Thursday, January 12, 2012

Teachers and Principals Behaving Badly

My brothers and sisters in education, if it wasn't painfully obvious, we are at work in difficult times. Principals and teachers alike are under attack, often due to factors that are well beyond our control. School budgets are bleeding money and that picture is not set to improve. So why, why, why are we still being treated to stories like this one, in which a school principal falsified over 900 hours of overtime to the tune of $40k? Or like this one, in which a teacher faked jury duty to play hooky? Or, in this most despicable case, a teacher falsifying a death certificate to claim that her daughter had died in Costa Rica and she needed to attend the funeral?

You don't have to tell me that these represent 3 cases out of a workforce over over 100,000 people when you combine 80,000 teachers with the number of APs and principals, the vast majority of whom are honest and hard-working. I know that very well, and the members of the public who are still rational know that too. But these stories not only represent fuel for the teacher-bashing fires of the Murdochs and Bloombergs of the world. They also represent betrayal, of our students and of each other. They represent selfishness and smugness of the worst order.

I don't know what's got me worked up into such a Jonathan Edwards-esque (the handsome gentleman in the photo) lather this morning, but then again, do I really need any other excuse? Do I really need to apologize for condemning these cases, which combine some of the elements that tend to make us, as public servants, angriest--the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality, the waste and fraud of public money and service, having trust rewarded with flagrant falsifications?

I'm really angry with these people. I can't imagine why they wouldn't deserve to be swiftly removed from their positions. Not just because I'm a taxpayer, but because I expect better from the people I would like to call colleagues.

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