Open Letter from a SF Paraprofessional
My name is Mike Leonard. I am an S10 Paraprofessional at Dr. Martin Luther King Middle School, and member of United Educators of San Francisco, Local 61.
I tune in to the 'Project Censored' program on KPFA most Fridays, and have long appreciated the organization's work. I also enjoy the collaborations with Steve Zeltzer and Abby Martin on 'Work Week Radio'.
I wanted to reach out to all of you at this point, as the situation facing teachers and staff within SFUSD has become critical. On top of the austerity demands being made by the district, school sites have become toxic as administrators are allowed to act with vindictive impunity toward outspoken and active workers.
At our school, a first-year principal has engaged in open hostility, harassment, and retaliation toward long-term staff members. Our vice-principal, a man transferred by the district from Marina Middle School with over two dozen grievances pending against him, has amassed that and more through his attempts to intimidate staff, students, families, and community members.
Despite numerous trips to the Board of Education, as well as organizing efforts on the union's part, these two individuals are acting in complete confidence that they will return to our school next year. In other words, the district administration is further pressing 'Right to Work' measures and privatization plans in to our classrooms.
I can say with confidence that a similar situation is occurring at another school, not coincidentally, on the southeast side of the city, also with a large, poor, minority population.
I am reaching out to your organizations, specifically, because of your respective track records of reporting on these types of stories, and providing a critical examination of their impact in the bigger picture. I hope that any of you are able to be in contact, and perhaps attend a meeting in the near future, where potential sources, documentation, and strategy are available.
Attached are several documents provided by the UESF building representative at our school.
I can be reached via email or phone, as an initial contact.
Thank you very much for your time here, and for the continuous valuable work.
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