Monroe Education Association (MEA) union President Shaerie Bruton provided public comments at the last Monroe School Board meeting, stating teachers feel bullied, intimidated, threatened, and afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation.
The MEA President comments include: “Unfortunately, this year I feel like I have to report to the board that many of our teachers are living in fear. They’re feeling intimidated, and bullied, they feel threatened, they feel like they will be retaliated on, they feel like they will be targeted if they speak up. It’s just not a good atmosphere in Monroe right now and we’re not working together. It’s a very contentious relationship, hasn’t been good for a couple of years — but this is the worst it’s ever been. And I would say 20 to 23 years ago we had such great hope for this district, the people that have been here that long — such great hope, but we’re not feeling that now”.
Sadly, after hearing of the “contentious relationship” described by MEA President Bruton, not a single school director inquired into what appears to be a very hostile teaching environment. Instead, after letting Bruton’s comments resonate, directors at the end of the meeting admonished Bruton, stating her comments were inappropriate and disappointing. Superintendent Ken Hoover joined saying, “little bit of posturing going on there”.
Clearly a lack of respect for teachers is occurring at many levels in our school district. Many in our community have also been conditioned to not speak out due to the same fear of intimidation or retaliation from not just school officials and their most devoted followers, but also from some of our school directors. As a former director, and sometime minority member of the board, I can attest to receiving this same harassing treatment. As a school activist for over twenty years, I’m completely amazed at the heightened, and what seems to be acceptable, disrespectful treatment our leaders have displayed. Our school directors’ negative and disrespectful comments towards the MEA President clearly show a course on civility and respect is needed, so they might learn the tools to repair the relationship with teachers and the community and start leading the district by example.
Audio link to MEA President’s address to the board – http://youtu.be/aGhjyfE8tQU
Monroe School Director 2007-11