My sister called me last night. She works as a teacher here in Central Florida. She was contacted earlier in the week by her Principal because the mother of one of her students contacted the Superintendent’s office to complain that her son was being “targeted” by his teacher, as evidenced by his poor grades and discipline problems. The district office is sending an administrator to my sister’s school, so that they can meet with my sister, her Principal, and the parent to discuss the problem.
The problem? The kid is being suspended for calling another kid a “nigger” while they were at lunch. My sister isn’t the one who wrote the referral, the Principal is. My sister, as the teacher, was required to email the parent, as per district policy. The mother was very angry and claimed that her child “doesn’t even know that word.” She then demanded that my sister call her so they could discuss it. My sister wisely refused, and wants everything dealt with in writing. So that is why the parent has complained.
As soon as I heard “targeted” I knew without being told that this was a black student who was going to throw down the race card. I told her that, since this was a discipline meeting, she was entitled to have her union representative there as a matter of Federal law. I don’t really like a lot of what the union does, but in this case, it’s important to remember that there will be two administrators and a parent there. You will be alone, and need a witness there that will be somewhat impartial.
When I told her that, my sister replied, “Oh, no. The principal told me that this wasn’t a meeting where I would be disciplined. It’s just an informal meeting.” No. There is no such thing as an informal meeting when there are multiple administrators in a room with a parent making racism accusations against you. You are white, and that means you are guilty. If either of those administrators can avoid trouble by tossing you in front of that bus, they will do it without a second thought. That’s when my sister said, “Oh my principal is black. She told me that she knows I am not a racist.”
Oh shit. It was at that point that I began to wonder whether or not my sister should bring not just a union rep, but a lawyer. If this woman wants to claim that racism is why her child is failing and getting in trouble, the only white person in the room is going to be the target.
Racism is a serious charge for a teacher. Not only will it cost you your job, it can cost you your teaching license. There goes your career, and my sister doesn’t have the looks for only fans.
I’ve seen this show before. I know how it turns out. You can win, but you need lawyers, representation, witnesses, and money. I got in that fight back in 2016, and I wound up quitting and going to a different school. The old school then tried to have my professional licenses revoked. They failed and I won, but it cost me nearly $10,000 in legal fees and I wound up switching jobs.
I don’t think that my sister has that kind of money.
So when the meeting happens this week, she will have a union representative there. At least she took my advice. She usually asks for my advice, then goes in a different direction. Then she comes to me and wants advice on the situation that she got into because she didn’t follow my original advice. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Craig · April 8, 2023 at 9:04 am
If you are a union member you should know and understand your Weingarten Rights.
EN2 SS · April 8, 2023 at 9:16 am
IMHO, your sister needs use the interim to research other occupations, the blacks will probably take her out, because that principal will NOT will not take the fall for what she started with the suspension.
Good luck, your sister is going to need it.
JL · April 8, 2023 at 9:27 am
Smart move, telling your sister to bring in a union rep. Hopefully, her union isn’t like some of the public sector unions I’ve dealt with in my experience, where they ‘re just as duplicitous, cowardly, and slimy as management/administrators.
Greasy as they are, I wouldn’t go to a company BBQ without a union rep if I knew any of the above people were going to be present. Hopefully, this doesn’t go pear shaped and has her having to lawyer up.
Big Ruckus D · April 8, 2023 at 10:31 am
That scenario doesn’t sound good at all. I realize this is a non-solution, because she chose teaching as a career, presumably some years ago. But these types of traps (besides all the potentially dangerous discipline problems present there) are why it no longer makes sense to take a job teaching in a government school. The personal and professional risks are too great in a system that is rigged against ones interests, and is always looking to make burnt offerings on the altar of wokeness. Clearly this observation doesn’t aid your sister in the fight she is about to face, but it should be instructive for anyone not yet in the teaching career path who may be considering going that direction.
I have a relative who is a primary grade teacher. She has taught in private (Catholic) schools her entire career thus far, but was getting disillusioned with that. Went and got her masters degree and is now working as a specialist aiding students deficient in reading skills at a different Catholic school, which has been a much more satisfactory gig so far. The money isn’t really any better, but she no longer has her own classroom and the need for doing lesson plans. This means fewer non-paid hours out in and many fewer confrontations and awkward moments with parents of little shitheads.
I know a few recently retired public school teachers, a couple are quite candid in conversation about the fact they were relieved to get out when they did, and would never consider starting a career there now versus 30 or so years back when they did.
I guess my overarching point is that everyone has to do something for income, but chose your path very carefully in clown world. Quite a few formerly low-risk job choices are now minefields of ruination for sociopolitical reasons, making the juice not worth the squeeze. For those already trapped in such a career they can’t easily escape (for lack of other suitable options to replace the income) this is a real bitch. I hope she can make it through unscathed in the star chamber bullshit she is about to face.
J · April 8, 2023 at 12:48 pm
That’s awful to hear; the mere allegation is enough to tank a career anymore.
As part of his SJW book series Vox Day issued a survival guide that may be of interest. I thought it a good roadmap. Here’s the link: https://www.willpeavy.com/library/sjw-survival
Good luck to your sister in the upcoming witch trial.
Henry · April 8, 2023 at 1:12 pm
DM, please urge your sister to record the “informal meeting” for her own protection, especially if she has no indication one way or another about the integrity of her union rep. Plenty of adequate smartphone voice recording apps exist if she doesn’t have one of those olde skool recorders (e.g. Sony ICD-PX series). She may have to insist on her right to do so, but it could save her ass if things got ugly.
anonymous coward · April 8, 2023 at 2:05 pm
Someone’s very lucky you are her brother.
Elros · April 8, 2023 at 2:20 pm
I realize it’s pushing wet noodles uphill – I’ve dealt with people like your sister before – but she really, really needs 2 things: first, her own lawyer at that meeting because stuff like this can very, very quickly go beyond just “a reprimand” to “losing your job” to “full tar & feathering” and civil actions. And, after fully briefing her lwayer, she needs to let the lawyer do the talking – she’s in a potentially “no survivors” situation with the possibility of very expensive consequences. They’e looking for a scapegoat and if she does not understand she’s auditioning for the part, well…..
Second, once she survives this travesty, assuming she does survive it, she needs to stage her escape pronto; if she wants to stay in teaching, anything associated with “government schools” should be the absolute last thing she does – they’re not jjust toxic, they’re hazardous to everyone’s health, from students to teachers to low level admins.
If she’s any good, there are options – parent groups are starting to seek “pro help” to assist with home schooling, a friend makes decent, but not terrific, money tutoring individual students, there are other paths available outside the government edu-swamp.
Jen · April 8, 2023 at 4:25 pm
Wholeheartedly agree with Elros! This is a setup. And they make voice recorders that look like necklace pendants; we used to record nursing lectures that way. She needs a lawyer asap.
Big Ruckus D · April 8, 2023 at 8:18 pm
After stewing a bit further on this, I also have to concur with Elros and the need to record the meeting and have an attorney present. Even more than that, I think it very wise to plan an exit (hopefully a graceful one) from the position at that school. At least there is only about a month and a half of school year left, so start looking now.
The risk here of her being hung out to dry as the easy sacrifice (the principal and administrators will be looking for someone else’s ass to burn if things can’t be cooled off quickly) strikes me as too great, given the race angle. She has the misfortune here of being the “odd cracker out”. With the parent and principal both being black, the instinctive tribalism amongst them is almost certain to come into play.
If it does, things go bad quickly. Even if it doesn’t, if the parent is looking for blood, she’s likely to target your sister as the object of her derision. If she keeps making a stink, the administration will feel pressured to do something. That something (to pacify the accuser and get her to go away) will almost certainly be targeting your sister with the big sellout.
This whole deal is a shit sandwich served cold. But foresight is a wonderful thing. You already foresaw a problem here, for which your sister is quite lucky, and for which your are to be commended. But I think the proactive measures need to be even stronger than you recommended, considering the exact nature of the incident and the various players involved.
Elrod · April 9, 2023 at 7:51 am
That should have been ‘Elrod” not “Elros.”
Fat-fingered it, along with some other typos. Stupid Band-Aid.
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