21 September 2011

No lunch for you!

If you live in my community it may be news to you that our public school teachers are no longer allowed to leave their campuses during lunch time.  Did you just lean your head forward and say, "What?"  Because that's what I did when I first heard the news.  District wide, this policy is in effect.

Originally, I heard that the policy was retribution for the teacher union's refusal to re-open their contracts this year (despite the fact that they opened them last year and were told they wouldn't be asked to do so for three more years).  I was appalled at the pettiness of the policy, until I heard there may have been another catalyst for it (although I still wonder if it was a combination of the refusal to re-open and the following incident).

Word on the street is that a high school teacher abused her prep period.  Rather than actually using the time for its intended purpose, she took it, and her lunch (which was either right before or after her prep) to get her hair done at a salon.....where she happened to run into the mayor's wife.

From there, I assume, the mayor decided to get involved.  Instead of letting the principal manage the situation, the edict was issued that no off campus lunches were to happen.  I don't know if the command came directly from the mayor or if he pressured the schoolboard or superintendent to do it.  I'll tell you what I do know.

I know that our teachers are under an incredible amount of stress.  Classroom sizes have increased in the last three years and so have the demands put on our teachers.  They have been told, for the most part, exactly how and what to teach with very little room for deviation.  Supplies are diminishing and so is morale.  And, to top it off, the 25 minutes our elementary school teachers have completely to themselves during the day have now been restricted.  Someone has dictated where they must be spent.

I find the entire situation ridiculous.  First of all, the high school principal should have been allowed to do his job instead of the entire teaching staff being micromanaged.  Secondly, we are talking about professional adults.  We should give them the respect they deserve and allow them the freedom to choose where they eat.  Third, because one teacher made a poor judgement call does not mean that the rest must suffer the consequences, especially in something as easily remedied as this situation was.

Are you bothered too?  Let the mayor, the school board and the superintendent know.  That's what I'm doing.


Shannon said...

I had some issues with the way things were run when we lived there. Looks like I still would.

Lindsey said...

I am amazed they can get away with this. Based on the state laws here, I don't think you can restrict what employees do on their 30 minute meal period unless you're willing to compensate them for that time as on-call.

tanner said...

Seriously... she defintely shouldn't have gotten her hair done on the schools time (unless it only was during her lunch because otherwise she should be available to her students during prep time) but not letting them leave for lunch, that's just ridiculous. What next -telling the elementary school teachers that they can't take their walks during lunch - ridiculous

cabesh said...

Lindsey- State law for us: 275:30-a Lunch or Eating Period. – An employer may not require an employee to work more than 5 consecutive hours without granting him a 1/2 hour lunch or eating period, except if it is feasible for the employee to eat during the performance of his work, and the employer permits him to do so.

So I'm guessing they're saying that they're allowing them to eat during the performance of their work.

Tanner- Technically, they're supposed to stay on campus....so unless they're walking only on campus I think they're in violation. And they're serious about the enforcement. They told the teachers/ specialists/ paras who spend the am at one school and the pm at another that they were NOT allowed to go through a drive thru on their way to the second assignment because they were being paid for that time. And if they get caught doing so their job is on the line.

Queen Scarlett said...

That pettiness doesn't surprise me anymore. We have our own petty teachers, principal doing ridiculous things Napoleon style where I live.

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