Advice needed

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by OC Teacher, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. OC Teacher

    OC Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2006

    I am a first grade tecaher in southern California and I have a very challenging class this year. There are 3 boys who are extreme behavior problems, and 1 was diagnosed with ADHD. I have received two parent complaints so far. Neither parents came to talk to me first. They went straight to the principal. The nature of the complaint is that their child doesn't like to come to school because they said that I yell at them and I had hit oone of them on the hand with a dry erase marker and the other with her name card. Both parents said that their daughters never had behavior problems in Kindergarten and liked school. Well, I looked at their CUM file and talked to last year's teacher, and saw a history of behavior problems, all documents w/ U's and N's and negative comments on the reportcards. Furthermore, the parent had made the same complaint last year to the principal. I am innocent of these alegations, but nevertheless, I was given a reprimand by my principal which will be placed in my personnel file. She did not do an investigation nor interview my two eyeswitnesses. I have a parent volunteer and a teacher's aide who are present in my classroom everyday. I went to the union because I felt that I was not given any due process, and the union's advice was to "toughen up"!!! I thought I should file a grievance, but the union advised me not to. Yesterday, my principal called me via phone, and said that she received another parent complaint about me. When I asked her who made the complaint, she said she couldn't tell me. Isn't that ridiculous? Well, once again I asked for the union's help by providing me with a representative to accompany me to the meeting and the president said she was busy and so did the grievance rep. I am so appalled that I won't be receiving any representation which I am entitled to and pay for in my dues. I am extremely nervous about this disciplinary meeting. Has anyone ever experienced this or beeen issued a reprimand? Any advice will be appreciated!!!
     
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  3. OC Teacher

    OC Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    Can anyone offer any advice? Has anyone been accused of somthing they have not done?
     
  4. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    Oct 21, 2006

    You must demand that your union rep be present and that they be there. They must, that is what unions are for, at least here. I would get back on the phone and do not take no for an answer.
     
  5. Bookworm

    Bookworm Companion

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    Oct 21, 2006

    I would suggest demanding you have a union rep. and do not meet with the principal by yourself. Re-schedule the meeting until the union can meet with you or take another teacher with you as a witness. Don't go alone! Document! Document! Document! Just another thought. If you can't find a rep. record the conversation with your principal. (be sure to tell him/her that you are recording)
     
  6. OC Teacher

    OC Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    I met with an attorney. He said the following can happen next week:

    1. Principal can issue another reprimand. This is the lowest form of discipline. She can force me to join PAR (Peer Assistance Review).

    2. I am issued a "notice of unprofessional conduct" . This is the first step in attempts to getting a teacher dismissed.

    3. I could be asked to go on a leave while the district performs an investigation.

    4. I can get fired!!!

    I am thinking of resigning! I am so upset, and can't believe that a teacher can be disciplined and possibly fired over parent complaints that were never proven to be true. While I have eyewitnesses to counter the parents' stories.

    The other option is to go on medical leave. My blood pressure is sky-rocketing!!!

    Please do share your advice, knowledge, and personal experiences.
     
  7. mreser

    mreser Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    I wish I could give you advice, but I can't. I just wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you and I hope things work out for you. Dont give up! I personally would work somewhere else anyway, but don't let it keep you from teaching, if that is what you love to do. I'll be thinking of you.
     
  8. tward

    tward Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    Is there a school level union rep who could accompany you to the meeting. I know in our district we are always allowed (and encouraged) to have the union rep with us at such meetings. We have a designated union rep in each school.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 21, 2006

    Do not do anything without a union rep. this almost sounds like a conspiracy against you. I hope it all works out for the best. A resignation might be the best thing for your health.
     
  10. Celestial

    Celestial Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    Have you had a good relationship with your principal before? Is she not a supportive administrator? I agree with MissFrizzle... this sounds a bit fishy. I definitely think you need to postpone that meeting until you have someone on your side with you. On the other hand, could you afford to resign? If you can, you might want to for your health and the fact that work probably won't be fun for you anymore. If not, then try to appease the situation as amicably as possible. Above all, good luck. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.
     
  11. Jenny G

    Jenny G Companion

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    Oct 21, 2006

    Do you have a union rep on site? There should be one. I am one of 3 reps on my site. I have been asked to sit in on a few meetings with teachers and the principal. Do not go to the meeting without representation. Until Arnie gets his way, there still is due process in California schools and you do have rights.

    This does sound like a rather extreme reaction to a first complaint. Is there another reason she could be causing so much trouble?
     
  12. OC Teacher

    OC Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    She is new this year, and I was not on the good side of the previous principal who still comes to our school site to hang w/ the new principal. I will have representation for the meeting on Monday. He is the executive director, and he knows that I am not satisfied w/ the union so far. He is also upset that I went to consult the union's attorney.

     
  13. OC Teacher

    OC Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2006

    We have two, but one is off-track. Off track means they are on their month long break becasue we are on a year-round schedule. The other rep told me she has never sat on in a meeting, and never attended the trainings before.

     

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