Friday, December 9th, 2016

Common sense and union sense

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From my latest perspective piece for the MacIver Institute:

Andrew Harris, a former seventh-grade science teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District, was investigated and found to have 23 emails in just over one year containing pornographic images, videos and inappropriate jokes. The school board fired him in May 2010, but Harris’ union has filed a grievance on his behalf.

What should be an automatic termination has already cost the school district about $300,000, and the case is still in arbitration. The situation is already over a year old and the decision by the arbitrator is not expected until October at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the school district is forced to spend money fighting the union instead of putting that money into the classroom to improve education in the district.

The union is claiming that the district policy against “deliberate accessing or transmitting materials that are obscene, sexually explicit or child pornography” is vague. It’s like George Costanza from Seinfeld when caught having sex with the cleaning lady in the workplace, “Was that wrong?”

Of course, Costanza was fired on the spot. A teacher can fight being fired for years at tremendous expense to the school district. Moreover, these fights waste dollars that should be spent in the classroom.

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