Our recent article Wanted – (Another) New Principal At SMHS has certainly generated a lot of interest and response.
Some of the allegations that have been made are so severe that I have debated whether or not they should have been published.
On one hand they are all anonymous, which gives serious concern regarding their legitimacy.
On the other hand, there has been no denial of these allegations forthcoming.
I have decided to publish them because, if they are true, then it seems that there is a serious problem (indeed a plethora of problems) that needs to be aired.
Nevertheless, I am concerned that not one person has come forward to put their name to these grievances as Jonathan Jacobson did in the past.
I understand that there is a very real concern that speaking out about the kind of abuses that are being claimed could result in punitive action. In this economy having a job is akin to a character in the movie Gravity having access to oxygen.
On the other hand, there is the Southbridge Education Association, the teachers’ union.
Theoretically members of the union pay dues in order to have their interests represented without the fear of individual retribution.
If the problems being reported are so widespread and so threatening, why hasn’t the union spoken out publicly?
One theory is that the union leadership is reluctant to speak out for fear of jeopardizing ongoing litigation.
Well, there are plenty of ways of addressing a generic problem without jeopardizing specifics.
Another theory is that the leadership is so swamped by the volume of complaints, cases and litigation that it simply doesn’t have the time to engage in a public campaign.
To that I say that there are regional, state and national organizations readily available to provide assistance if this is the case.
A final theory I have heard is that the union is invested in the current school committee leadership. The union, so this theory goes, provided support in their election campaign for which the union received a sweetheart deal in recent negotiations. Speaking out now would jeopardize that contract.
If there is any truth to this theory then it presents a real dilemma to the aggrieved.
Essentially they have been thrown under the bus with the realization that, once the “undesirables” are gone, the union can take credit with the “survivors” for the contractual gains. In the process their support of the current school committee leadership is validated,
That last theory is a win-win for the union, the school committee and the administration. The only losers are the “undesirables” and, potentially, the students and the taxpayers.
I fully realize the need in a democratic society for a voice for the abused.
At present there does not appear to be any other such outlet for them than this blog.
However, I will not blindly believe anonymous complaints and allegations without some authentication or action on the part of those who claim to be exploited. I will question you and ask for some kind of verification. To do less would be irresponsible.
If you want results then somebody who has a dog in this fight has to come forward and carry the banner.
They say that God helps those who help themselves.
If you expect any more than that from me then you’ve severely misjudged the size of my ego.