Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Try This Tactic

From: lee de cesare [mailto:tdecesar@taMPAbay.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 8:33 PM
To: storms.ronda.web@flsenate.gov
Cc: 'lee de cesare'
Subject: monkey biz

Senator Storms:

I have been rereading Thucydides and Herodotus about the Peloponnesian war. Sparta has always intrigued me. It had few citizens, never more than 7000, but it had a whole lot of helots--slaves who were the people of the towns that the Spartans had conquered. The Spartan oligarchy simply relocated these people to the farmlands that surrounded Sparta, whence these helots provided the economic basis for Sparta by growing all the food and doing all the dirty work of the society. The Spartan men by law could do nothing but be soldiers.

This situation reminds me of how the School Board and administration treat teachers in the Hillsborough County schools. The board and administration won't give the teachers a place on the board agenda to comment because they don't want to hear from them. They don't want to hear what the teachers think about Elia's imposing an extra class on them with no pay to balance her budget; they don't want to hear that it was unprofessional for Elia to make teachers practice grade inflation; they don't want to hear that Ms. Elia should not have bought a multi-million-dollar program that the teachers had to implement without consulting them. The board and administration want them to just be the field hands that provide the teaching of students, the product of which provides the ROSSAC dandies with state money that rolls into ROSSAC so that the board and administration can look like swells in the community, hire their buddies and kin in make-work jobs, and take trips at the taxpayers' expense to party nationwide. Susan Valdez spent $50,000 on travel for "board purposes" the first year she was on the board while the poor children of the county could not afford supplies to participate in class work.

I have observed the board by attending meetings for over two years and am appalled at the treatment both dish out to teachers. Recently a bullying bill HB 669 passed that says nobody in the schools either students or staff can be bullied; that the bullied person can report the situation to the schools' bullying apparatus and the bully will receive punishment.

The administration and board want only students covered by the bullying bill so they pretend teachers or staff is not covered by the bill. The board and administration don't want to give teachers a tool to protect themselves from the tricks the board and administration pull on them with the Professional Standards office. Under the tutelage of the superintendent and board the Professional Standards Office either blows up a trifle to charge teachers with unprofessional activity and threaten their jobs or makes up a charge whole cloth for the same purpose. That the teachers can be framed and punished for trifles or nothing at all by the board and administration keeps the teachers quiet for fear of losing their jobs. The bullying bill would put into the teachers' hands a weapon against such bullying.

The school attorney, Tom Gonzalez, was prompted by Board Member Candy Olson--yes, the same one whose husband just announced his being gay, divorcing her, and her having to sell her house in South Tampa to move into a condominium--to rule that the HB 669 bullying law did not include staff. He complied. and why not? He makes $275,000 in tax money a year for his rulings that cover anything the administration and board does that is marginally legal or even illegal.

This "ruling" has emboldened the board and administration to omit staff bullying as the bill requires because to do so would allow bullied teachers to have a way to challenge their ill treatment. This isn't finished. I am working now on the scanner: my last project. I got the printer to work at last. lee

No comments: