Vallejo teachers call for greater voi...

Vallejo teachers call for greater voice in addressing safety concerns

Posted in the Martinez Forum


Vallejo, CA

#1 May 26, 2013
Vallejo teachers call for greater voice in addressing safety concerns

The Vallejo teachers union on Friday called for a closer working relationship with the district to address issues raised in a recent critical grand jury report about safety at Vallejo High School.

The union said in a statement that local educators share many concerns spelled out in the report, and that members have reported ongoing safety concerns -- not only on the Vallejo High campus but at other schools -- to district officials and the school board for the past two years.

"Right now many of our teachers are very concerned about the direction of this district," said Christal Watts, president of the roughly 750-member Vallejo Education Association. "One of the most essential ingredients for students' success is to provide a safe environment for both students and their teachers. This (Solano County Grand Jury) report confirms that this is not always happening."

Watts told the Times-Herald she is working on grant money to coordinate "community listening sessions" to address the report's concerns. She also said she is seeking a grant for training to help teachers, parents and students recognize and overcome "unconscious biases" against people who are different from them.

Watts said she hopes to start both programs next school year.

Among other findings, the May 15 grand jury report found that too few teachers at the 1,700-student school have access to two-way radios to communicate directly with campus supervisors.

It also found that several areas on campus are not secure and are "easily accessible" by intruders; and that the high school's administration "is not informing teachers of a student's prior criminal or disruptive conduct at the time a student is enrolled in their class."

"There is nothing to celebrate about this report," Watts said. "While teachers do feel a sense of validation, we also recognize that there is much work to be done. This essential work absolutely must include teachers' voices."

She added that teachers are looking forward to "engaging in honest dialogue with the community" in the upcoming months.

Meanwhile, a special school board meeting to discuss the report has been set for 5 p.m., Wednesday in the Vallejo High auditorium.

A district official said Friday that the district will continue to provide all faculty and staff members with training aimed at improving classroom discipline and handling conflict misbehavior in ways that allow students and teachers to make amends. The district is also implementing a program aimed at helping teachers work with at-risk youth.

"The Vallejo City Unified School District has always and will continue to work with VEA and the (California School Employees Association) in being solution-oriented in addressing issues that affect our students," said Alana Shackleford, the district's director of partnerships and community engagement.
reddy kilowatt

Vallejo, CA

#2 May 26, 2013
Pay the teachers to stay home, give the student slackers all a diploma for not going to school, what would be different that what is happening right now ?

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