Community Involvement Needed To Save Teachers' Jobs

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Editor:

I attended my first school board meeting Sept. 28. The special meeting was called for a first reading of policy revisions as they pertained to the frivolity of staff grievances. If something is frivolous, it is defined as silly, unworthy of serious attention.

As I understood our superintendent's comments, if a teacher in the Payson Unified School District has a grievance, and files all of the proper paperwork, and another teacher has the same grievance, and presumably at the same time, that second teacher uses the same text as the first teacher. Mr. Weissenfels wishes to use his power to name the second grievance frivolous and sanction or fire the second teacher.

When I write my congressman, I often cut and paste the text of a letter written. I've never written to thank my congressman, I've written in protest of an issue. Sounds suspiciously like the definition of a grievance: a just complaint.

I was disappointed that copies of the policy and proposed revisions were not available.

I was disappointed that more parents were not there in support of the people with whom our children spend a quarter of their days. I noticed that our school board was the sourest group of officials I've ever seen.

While I imagine that the position they were elected to is a tough one, this group did not appear to take any joy in their chosen duties.

In an effort to educate myself on the policies and procedures of PUSD, I went to the state board's website www.azsba.org. While I read and printed a great deal of information, I wondered why there was a separate secure login for school board members. Do the members read something different than the public does?

I read (the school district's staff grievance policy). I'm a parent, not an attorney, but I can't see any reason for changing the policy.

In fact, if two or more teachers have the same grievance and they take their precious time to file that grievance, that tells me there is a serious problem that needs to be listened to, thought about and responded to.

Community opinions will get heard when the board meets in November. In the meantime, we can write to our PUSD board members.

I encourage you to do so before our teachers' right to voice their grievances and opinions get listed under (the district's prohibited personnel practices).

Carol LaValley, Payson

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