Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Teacher Walk-Out in Pottstown .. Sort Of

Photos by Evan Brandt
OK. so yes, I'm overusing the panorama function on the iPhone since I discovered it. S sue me. Anyway, here are the Federation of Pottstown Teacher members in their inescapable green shirts before Monday's Pottstown School Board meeting.

So loyal readers of my blog, as I know you all are, you know that last night was kind of a harmonic convergence of community meetings.

Twila Fisher addresses the Hobart's Run meeting
At 6 p.m., The Hill School's Hobart's Run neighborhood revitalization effort had its kick off meeting at The Ricketts Center.

I was there for about 45 minutes of it.

Then I had to pull-up stakes and head over to the school board meeting at 7 p.m.

That means I was not able to cover the "Rock the Block" meeting which occurred at 7 p.m. at the Victory Christian Life Center.

Anemic staff levels that we have at The Mercury, no one else was available to cover that, so I'll have to catch up later.

But you're probably wondering about that headline.

Well, before I explain it to you let me amaze you with the fact that my passionate and marginally sarcastic plea in yesterday's post urging people to get involved had mixed results.

More than 50 people attended the Hobart's Run meeting and it was standing room only. I'm not saying I take credit for it, but there it is.

But at the school board meeting, where the public was invited to offer suggestions for cutting costs, not one person showed up, signed up or offered a single suggestion.

Who did show up, was a boat-load of Pottstown teachers, more than three dozen I would estimate.

But they didn't stay long.

They were there, in all likelihood, to protest the $90,000 administrative re-organization plan revealed to the full school board Thursday and featured in a previous blog post and in Sunday's Mercury.

But when Superintendent Jeff Sparagana said Thursday's discussion had convinced him to pull if off the table and bring it back to the March 2 Personnel Committee meeting (7 p.m. in the district administrative building on Beech Street), there wasn't much to protest.

That is until School Board Member Kurt Heidel began reading from a prepared statement made somewhat moot by the removal of the item in question.

But he pressed on and, it soon became apparent, the teachers didn't much care for what they heard, so they all left.


All at once.

While Heidel kept talking.

Here's the video:

Afterward, I asked Heidel for a copy of his comments, but he declined to provide them. I only caught some of it.

Then the meeting continued, but not for very much longer as the main event had been pulled from the stage.

So here are the Tweets, and look for a variety of follow-up articles shortly in your hometown newspaper, The Mercury:

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