February 29, 2004
I have just learned that last week’s letter stating that 26 teachers signed a letter to [administrators]Anna DeLay, Fred Wall, and Judy Haptonstall on Sept. 3 was incorrect.
Twenty-six teachers did write the letter and submit it to the administrators; they did not actually sign it. The letter was read to me when I met with teachers in January. I did not view the letter and assumed it was signed. I apologize for the mistake.
I was given two reasons for no signatures that speak clearly to the issues we have brought to the district office, Board of Education and the public.
First, teachers didn’t want the letter viewed as a petition and create a rift within the Carbondale Elementary School staff. It was written in the spirit of unity to help facilitate the teamwork needed to address issues and needed changes at Colorado Elementary School. I commend them for their initiative, creative thinking and desire to be part of the solution. These are attributes I would like to encourage in my children. I’m thrilled that we have many teachers to serve as role models in this way. If only it carried on up to the district level!
Second, teachers feared retribution from the administration. This has come up frequently in my many conversations with parents and teachers. The issues our schools face must be dealt with head-on, honestly and creatively. No idea or issue can be dismissed out of hand. I feel that Wall and Haptonstall are not up to this task. We need fresh ideas, energy, and attitudes.