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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can we practice the "3 R's"?

I'm not optimistic about the John Porter situation working out well. I've been told by those in the know that his fate is sealed, and he will be fired on February 6th. One source told me not to even bother calling the members of the board to voted for Porter's suspension Friday, "You'd be wasting your breath."

I hope not because I think that we should try to practice these "3 R's" in this matter:

Reprimand: Where wrong has been done, a reprimand should be issued with directions on how to do better in the future.

Repay: Pay back anything claims not supported by district policy. Direct that these policies will be strictly monitored and enforced in the future.

Reconcile: This is not "Forgive and Forget". We must learn from past mistakes and resolve to do better. But we get the focus off ourselves and turn it to the real reason why we are in this business: our children.

Perhaps even a 4th "R" should be include: Respect. Let us remember that all the people involved in this are bascially good people. Our school board members, including Cliff Hudson, are true "citizen-servants" who give of their time and resources for practically no pay and often much criticism. Dr. Porter has given his life to education and believes that children deserve our very best efforts. People may disagree with him about the means, but no one can dispute his intentions or his goals.

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