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Thread: Dismissed?

  1. #1
    ccphilly102 is offline Junior Member
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    Dismissed?

    I live in PA. I am a teacher and have been a tenured teacher for over 10 years, with 20+ years of total teaching time in.
    My question/situation is this,
    A few weeks ago, I was talking to coworkers figuring out a lesson plan with them for the up coming semester, we were all talking and we are all very close, let me add.
    When we finally finished everyone was happy with the results and we got into more casual chatter. During that conversation I used extremely poor judgement and used a racial slur while expressing my concern over a student who is just out-right lazy, doesnt want to be in school, doesn't try to help himself and is basically going through the motions on a daily basis, when he does show up, but thats beside the point.
    One of my friends/coworkers reported this incident and said she was uncomfortable"" with this comment.
    In turn my employment was terminated and I am stunned.
    I agree, I was in the wrong, I used poor judgement, and I have never said anything like this, my record is spotless, I have done nothing but good and have bent over backwards for all of my students, as I am in special education at a local high school. I have taken the time on numerous occasions to stay late to help them, given extra credit as a way to not fail, and to not graduate, I have been friendly on personal levels in communication with parents, again, spotless record. All of my other coworkers are in shock over this, knowing the type of person I am, its just unlike me.
    Again, horrible judement was used, but does this constitute dismissal?
    Is there a first amendment right that covers me in a conversation with a coworker in this case?
    I just cant believe 20+ years of doing everything I can, and fairly treating every one of my students, 6+ years of schooling (masters +20 credits), and one word can take my career and hard work down?

    I cant express how awful I feel and how I regret my poor judgement, but am simply trying to see if there was any other course the school district should have taken.
    Last edited by ccphilly102; 03-27-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: mis-spell
  2. #2
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    As a teacher, you are likely subject to a collective bargaining agreement. You need to consult your Business Agent ASAP. File a grievance regarding your termination. It is possible your BA can get you reinstated even if you did violate the CBA.
  3. #3
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Again, horrible judement was used, but does this constitute dismissal? Since you were dismissed, yes.

    Is there a first amendment right that covers me in a conversation with a coworker in this case? Freedom of speech means you can criticize the government. It doesn't mean you may use a racial slur when speaking of a student without any repercussions from your employer.

    I just cant believe 20+ years of doing everything I can, and fairly treating every one of my students, 6+ years of schooling (masters +20 credits), and one word can take my career and hard work down? I'm afraid it can.

    What recourse the school district takes is entirely up to them. No laws prevent them from terminating you over this lapse in judgement. If there is any appeal process with the school district, you may want to pursue that but nothing illegal occurred when they terminated your employment.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  4. #4
    startedone is offline Member
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    I guess that you confessed to saying a racial slur & "told your story" to your administration. Not a smart move as you see the result.

    5 years ago you likely would have been OK, maybe a verbal reprimand but districts are now under pressure to lower costs. This is due to unions and city/village employees being happy to give out generous benefit packages that cost big bucks to the taxpayer. Since Wisc. headbutted with the unions people have been paying more attention to public unions and the contracts entered into.

    So now, they look for almost any allowable reason to terminate and as a tenured, 10 yr employee, you are a prime target.

    As a taxpayer I can't complain -- I don't have a union -- where the rules are printed on paper, I can be fired for wearing a white shirt on Tuesday or any other insane reason.

    You should not have an issue finding a new job; previous teachers employers always give out rave reviews of ex-employees. Its one big happy taxpayer cash machine.
  5. #5
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    File for unemployment immediately if you have not already done so.
  6. #6
    ccphilly102 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by startedone View Post
    I guess that you confessed to saying a racial slur & "told your story" to your administration. Not a smart move as you see the result.

    5 years ago you likely would have been OK, maybe a verbal reprimand but districts are now under pressure to lower costs. This is due to unions and city/village employees being happy to give out generous benefit packages that cost big bucks to the taxpayer. Since Wisc. headbutted with the unions people have been paying more attention to public unions and the contracts entered into.

    So now, they look for almost any allowable reason to terminate and as a tenured, 10 yr employee, you are a prime target.

    As a taxpayer I can't complain -- I don't have a union -- where the rules are printed on paper, I can be fired for wearing a white shirt on Tuesday or any other insane reason.

    You should not have an issue finding a new job; previous teachers employers always give out rave reviews of ex-employees. Its one big happy taxpayer cash machine.

    No, no admission of anything yet, it just happened. Its hard to believe that when I sit in classrooms and observe or assist, that the teaching methods of others as to where they can call Iraqi's, lybians etc.. any name they want to as an example, thats acceptable?
    But do appreciate all of the input, lesson learned! I was more curious to know if a "talk" among friends can be a reason for dismissal.
    Thanks all for the help.
  7. #7
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    I was more curious to know if a "talk" among friends can be a reason for dismissal. Yes, plus they weren't just friends, they were your work collegues.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  8. #8
    startedone is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth3 View Post
    I was more curious to know if a "talk" among friends can be a reason for dismissal. Yes, plus they weren't just friends, they were your work collegues.
    You bet. Oh, I am offended ... what a piece of art that person is. They probably feel all high and mighty too.
  9. #9
    csi7 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, a co-worker can report this, however, when the next rounds of reduction come about, the co-worker's name will probably be on the list.

    No, you can not take back what you already spoke about.

    Apply for unemployment.
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by startedone View Post
    You bet. Oh, I am offended ... what a piece of art that person is. They probably feel all high and mighty too.
    Or, perhaps, they were genuinely offended...
  11. #11
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by startedone View Post
    I guess that you confessed to saying a racial slur & "told your story" to your administration. Not a smart move as you see the result.

    5 years ago you likely would have been OK, maybe a verbal reprimand but districts are now under pressure to lower costs. This is due to unions and city/village employees being happy to give out generous benefit packages that cost big bucks to the taxpayer. Since Wisc. headbutted with the unions people have been paying more attention to public unions and the contracts entered into.

    So now, they look for almost any allowable reason to terminate and as a tenured, 10 yr employee, you are a prime target.

    As a taxpayer I can't complain -- I don't have a union -- where the rules are printed on paper, I can be fired for wearing a white shirt on Tuesday or any other insane reason.

    You should not have an issue finding a new job; previous teachers employers always give out rave reviews of ex-employees. Its one big happy taxpayer cash machine.
    This is.... drivel.
  12. #12
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccphilly102 View Post
    No, no admission of anything yet, it just happened. Its hard to believe that when I sit in classrooms and observe or assist, that the teaching methods of others as to where they can call Iraqi's, lybians etc.. any name they want to as an example, thats acceptable?
    But do appreciate all of the input, lesson learned! I was more curious to know if a "talk" among friends can be a reason for dismissal.
    Thanks all for the help.
    Feel free to report your co-teachers' inappropriate comments.


    Um, what's a 'lybian'?
  13. #13
    startedone is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mTheFather View Post


    Um, what's a 'lybian'?
    A person from Lybia?
  14. #14
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Any recourse would be through your union. But this is pretty disgusting behavior and could be seen as egregious enough to warrant immediate termination. Which means you could end up being denied unemployment as well (but of course file anyway).

    Never mistake co-workers for friends, especially when you are actually AT your job.
  15. #15
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by startedone View Post
    A person from Lybia?
    Not surprising.

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