UPDATE ON SPINGARN'S TERMINATIONS
"After strongly implying that the reason that she fired 266 teachers was that they were sexual perverts, sadists towards children, and never came to work, Rhee has once again put a “spin” on her comments. As you have probably read elsewhere, Rhee told a “Fast Company” reporter, “I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school. Why wouldn’t we take those things into consideration?”
In a letter to the City Council Rhee has backtracked somewhat, saying that there was exactly ONE teacher out of the 266 who had been charged with sexual misconduct; but that teacher’s case has not been brought to a conclusion one way or the other. She also said that there were a total of SIX teachers who had at one time or another served suspensions for corporal punishment. Out of two hundred and sixty-six. And TWO who were accused of having had absences without leave. Let’s see: 1 + 6 + 2 = 9, I think. (Did I get that right?) And 9 out of 266 is a little more than 3 percent.
(Keep in mind that teachers can be, and often ARE, accused of corporal punishment or sexual misconduct without any basis in fact. I have seen it happen at my school. Also keep in mind that apparently neither the sexual misconduct case, nor the abuse of leave cases, had been brought to a conclusion. I don’t know any of the facts in any of the cases, and I don’t presume anything, one way or another.)
It is really shameful of Rhee to tar all of the staff that she illegitimately fired with such a nasty brush. But it’s so typical of her; like Ronald Reagan, she is utterly convinced of the rightfulness of her cause, and she seldom lets facts get in the way of her just-so stories.
By one account, in the same letter, Rhee apparently peddled the big lie that she can never fire anybody for misconduct like the cases she alleges, because of the big bad old union contract. That is a flat-out lie. What having the union does is much like the promise behind the Bill of Rights and the theory behind American jurisprudence: accusations need to be substantiated, one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and anybody charged needs to be accorded due process in one way or another. Can a teacher or other school staff member get fired for actual, proven sexual misconduct with a student, or for a gross instance of proven corporal punishment? Absolutely! In fact, I can’t think of an easier way for a teacher to lose his/her job.
What Rhee is really complaining about is that she doesn’t think that teachers or other school staff know anything, are pretty much all evil malingerers, and don’t deserve any rights whatsoever. Unless they have clearly hitched their wagon to hers. (I bet you get the allusion!)
There used to be a word for people who believe that workers inherently have no rights to collective bargaining, nor to due process when accused of anything. This sort of person also believes that the true Leaders are better than anybody else, and deserve to be followed no matter what. Their present-day counterparts pull out all the stops to stop any attempt at union organizing in any US factory; believe that anybody accused of ‘terrorism’ should be tortured and held indefinitely without any charges, a trial, or the right to confront their accusers. Their educational counterparts – in my opinion – would like to boil down the educational process to little more than getting a certain number of answers right on multiple-choice tests in only two subjects, and believe that teachers are not to be trusted to come up with interesting or inspiring lesson plans.
Back in the 20th century, such people were quite proud to call themselves Fascists. Although they label themselves differently today, I don’t see a whole lot of difference. And I don’t think we need to stand for it."
Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring GF Bradenburg