Mar 11, 2011
Improperly Fired DCPS Teachers Speak Out!
By Candi Peterson
In 2008, approximately 75 probationary teachers were fired at the direction of then Deputy Chancellor Kaya Henderson. In 2008, Henderson sent an email to DC Public Schools principals indicating that if they wanted to get rid of probationary teachers they could simply click on a link listing the names of teachers from their schools. On March 10, 2011 - some of these wrongfully terminated teachers spoke out at the Washington Teachers' Union office about their stellar accomplishments and their horror at receiving letters in the mail during July and August 2008 indicating they were terminated without explanation. These teachers talked about only learning of the reasons for their terminations several weeks ago after an arbitrator's decision ordered them reinstated with back pay to DCPS. Their firing had nothing to do with their performance as teachers. Here is what they said:
"I always received positive evaluations, never been written up on warning," said Kadesha Bonds, who was a second-year teacher. (Kadesha Bonds pictured at top left with award)
"I was never written up. I never received bad evaluations. It was always about what I was wearing or my personal life," said Bianca Clemons, who was also in her second year.
"When I left in June of 2008, my report said I was fine. On July 17th, I got the same letter saying you’re had been fired. I said, ‘What?’" said photography teacher Leigh Mosley.
Kadesha Bonds, a former "2006 New Teacher of the Year" stated that she had a conversation with Vincent Gray when he was Council Chair and he agreed at that time that an injustice had been done to this group of wrongfully terminated teachers. Having been in office as DC's mayor for approximately 60 days- it saddens many of us that Mayor Gray has already forgotten the commitments he made to right the injustices of the Rhee and Henderson administration. Despite Mayor Gray's earlier statements which suggested that he would follow the arbitrator's ruling in this case, this group of wrongfully terminated teachers are still playing the waiting game to return to their first love- the joy of teaching in our schools while DCPS appeals this ruling. Listen as these teachers speak out and tell their side of the story on Fox 5 news and WJLA.