The Los Angeles teachers union will ask the LA Unified Board of Education to temporarily suspend the two most recent rounds of teacher dismissals, which the board approved in closed sessions this month and last month.
“Teachers want to make sure that if there are any bad guys in the classroom, that they stop being in the classroom,” union President Warren Fletcher, said in an interview. “But this system leads to many innocent educators being scooped up in the dragnet.”
Every time a teacher is fired in California, local school boards meet behind closed doors to review the dismissals. These meetings are often pro forma; the LAUSD board routinely votes unanimously to approve all of the recommended firings.
A group of UTLA activists is up in arms over the Sept. 17 board meeting, when, according to Fletcher, the dismissal of over 30 teachers was approved. UTLA activists have taken to calling the day “Black Tuesday.”
“The teachers did not know that their names were coming up,” said, Scott Mandel, a member of the UTLA board. ”None of them had gotten previous notification at all. And the board accepted their dismissal recommendation without comment, and nobody questioned anything. They didn’t see the other side, they didn’t see any defense.”