert Willis is not the only Ballou teacher elected to the union office at Ballou working to improve Ballou. Other present and past Ballou elected Union officers worked hard to improve Ballou. So, whenever you mention Ballou's staff as elected union officer, do not forget to remember others as you are giving Robert Willis and others reps coverages.

Anonymous said...

Candi. Thank you for your tireless efforts to help teachers. It is so sad what is happening now. I am terminated in June 2009 from DCPS under the 90 day plan. Despite the fact that I too was wrongly terminated, I had adequate time to try and get my finances together although it still is very difficult as I have not found employment.

What a shame, my colleagues fired on October 2 did not have any time to prepare for their wrongful dismissal. I am sure that many of them have children and a lot of other expenses that will be difficult to cover on the $1536 max. that they will receive on DC unemployment. May God Be With Us All.

Anonymous said...

"Teachers"??? Are you sure this number does not include support personnel? Counselors? Come on -- 21 teachers can't be correct.

The Washington Teacher said...

I have met other staff from Ballou that have been involved in improving Ballou SH. Unfortunately I do not have all of their names. You are right I should have given everyone acknowledgement. My hat is off to all of the Ballou teachers. I have made the corrections in my piece.


Sharon B. said...

I was a previous Ballou SHS teacher,under the Karen Smith administration. There are still two of her proteges left there, one of which is now the principal. I too was one of the teachers who fought hard to improve working conditions at Ballou. I sat on both SCAC, LSRT, and was the Asst. Bldg Rep at one time. From the very beginning I was singled out. They put me on a 90 day plan, wrongfully wrote me up, had me suspended... and the list goes on. Of course I had to leave, because it was evident that they had a plan for me. Ballou has been in dire straits for quite some time now. That school needs to be cleared out from head to toe, and get competent administrators to run the school.

Anonymous said...

Candi, I too want to thank you and Nathan for everything you all do for teachers, community, and especially our students in the District of Columbia. Candi, your energy and efforts are incredible and may God repay you for the goodwill you do everyday for everybody including MR. I am saying that because MR probably did not know she is MR, but you made her known to herself and others. Pls. keep up the good work, my sister. God bless!