Caledonia Cooperative District Lawyer Threatens to Fire Teachers
Caledonia Cooperative District Lawyer Threatens to Fire Teachers for Revealing Dissatisfaction with Superintendent
Board’s attorney claims telling public of years-long climate of distrust, mismanagement and intimidation is ‘breach of loyalty’
DANVILLE – The lawyer for the Caledonia Cooperative Supervisory Union threatened to fire teachers who last week released the results of a district-wide survey expressing dissatisfaction with Superintendent Matthew Forest.
“Before advising my client concerning whether there is a right to terminate the responsible employees, I thought it would be helpful to further understand [the union’s] legal position on the issue,” Burlington lawyer Pietro Lynn wrote in an email to Vermont-NEA’s general counsel. “I worry that this kind of behavior will prove counterproductive for your members.” He claimed that releasing the survey “appears to be a breach of the employees’ duty of loyalty to the employer.”
That the district would threaten to fire educators for releasing information to the public about a climate of distrust, mismanagement, and intimidation proves the point that Dr. Forest would rather fight against than work with educators to make the schools better, according to the Caledonia Cooperative Education Association.
“Last week, we told the public about what is going on in their schools,” said Bill Douglas, a special education paraeducator at Peacham School who serves as the spokesman for the union. “And, again, Dr. Forest does what he always does: tries to intimidate and bully the women and men who work with our students every single day.”
In a survey conducted by the union, 60 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Dr. Forest’s performance, while only 19 percent approved; 21 percent expressed no opinion.
“We will not be bowed in our desire to make our schools the best they can be,” Douglas said. “Even in the face of more threats, we will continue to do what we always do: put our students first and work hard to improve teaching and learning conditions. Too bad Dr. Forest continues to refuse to join us in that endeavor.”
# # #