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Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 7, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Special education in schools

A lesson on speaking out

My daughter is a provisional special-education teacher of autistic children at a local public elementary school [“State instructs Seattle schools to fix problems in its special ed,” page one, June 2].

She was advised that the school district was not going to renew her contract. The school did not give her a reason why. I guess the rules say it doesn’t have to. She was told she could resign and the school would give her a good recommendation.

Believing that she was an excellent teacher, an advocate for her students, well-respected by her peers, and not understanding why she was let go, she asked to see her personnel file. It was very positive, and she had been commended. She asked for a meeting with the superintendent to understand why she was being let go. They had the meeting and the superintendent was to rule within ten days.

Then her principal conducted her annual review and cited issues not previously discussed and very deleterious. They brought into question her professionalism, ability to obey the law and care of her students. Their words are very negative and not based on fact. Since then, the superintendent has agreed with his staff’s determination.

What makes this case unusual is that my daughter asked why. There are seven other provisional special-education teachers in the same school district who are taking the offer to resign with a recommendation. They are being good, being quiet.

Here is the lesson: My daughter and 9-year-old grandson are in the car coming home from school. He knows what is going on. He knows what his fellow students and his teachers think of his mother. He knows what these allegations are. He says, “Mom, I guess you should have just been quiet.”

Now that’s a school district that can teach everybody a little something. Ethics anyone? Does anybody care?

Gerry Pelland, Snohomish

Comments | More in Education, Education reform | Topics: education, Seattle Public Schools, special education

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