by John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Due Process protects good teachers from angry, abusive, insecure, incompetent, and vindictive administrators. There is a movement under foot to do away with due process for teachers. You will see more systematic cheating if this occurs. I suspect that the series about “Teacher Quality” by The Atlanta Journal Constitution is part of a cabal to set up the scene for eliminating due process rights for teachers in the Georgia General Assembly next year, the same rights that teachers have enjoyed since the early 1970s.
If a school system is thinking about terminating a teacher (and ruining his or her life forever), then there needs to be a rather stiff premium for doing this. There should be a hurdle in place. The truth of the matter is this: Most teachers resign before a hearing takes place. The move to do away with due process rights is just another Republican move to attempt to make public education like private enterprise. It is NOT private enterprise; it is PUBLIC education, and in PUBLIC education, the classroom educators have to attempt to educate each child sent to his or her classroom. Often times, this gargantuan undertaking has to occur within the direst of circumstances. Some children are intent on disrupting the class and causing all kinds disturbances for those children who are motivated to learn. Also, a significant number of the parents in PUBLIC education are the causes for the dysfunctionality of the children; they themselves are dysfunctional, irate, and irresponsible. On top of this, so many of the administrators these days prefer to inflict torment on the teachers instead of dealing with the structural deficiencies within the school setting and the lack of motivation of the children to learn.
To add insult to injury, a good number (I am not exaggerating) of the egotistical and abusive administrators seem to feel that their positions as administrators entitle them to have sex with whomever they want on their faculties. Shocking? Well, get over it. It happens. And, if a teacher rebuffs an administrator (and it is not always a male administrator), then her (or his) life will be a living hell from then on. Bad evaluations will ensue immediately and the mental torment and emotional toil will even be reflected in physical ailments (and sometimes premature deaths) for the innocent teachers.
And you think that I am concerned that this wicked attempt to fire an innocent teacher will cost the school system a few bucks? Get real. The school system already pays for the Hearing Officer and Tribunal Members (the same members hear cases constantly). To whom do you think that these people are loyal? Good grief. The deck is already stacked against the teachers. But, when the actions of the administrator are so obviously flagrant and egregious, then this gives the superintendent pause about allowing such dastardly actions to see the light of day. This is what protects good teachers against evil and wicked administrators. (c) GTSO, October 9, 2011.