DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The press conference centered on the Dallas Independent School District and the topic was bullying, but it had nothing to do with the problems facing youngsters.
Rena Honea, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Alliance, called the press conference to shine light on what she said is the bullying and intimidation school employees and parents are experiencing from DISD trustees.
“We can’t build a stronger school system without providing equal voice to teachers, parents, students and school board members,” Honea said in a press release. “We should be able to disagree without fear of retaliation.”
The claim is the latest indication of friction between educators and the administration.
Recently a Dallas schoolteacher was put on administrative leave after sending opinionated email to a school board member. The email Joseph Drake sent to school trustee Edwin Flores complained about the 45 minutes that has been added to each teacher’s workday.
“This was just another blow that said ‘we don’t appreciate you’,” claimed Honea.
The incident involving Drake clearly influenced Honea’s announcement Tuesday of a petition that includes a list of demands for Dallas school district administrators. One of them being, “To reinstate Mr. Drake to end the climate of fear and intimidation on the campuses and on the board level.”
Honea said the school board needs to include teachers in decisions concerning them and pay closer attention when people speak at board meetings, instead of, as she claims, working on their computers or just talking to other board members.
Honea also detailed other items included in the petition. “To begin a dialogue with the teachers and repeal the mandated 45 minutes until there’s been a good conversation about the purpose of it, how it can be helpful and to get their buy-in,” she said.
KRLD NewsRadio 1080 contacted Edwin Flores, the school trustee Joseph Drake wrote the email to, but he said he can’t comment on personnel matters, especially involving an ongoing investigation.
Less than three hours after Honea’s press conference DISD District 6 Trustee Carla Ranger posted on her blog that, “Dallas ISD Central Elementary teacher Joseph Drake is scheduled to be reinstated today and return to work tomorrow.”