Saturday, March 7, 2009

Behaving Like Animals

On Friday, March 6, 2009 I received two letters. I am going to copy one of them into this post with only names changed. The first letter was from Principal P. and was dated February 12, 2009.

Dear Ms. Moriah

On February 9, and February 12, 2009, I met with you and your union representatives, Thor Hyerdahl, and Clyde Baker to review an allegation against you that was made by Madelene Benders' parent and Madelene Benders. Specifically, it was alleged that you are constantly screaming at the students and saying that they behave like animals. At our meeting, I shared with you the specific allegation made against you as stated above and shared the statements of witnesses who were interviewed. In response, you said, "The allegations are completely false. I did not say that children were animals or behaved like animals. I do not recall the students making monkey noises, and I do not yell at the the students."

I asked you why you believe the students would say this. You stated, "I have had laryngitis since 2007, therefore, I have not been constantly screaming. Teachers who are public speakers have resonate voices which can carry over normal student noise to the back of the room or large rooms without a microphone. I use the voice when necessary as do all teachers in order for students to be able to hear. It is a public speaking voice proceeding from the diaphragm. What anybody has heard is a resonant public speaking voice. I never scream. It hurts my throat and a person's voice box to scream. Screaming is only for emergencies. If someone is trying to mug me, murder me, or if I call for police, fire, security. I have my theories, but I do not have evidence that would confirm them without a reasonable doubt. In order to do that, I would need one of my representatives or advocates to talk individually with the students. I would need to have someone representing me."

After reviewing the complaint against you, the complainant's statement, the witnesses' statement, and your explanation, I conclude that you did say the students were behaving like animals, and you did scream and yell, while you claim that you did not. Five students and one parent say that you made the statement that the students behave like animals and five students and one parent say that you are screaming and yelling at the class constantly and their statements are consistent, each contained the same details.

This violates Chancellor's Regulation A-421. I note that you were given a copy of Chanclellor's Regulation A-421 at our first faculty conference in September (see attached copy of your signed acknowledgment of receipt).

You are hereby advised that the above-described conduct may lead to further disciplinary actions, including an unsatisfactory rating, and disciplinary charges that could lead to the termination of your employment.

Sincerely, Principal P.

I signed the statement and wrote next to the signature: This letter contains false and inaccurate statements. The charges have no merit. My rebuttal to these charges will be submitted in due course."

I would like to say that I am not encouraging other teachers to place their disciplinary letters on the internet. I am at retirement age. I have no plans to ever teach again, run for public office, or do anything but be a writer. If Principal P. destroys my reputation, I can always publish under another name. Most people are not in my situation. There are many reasons why you would want to maintain the confidentiality that I am giving up. Don't do what I do, but please read what I say.

I kept extremely detailed notes of both meetings and the Principal has twisted my words to suit her ulterior motives.

The second letter I received on Friday is in the next post.

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