Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teachers, we support you!

I would like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all the teachers of the Gresham-Barlow School District.

Our children go to school every day and enter a place where they are loved, cared for and educated. They are curious, they are happy, they are confident and they will have a bright future- thanks in no small part to the people who work so tirelessly for them every day.

I understand that both sides (the school district AND the teachers) have concessions to make in order to avoid a strike. I understand that school budgets are taking a beating, and we ALL have to make sacrifices in order to recover. I understand that my children simply won't get the same education I did, years ago, in the same schools. Change happens.

What should NOT happen is a school district completely ignoring the backbone of their organization when it comes to safety, schedules and compassion. What should NOT happen is an official distict website using language so slanderous and disresepctful to the district's employees that I- as a parent of the district, not a teacher- cringe to read such a passive agressive slap on the cheek. What should not happen is a school board walking away from negotiations while my children's education is on the line.

I have seen some things that, in my opinion, the teacher's association could bend on. I have seen the anger, the passion, the hurt that has the school board on the defensive. And guess what? I have an opinion about that.

Sometimes, just acknowledging some else's frustration goes a long way toward finding common ground. I have seen the teachers do that. Now, as a parent, I ask the district to do the same.

If a strike happens, I will be very disappointed. I will feel sad for my children, for the families of the teachers, even for some school board members whom I believe really WANT to reach an agreement. I will be sad for the district that helped form me and so many around me.

If a strike happens, my children will not cross a picket line. I do not believe that my eager to learn students will get the education they deserve while their beloved, hard working teachers stand on the sidewalk in a last attempt to be heard. Instead of sending my children in to get a sub-par education at a school which has always provided them an excellent education, my children and I will stand WITH those people who stand FOR them. My children will return to school when those schools are what every child deserves.

I ask any Gresham-Barlow parent to join me in this. We simply cannot support our schools without supporting the teachers within them.

I am confident that if the school district goes back to the table (and STAYS there as long as is neccesary), with the intent to find a respectful solution- our teachers will do the same.

Teachers: THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart- for all you do- thank you.


Anonymous said...

Progress and positive changes have always started in the grassroots communities. You are an example of that. It starts with conversations, ideas and actions. Good on you for taking an interest, taking action and taking care of your family and community.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your support of teachers, schools, and students! You and your caring is greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for voicing your opinion and asking other parents for their support As a teacher, I really appreciate your voice and action.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brianna, Dusty, and family,

Thank-you from the bottom of MY heart for your support, and for your willingness to share your opinion with others. It is refreshing to read words that are kind, respectful, and appreciative of the work that teachers do.

We also appreciate YOU, and all other parents and community members who are working collaboratively with teachers in the education of our children.

Teachers are willing to negotiate and to make concessions to many of our initial proposals. We have done so, in fact.

Please continue to encourage other parents to voice their concerns and to send a strong message to return to the negotiating table. It would be better if it was face-to-face negotiating, rather than through a mediator, in my opinion.

Teachers do not want to strike. We are truly hoping that we will be given another chance for real negotiations to take place, and that we will reach a settlement that is respectful and fair to all.

Again, thank-you so very much for your support.

I Am Not Superwoman said...

I am right there with you with regards to the similar situation over at Reynolds SD. I will also be speaking out and supporting the teachers of our SD. I "get" everything that is going on too but I don't want my child to be part of a volitle situation crossing the picket line and twiddling their thumbs in class not really getting educated, just being there. I think that the SD can do better and trim the fat other ways than they are.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your support!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of two graduates of Gresham High school who are now attending OSU and U of O, due to the dedication of their teachers and their partnership with me, the person who is primarily responsible for my children and their future. I have volunteered in many capacities in the district through the years and want to appreciate the efforts of all contributors to an excellent school district with many challenges.
What I am seeing from this "inexperienced" superintendent and school board is a tactic of misinformation and vilifying the teachers. We are being bombarded with e-mails, voice mail, and letters that is creating an 'US" vs. "Them (the teachers)". A large ad was posted in the Gresham Outlook that has two lies: One that taxes will have to be raised to pay for the contract demands(which cannot without a vote of the taxpayers) and that the teachers have not offered anything since February 16. I don't know how you can get through to parents to get informed. I have sent two e-mails, one to the school board chair and one to the PR director, neither which were acknowledged.
I support the teachers and appreciate their willingness to compromise. I see Parkrose has worked it out--this new school board has given all the power to the superintendent. This is unheard of.
Again, I hope it doesn't come to this. I have a sophomore at Gresham who wants to continue with his first season of track.
Barb Kaufman

Anonymous said...

Great comments! I'm right there with you on keeping my children home during the strike. I would not cross the picket lines, and neither shall my children. I fully support the teachers and am ashamed at the disrespect our society gives to them.

Thanks for your words.