Does your school have a policy on nepotism?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by LynnB, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. LynnB

    LynnB Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2009

    Some of you I have had discussions with may remember my rantings on teacher favoritism in school districts--also some comments on principals/admins pulling strings for relatives causing some teachers to get unfair deals.

    I recently read a handbook that a friend showed me where her new school has started a policy against nepotism (favoritism to relatives). The policy is so strict that if you are an employee of the school and marry another employee of the school, one of you will have to give up his/her job and take a job elsewhere. The handbook states that if you take a job in the school without relaying any close relationship to another person in the employment of the school, you would get fired. It also states that in rare cases, the BOARD might rescind this rule.

    Does your school have any policies relating to these issues, and what do you think about them?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    No, and though I think having a policy might be a good thing, I think your friend's policy is going too far with it. If you're already in the district, then you didn't use nepotism to get the job so then both of the teachers should get to stay. The trouble with having a policy like this is some admin could easily say the person was the most qualified, and not take into consideration the connection.
     
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Wow. That seems awfully harsh. If both people are already working for the school and then get married, I don't exactly see how nepotism is involved. That sounds more like it is getting into non-fraternization territory (and none of their business).
     
  5. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Jun 18, 2009

    No, I work in the same school as my sister. We don't have any issues of favoritism at my school.
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I know it's frustrating to hear a relative of someone in the district got the job, but I don't think that it should be outlawed. My mother was my first principal, and I worked my BUTT off for that interview. I was hired by an independent panel, and I was one of the hardest working teachers in that school for the two years I was there. Sometimes when your parent is a teacher, you see great practices modeled and you truly are the best person for the job. I don't know who my competition was, but I know I was MADE to teach that fifth grade class. It just happened that my mom was also the principal.

    Also, she mentored me 24/7. I lived at home at the time, and we literally spent the ride in, all day, the ride home, and all night talking education. I was constantly evaluated. She told me when I needed to improve, and I could ask her advice on my students without worrying about confidentiality. It made me a stronger teacher, and she's still my mentor and best friend.
     
  7. LynnB

    LynnB Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2009

    In my district, there is a big issue with favoritism and repaying favors by hiring someone's relative. In my school alone, THREE of our new teachers replaced his/her own parent who retired. I am not saying they are bad teachers. It has been bad for morale b/c most of us are not in the clique of relatives and their friends who get the favors.

    The school that has included the nepotism rule is about 200 miles from where I live but in the same state. I'm going to do a little more research to see if other schools in my state are implementing these types of rules. It could be an indication that this kind of crap is getting out of control. I think my friend's school rules are extreme, too, but considering my own situation, maybe some rules on the matter might be necessary.
     
  8. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jun 18, 2009

    We don't have any such rules, and while I do think the one noted above is abit... over the top, I think working against it would be a good idea. In my building, with a faculty of about 50-60 teachers, we have 6 husband/wife combinations... most of which did not meet while working already. Our principal came in, and his wife was hired shortly after. Our assistant principal is the husband of the elementary school principal.

    All that said, I got my job without any connections at all. So it obviously doesn't dominate my school, but it clearly exists.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I agree that morale can get low. I know of a school district not far from me where the principal hired his daughter for a position and a mother/daughter. The daughter teaches 4-6 English and mom teaches 7-12 English. Its a very small school!
     
  10. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My high school creative writing teacher was the daughter of my high school english teacher. They were both fantastic. I guess I never realized this was really an issue. Connections are used everywhere, in every business. My husband's office hires husbands and wives-it isn't the worst thing to have couples working at the same office-they can work longer hours and attend functions together. They understand the work culture. I don't understand how having a wife/husband/child of a co-worker hired would lower your moral and make you not like the work conditions. You already have a job there, so what's the issue? (this is an honest question, not sarcasm)
     
  11. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I think it lowers the hopes of those applying for jobs in that school... not necessarily the morale of this already working? That's how I view it anyway......
     
  12. LynnB

    LynnB Rookie

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    I think the nepotism rules are extreme, too, and I don't have a problem with relatives working in the same school. But SOMETIMES it can get out of hand like it has at our school. We have a major clique at our school stemming from the relative issue (and I know cliques are everywhere).

    A new teacher at our school has quickly risen to high ranks while a teacher who has been at our school for 12 years is being--abused--the only word that accurately describes the situation. The problem came to a head when the new (very young) teacher started rudely telling the experienced teacher to change her teaching style and techniques because students didn't like it (I think the new teacher was trying to make brownie points with the students). Some of us who witnessed the event were horrified that anyone could have been so blatantly rude to one of our most respected teachers. If the new teacher had been a student, she would have been reprimanded. But she is a relative of an admin, so she gets away with whatever she wants to do. The rest of us tiptoe around school hoping not to be the next victim. Nepotism is at play here!
     
  13. ILoveMyCello

    ILoveMyCello Companion

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    Jun 19, 2009

    It is much less work for the school district to hire a relative. The relative is already very familiar with the school's policies, and sometimes the staff. The relative also knows the most about the position from the family member already working. In the district I subbed in this year, there were many family combinations. The assistant superintendent used to joke with me and ask me if I convinced my mom to retire so I could have her school!!
     
  14. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Living in a county (Cuyahoga in Ohio) that is FILLED with corruption, that is the only way I know how to get a job. LOL! JK!

    I think that is a good rule; not about if you marry another teacher tho. You can't really help who you fall in love with.
     
  15. Earth2me

    Earth2me Rookie

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    I can see where nepotism can be harmful. However, I'm not really sure how helpful the rules would be. For example, somebody already mentioned that some of their administrators repay favors by hiring somebody else's relative. Or in some cases, you might be helping out a neighbor's kid. I just think there would be lots of loopholes that would not stop the harmful nepotism, but may discourage an honestly fantastic teacher from getting a job.
     
  16. JennM

    JennM Rookie

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    I can see both pro's and con's of enforcing an anti-nepotism policy. For one, I have friends who have been struggling for over a year to secure teaching positions. Since we come from small NJ towns, word gets around and they eventually realized that their chances at interviews have been compromised by other, often less experienced, relatives of the school immediately getting those jobs. Many times, if a school already knows that it is going to hire from the "inside", the principal will still interview people to fulfill policy that a certain number of people need to be interviewed. I have even heard of certain administrators telling the candidates that they do not have a shot at the job and are being interviewed solely for the purpose! Of course, I do realize everyone's point that a teacher may be a great one, regardless of whether or not he or she is a result, either directly or indirectly, of nepotism. The same goes for colleges that admit students of a specific nationality or companies that hire men over women for management positions. They can still be great students and employees, regardless of those traits they exhibit.
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    My current school's nepotism policy is - use it! They regularly hire people on recommendation of other teachers, family members, friends, etc. I think as long as people are giving honest recommendations, which they usually do, then morale is actually being boosted because it shows they are respecting our opinion.

    We also have a few married couples at our school and we are glad to have them. In fact, we have 2 English teachers that needed to work in the same building because she has some health issues, so her husband is just on the other side of the building if she needs him. They were hired as a team.
     
  18. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Same with my former high school school silverspoon.

    At my former high school, we had probably about 5 couples in the school. There must be something in the water.

    One specific couple was my former high school history teacher. She married another history teacher. Her husband decided to pursue law school. So, since he's going part time to law school and they have 2 young children, he works in the a.m. and she stays home w the kids; in the afternoon, she teaches and he goes home to watch the kids, do the work, etc.. I was surprised the school district let them work it out like that.
     
  19. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2009

    In our tiny district, the hs principal was hired to be the super and quickly hired his wife (who had been fired from another school) to replace him as hs principal. It was a bad few years.
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    In a town as small as ours, it's almost imposssible for there not to be some kind of connection somewhere along the line.

    Spouses cannot be a direct supervisor of the other spouse.
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My father taught at my alma mater for most of my life while my mom was the top substitute there. She interviewed for full-time jobs for years but was never hired, most likely because my dad was the union president and later membership chair. FINALLY, well after I graduated and my father stepped down from his union duties, my mother was hired as an English teacher. Within her first year, scores of her students started to soar. Soon after, a local rabble rouser tried to sue the school for encouraging nepotism, citing my mother as an example. The lawsuit was dropped quickly when my parents threatened to countersue personally. Considering the documentation of how many times Mom was overlooked, they would have taken said rabble rouser to the bank!
     
  22. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nope. My son teaches in my department. I had nothing to do with his hiring, however. I didn't even know he applied.
     

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