Fear and loathing in Duval County

See if any of these things sound familiar.

Many teachers are
afraid to speak up about the real reason their colleagues are leaving Lee
County classrooms in record numbers.  As a veteran high school teacher, I
am painfully aware of how increasingly frustrated teachers are with our jobs.

Orange County school employees are often afraid
to speak or post on social media sites about public education matters, leaders
for the teachers union said Thursday during a press conference at the union’s
office in College Park. 

Sadly it’s not just Jacksonville
where teachers feel afraid.

I get it too. If I was
on a one year contract and could be fired for any or no reason I would be scared
to speak up too. It’s also not much better for veteran teachers with continuing
contracts who can be messed with in many number of ways.

Please don’t think I
don’t feel the pressure either. A school board member in the press recently
called me a liar and boasted that the district was going to put the blog out of
business. A week later I learned I was also under investigation by the Duval
office of professional practices for something I allegedly said on a Facebook
thread a move which I consider to be nothing but harassment.  

All that being said, I truly
believe if more people knew they would want better, heck they would demand
better. They would demand that we had disciplined schools staffed by professional,
respected and valued teachers, we would stop testing kids to death and we would
let kids be kids too. Nothing I or most teachers want is unrealistic or
undoable.

I want nothing more
than for this district to succeed and reach its potential and there have been
some positive signs recently, the rejection of uniforms and of an expansion of Engage
NY to middle school but that being said we have a long way to go and we’re not
going to get there by being silent.

There is nothing wrong
with being afraid, sometimes I am, but I refuse to be paralyzed by it.

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