Is DCPS clamping down on dissent? (Draft)

The district came out with their plan for opening school. The plan completely disregarded what teachers asked for but they did give teachers an opportunity to weigh in. Sorry they gave staff 300 characters, basically a tweet to weigh in. Strangely at the same time they felt the need to update their “What Sort of Political Activity is Allowed for School Employees policy” and that is where things get troubling.


The District has a long troubling history of trying to stifle dissent and criticism and exhibit one is my personnel file. 


That’s okay, I am a big boy, have work protections and a union that has had my back so I have plodded along. Unfortunately I have heard from way to many teachers who had stories to tell but were afraid to do so. It is a sad fact that DCPS either through hook or by crook has tried to clamp down on dissent and criticism. They just don’t want to hear it.      


This makes it all the more interesting that they decided to update their policy just as they announced their plan which was bound to frustrate, anger and scare many teachers.


Teachers will take a lot but if it means risking their lives or their families, more are willing to speak up and God bless them for it.


From Team Duval,


 Expressing our political beliefs is one of our most cherished rights protected by the First Amendment.

But as we enter into an increasingly passionate public debate atmosphere – particularly on social media – many have reached out to us about whether school district employees can express their personal political viewpoints.


https://www.teamduval.org/2020/06/23/duval-dialogue-what-sort-of-political-activity-is-allowed-for-school-employees/?fbclid=IwAR291CCdvlA4QJCm8ETyInSz1WjYiTwc3mBFra0CQvtCc7-fvK0hsqZxG8M  


Um many have reached out? They have a problem with teachers personnel view points? The implication is clear, have an opinion, be careful because it might get reported to the district.


Few people have been as critical of the district as me, but the thing is I want the district to succeed. I want Greene and her administration to succeed.  I criticize and critique because I love the district. You know the same reason other teachers do too.


We will not be as successful as we can be as a district as long as we marginalize and ignore teachers. We can’t be. If the district would bring educators to the table and think about their needs I have no doubt the sky would be the limits.


These veiled threats, the three hundred characters they gave to teachers to express their concerns and ask questions, both scream, they want teachers to shut up and go along but I am here to tell you when teachers are silent things get worse and it is only by standing up will things improve and we owe it to ourselves, our families and our students to do so
  

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