Teachers rallied against Superintendent’s decision to issue layoff notices.
Written by KAREN TANG / Published March 18, 2011
Overcrowded with students, parents, teachers, the Temple City Unified School District board room was drowned in confusion, desperation, and excitement over Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith’s decision to announce layoffs to 12 school administrators.
A fire marshal was forced to declare a necessary movement of audience members because of the sizable crowd.
Several individuals who spoke Wednesday expressed strong concerns over Resolutions 1011-20 and 1011-21 that deals with notices for laying off teachers, as well as administrators.
“We are now in distraught because all certified administrators are getting pink slips,” Janice Murasko, a Temple City High School teacher, said. “Why throw them into turmoil when it might not be necessary at all, really?”
Teresa Ting, a parent of a sixth grade boy with autism, spoke about her concern with future service reduction, as well as the downsizing of services.
“What happened to the ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy,” she questioned. “We can’t afford to lose the children’s progress.”
Another individual, identified as Ms. Laughlin, also rejected both resolutions. Lauglin calmly informed the School Board that she didn’t think the budget committee was heard, especially over cutting teachers.
“Public education is not for making money,” she said.
Debbie Maurey, an Oak Avenue Intermediate school teacher, restated Murasko’s speech, emphasizing the confusion over District’s decision to issue pink slips.
“A pink slip is a pink slip, no matter what promise you make,” she stated. “Consider your instinct to not vote for this mass layoff.”
“Friends are threatened. Relationships are in jeopardy…Do not lose our trust,” an a teacher from the crowd later yelled.
Even Student Board Member Derek Wan shared his input over the issue.
“What would happen when more instructors are gone?” he inquired. “There will be a snowballing effect and students are fearful and desperate.”
Wan explained, “Teachers are second parents to us and we work collectively and honestly.”
A student-led petition to stop the District from issuing pink slips recently received 567 at Temple City High School.
A divided School Board eventually voted the resolutions down.
Board Clerk Robert Ridley voted no. “We need trust and need to work together,” he said.
On the other hand, Board Member Janet Rhee voted yes. “If you don’t trust me, I won’t trust you,” she said.