The bottom line
Monday, July 07, 2014 11:09 AM
First of all, I would like to clear a few misleading issues regarding my termination from Spring Grove Public School. I held the position of the Community Ed secretary, not director (as stated on the school web site)! I do not have my license, therefore, by default the Superintendent is the Community Ed Director and ultimately responsible for the program.
I was terminated for having a Cheese Exploration class that paired wine and cheese. The brochure clearly stated what the class was about and was brought into the Superintendents office numerous times prior to it going to print. It was also mailed out to all residents in the community (including administration and board members). Not once did anyone approach me prior to the class to inform me that it was in violation of school policy. This class was for educational and experimental purposes only! Many other communities have had classes of this nature such as wine making and beer making.
There are some important issues that were not addressed in the school board report. Yes, I am an "at will" employee, so I can be terminated at will, however, the fact is that no one is taking responsibility for this matter. The administration as well as the board skirted the other issues involved.
The bottom line is I was told that I would be terminated, a complaint for a misdemeanor would be filed with the police, it would go on my record, and that it would go public or I could resign any time I wanted to, even at the end of the school year. It didn't make sense to me, my violation was so strong I would be terminated and yet I could have the option to fulfill to the school year? Regardless, I would not have my job for next year. That is coercion. Resign or be terminated. I took the latter.
Bottom line - there were other school employees in attendance at the class as well as a retired school employee, a previous school board member along with a few other people from the community. All were in violation of the law, they consumed alcohol on school property. Nothing has happened to them, nor to any of the school board members or administration.
Are they all above the law? Is that not discrimination? Why were the instructor of the class and I the only ones in which the complaint was filed? I am thankful to those people who participated in the class and certainly would not want to see them get in trouble - but the fact is that everyone in attendance is guilty. Who is the person ultimately responsible for the school?
Bottom line - the superintendent and the school board admitted they did not read the brochure. I don't understand how people responsible for the school can get by without reading a publication that goes out to the entire community and yet they have no consequences. They did not do their job by reading important information that the community receives and yet, me as a non-certified, part-time, "at will" employee is entirely responsible for knowing everything? And receives a termination! The board was in violation for not putting their best interest in the community and the superintendent/Community Ed Director for not catching this.
Bottom line - I admit I was guilty and accept the consequences; although extreme. Why wasn't I given a warning?
Thank you to all of the people in the community and the students. If it weren't for the students, we wouldn't have a job at school. I enjoyed all of my years at school, never once did I wake up and feel like I didn't want to go to work. The students are the purpose - they are what matters and we need to set a good example for them.
I am thankful for the teachers and coaches, past and present, they do an outstanding job in educating our children and do not receive the recognition they deserve. Words are not strong enough to say how much I appreciate their help in raising my son. Some of you teachers and coaches made his dreams come true! Thank you also to the previous administration, Mr. Busta and Mrs. (Ohl) Finley for hiring me 17 years ago and giving me the opportunity to work at the school. To the parents, I thank you from the center of my heart for sharing your child with me and allowing me to work with them. I think this world would be more gentle and kind if we all remember a simple little saying, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."