|Posted on September 20, 2010 at 4:15 PM|
Ladies and gentleman of the board it has been a long summer of facebook and blogging. Thanks to social networking and the transparency of this board citizens are more informed than ever. There is no better example of democracy in action then to see fair debate on our most pressing community issues. There is hope for this great experiment we call democracy if more people get involved whether on facebook or by standing in front our elected officials with a viewpoint and a fair position. First and foremost this past week I was able to see my eldest daughter enter Peal Buck as a Kindergartener and to say that my wife and was choked up about the event is an understatement. I am now officially a proud Neshaminy School father and I am excited for my daughter’s future at this great school district.
I would like to address two important topics that I believe the community deeply cares about. The first topic I want to address is the WTC and the second is a reasonable suggestion that we can rally behind to try and solve our current family squabble. The profession of teaching is one of the most noble and honorable jobs a person can strive to be. The impact on people lives including myself is immeasurable. To a certain extent some teachers, not all, made me the person I am today. They impacted my life, taught me history, taught me the secrets of science, exercised my young mind and most of all provided me with a person to whom I could turn to when I needed help or advice. You see I was impaired in my early education with a visual perception problem and during the early 70’s most educators were not aware of this challenge and how to resolve it. Students during these times were placed in special schools due to behavior related issues resulting from the impairment. My mother along with a few brave teachers in their early careers fond the help I needed and quickly developed a plan of action that over a couple of years enabled me to catch up with my class in reading and math. The extra time after class and the dedication of these teachers enabled me to move on and graduate from college. I owe much of what I am today to those teachers oh and my mom as well. I bring up this important story because I fundamentally believe that the job of a teacher is a profession that cannot be controlled by a contract and that wtc is an affront to the very profession that you decided to enter. When you made the decision to become a teacher you realized a couple of key things. 1. You were not going into the job for the pay. 2. The reward is the students and the impact you have on their lives forever and 3. If you are a hard working creative teacher that strives to be the best you can be then the service you are doing to society and the general wellbeing is unmatched. WTC is an affront to that and it is not an acceptable professional practice. It is morally and ethically wrong and I call on the members of the NFT to tell your leadership that it is not the proper thing to do at this time. Don’t bring this negotiation into the classroom. Look at those innocent kids that you have in your hands for the upcoming year and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing by not doing above and beyond the call of duty inside and outside the classroom. Ask yourself if this is why you got into teaching in the first place.
For those teachers that have been working to the contract prior to this action it is time for you to step up and realize the importance of your profession and its impact to society. Do not take the job you due lightly because we the parents in the community sure don’t. WE need you to share with our kids your knowledge and experience so that they can become active members of the community and one day possibly go to the white house or better yet become a teacher like you. Leave this WTC action at the door of your school and get back to the job of teaching and educating and doing all that you do that make Neshaminy a great school district. Please do not allow a union to cause unnecessary friction between yourself and parents we need to work together to educate our kids and this militant union tactic does not serve your profession well and for it to possibly impact the life of one child is an abomination.
Second. I have been calling for an open and public debate on the issues of the teacher contract for a long time. Why does the union believe that having these negotiations in private without the community’s involvement is a good thing? For year’s teachers unions have cut backroom deals with intimidated school boards while the tax paying community was left in the dark until after the agreement had been made. How do you think the current contract was done? It has served the Teachers Union well in this state over the years and rich contracts have been the result. This is a new day and with technological advances in communications the community and the tax paying citizens of this school. District are here and we are involved and we are listening and reading will not let this board cut a back room deal that does not allow us to invest in education beyond labor cost. It has enabled this board to properly provide the community with all the information around this negotiation from their perspective. That is all we have as parents and taxpayers, the board’s perspective because the union does not want to publically have a dialog with the people that pay their pay. Why??? Why can’t the NFT come to the taxpayers and provide us with an open and frank view of why you and your members believe the way you do. We are ready to hear your side at any point at any location on any web site. This community calls upon the NFT to come to the public in any manner they seek and provide us with a good and reasonable viewpoint as to the terms of the agreement. We want to know the NFT’s position on Healthcare and the reasons behind it? It cannot be that this is what we have and that is how it has always been therefore we want it again? That argument does not hold water in these times. Provide us with your viewpoints on the other key components of the agreement and provide us with a summary of the Union’s position and let’s have a fair and honest debate. I have an open mind and I am sure most if not all of the parents who entrust their children’s lives to you for the year would also. I want to know where you stand beyond healthcare and I want to have that debate in the open and without personal slander. To date the board has published everything they have and know about this family debate and now it is time for you to come into to the house and sit down and explain your positions. Without it we, the community, are left with only one side of the discussion and that is the side that most people know and without debate will side on.
In conclusion I am and I hope that I can speak for a lot of parents, taxpayers and kids, Stop WTC now come to the community with your positions and let’s get this contract settled so we can move on to more important issues.