Having just read the statement by the Board of Education Negotiations Team, I feel compelled as a parent to respond. My letter is not to take a stance as to what the final outcome should be but rather about the tone of this statement.
To describe requests by the teachers or union as “irresponsible” and to characterize teachers’ behavior as using our children as “pawns” is not acceptable. How does such language pave the way for smooth and civil negotiations? This language also seems to be encouraging a rift between parents and teachers, which could only harm our children, who are in need of us building a strong school community and working alliances.
I have no doubt that Board members are losing time with family as a result of these meetings; teachers are, too. Nobody is winning. Negotiations require both sides to abandon the concept of “winning”. It’s time to model what we expect of our children via compromise and language that avoids defensiveness and further division.
I do not envy any parties involved their task of negotiating the complex issues involved in these negotiations. I also appreciate the time and energy volunteers put into bettering our community. I sincerely hope that the next statement we receive is one announcing successful compromise.