Some things are just sad

Yeah, there was a teacher who screwed himself up big-time along with a student and the reputation of a community. What was the school board's role in this?

A teacher in our local school district has just been busted for an inappropriate relationship with female students ().

Two of my kids had this guy. My son had him as a JV Soccer Coach and my daughter had him for creative writing. Both kids had positive experiences with this teacher. At Parent-Teacher nights I was impressed with his book knowledge and his presentation. On the soccer pitch, he had respect of the kids as they worked as a unit.

I am not defending what this guy did. If he gets convicted, the book will and should be thrown at him. Sorry, but take advantage of a position of authority where you mess with a kids' life - you need to get nailed.

Already, you can see the online whining about how we pay sooo much money for our public schools and it is a waste of money and blah blah - blahblahblagggg.

But what was happening in this district during the time this teacher was having inappropriate relationships?

  • Cost cutting.
  • Jamming the teachers unions. (no contract for about 20 months while this was going on)
  • Getting good teachers to throw their hands up and say, "I am not taking this crap, I'm outta here."

I am not saying that spending more cash would have solved this, but I am saying that when school districts use short term retirement buyouts and hostile working conditions to purge higher salaried teachers and replace them with lower salaried, less expensive teachers - you lose something.

You lose that old-head in the department that has his or her eye on the bigger picture.

A good teacher can sniff out stupidity; sometimes before it happens. When the old-head gets the scent, the experience kicks in and behind closed doors the conversation takes place with the inexperienced teacher. The conversation that says,

What the *(#$@$ are you doing?
Stop it - These are High School kids.
You are their teacher.
You know what is at stake and what you have to lose.

I am not saying that such a conversation will stop all stupid teacher activity, but it does give the inexperienced teacher a moment to pause and realize there is a visible issue here. He has been professionally warned and can correct his behavior BEFORE something stupid happens.

If there is still an odor in the air, the old-head knows what needs to be done and how to do it.

You can't stop the stench if you retire all the teachers with good noses for the sake of a fistful of dollars.

Too bad my local school board knew the price of everything and the value of ...

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Kyle Allebach August 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM
McCollough was a pretty cool guy, from what I heard--and I'm not trying to defend what he did. It was an inapproate relationship with a student. But, really, those two tried to get freaky because the teachers weren't under contract and cost cutting? Why not just say the Keebler elves told them to do it? It's slightly more realistic.
Joe The Nerd Ferraro August 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Kyle - I am saying that people's attention was diverted because of the strike. The teachers did a good job while working without a contract, but there was so much animosity created that during this period the teachers cut back what they were doing. Can you remember how many good experienced teachers left during this time period, only to be replaced by less experienced teachers at a lower rate? I am saying the institution put itself at risk by removing good people or creating an environment that made them want to walk. If better eyes were working for the district - this may have been prevented. There are a lot of people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I would see this at the school board meetings all the time. Well, they won. Fabulous. This what their victory looks like.
Kyle Allebach August 21, 2012 at 05:59 PM
1) As I recall, there was no strike. There was a threat to strike, and they signed the contract tender two minutes to midnight, so to speak. 2) "Can you remember how many good experienced teachers left during this time period, only to be replaced by less experienced teachers at a lower rate?" No I can't. There were very few, if any at all, teachers that left during that time period. There were probably special ed. teachers that left, but MSD has a history of making that position(s) a revolving door. I actually had a teacher who left to become a principal at a different school a good year after the "strike". 3) So you're telling me that everybody was so distracted with the contract crap that no one - not a single soul - could take the time to notice that McCollough was having an inappropriate relationship with a student? Okay, because it wasn't like both parties were keeping it a secret, which usually means that no one else is going to find out. Hence the word 'secret'. You are completely right on that "if better eyes work[ed] for the district - this may have been prevented", but that pertains in any time frame, not just the one you presented. Hell, even if "better eyes" were around when this happened, there is a good chance that they wouldn't know, either!
Joe The Nerd Ferraro August 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM
they worked without a contract for just under 2 years. they cut back a lot of programs - or do you forget the film festival that was curtailed? there was an incredible amount of animus generated by the school board towards the teachers - or do you choose not to remember that? I am glad you see my point that "You are completely right on that "if better eyes work[ed] for the district - this may have been prevented".
Nancy K August 24, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Stop blaming everyone else...the teacher has a responsibility to act appropriately with ALL his students....that is part of his job. Even if the girl came on to him..he should have said NO. It was his responsibility and job. That's it!


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