For those of you who don’t have the time to watch it yourselves and weren’t forced to by your boss recently, it’s about “passing the trash,” or “quickly getting rid of bad teachers” - and, in this instance, the growing numbers of teachers accused of sexual misconduct and, specifically, Dallas Independent School District’s failure to properly follow up on them after they leave the district. It names current superintendent Michael Hinojosa around 5:44 because, as we know, he was also a previous superintendent, serving just before Mike Miles. Charlotte Huffman, narrating, accuses, “He did not pass that information” - referring to details about the reasons behind a DISD teacher’s dismissal process - “up to the state.” This is the required paper trail for teachers being fired - though, in this case, the named employee was allowed to resign - for reasons such as sexual misconduct; Hinojosa reportedly followed through 8 months late, after the teacher had already been hired elsewhere. With a timely report, said teacher would have had his certificate flagged, thus being barred from employment.
I’d like to put aside the myriad appalling facts in the case for a moment to simply ask: why was this a required piece of media viewing for back to school? I can’t help but think that it’s a backhanded way to turn our staff against our superintendent. But again, why? How is this helpful, unless there is a call to action? (Spoiler alert: there wasn’t.)
A common refrain in that session, which was ostensibly about professionalism, was, “If you see something, say something.” I can’t help but think that the presenter could have gotten their point across in various other ways that would incite less dismay and vitriol.
Don’t get me wrong - I am not Hinojosa’s biggest fan, and I am all for whistle-blowing and watchdog journalism. I think that the report is generally well done; increased vigilance is needed, and as a society, we can all stand to be more informed. But I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that this was required for our entire faculty. If the objective was not to undermine and discredit our superintendent, was it just a shock and awe approach to get us to watch our colleagues closely? Again, this could have been done in a more professional way, one that does not tarnish the reputation of our fearless leader.
Our opinions of our superintendent be damned - he’s still our superintendent, and I fail to see how such a horrific story that calls him out by name is effective in advancing our goal of increased professionalism as a staff. If anything, I think it is detrimental to the cause, furthering only a culture of gossip, negativity, and passive aggression.
There’s a time and place for political opinions. This blog is an example of an appropriate outlet. A staff meeting is a non-example of such.
BT Bubble Sheet
BT Bubble Sheet (BTBS) is a Dallas ISD middle school teacher. Visit her blog here for more blogs in addition to what she writes for us!
Follow us on Facebook; Twitter; iTunes; Soundcloud; Stitcher
Sitting with the Principal at PD - A Dallas Teacher Reflection
***New*** Dallas Education Podcast - Theater Arts Talk with Carlee Cagle, Middle School Theater Teacher
Dallas ISD News and Politics Rundown - August Week 3
The Good and the Bad from Dallas ISD 2015