Open Letter to LAUSD Leaders
By: Karen Wolfe
Dear LAUSD Leaders,
draconian removal of classroom teachers after complaints of almost any
nature has turned California's largest school district into the Gulag.
The case of Mr. Rafe Esquith--nationally recognized educator, three-time
author, and respected teacher of so many students--is an egregious
example. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-esquith-investigation-20150617-story.html According to published reports, after complaints about teaching
passages from Huckleberry Finn, he was removed from his classroom in
March. The LA Times reported that he has been cleared by the state of
California but not by LAUSD.
is no good reason to treat complaints about curriculum or field trip
slips with the same alarm as accusations regarding child endangerment.
The upheaval for students and schools is too costly, as is the impact on
the employee and other teachers who fear they are next. This is not
conducive to educators doing their best work. My heart aches for the 5th
graders who celebrated their matriculation to middle school without
their beloved teacher who helped them achieve that milestone.
a parent leader in LAUSD, I appreciate the district's diligent
acceptance of its primary responsibility for the safety of the children
in its care. At the same time, I am beginning to understand the unusual
limitations with UTLA's legal support. But enough is enough. This is the
ultimate in those "adult conflicts" that leaders grandstand about
stopping. These political disappearances of teachers make LAUSD look
like a banana republic. Unfortunately, it is the students who are hurt
the most. I implore you to use urgency to fix this policy once and for