Monday, August 25, 2014

A Letter to Superintendent Sergio Paez
By:  Dr. Mark Naison

Dear Superintendent Paez
It is come to my attention that you have compounded a most questionable decision- denying tenure to Augustin Morales- with a series of actions which are provocative and unwise in the extreme, including attempting to deny him access to school property even though he is an elected officer of the Holyoke Teachers Association.
Please be aware of the following. Augustin Morales is a leader with a national following. He is not only respected among teachers in his town and in his state, he is respected by teachers all over the country as a result of his leadership role in the fastest growing education organization in the nation, the Badass Teachers Association, which now has nearly 52,000 members. His speech at our March on Washington in July was one of the best received at the event and has been spread around the nation on video. Rest assured that any action taken against him will bring an immediate response from teachers around the country
It will also receive press coverage. If you want to become famous all over the country, continue to take punitive action against Mr Morales. Everything you do is being watched, not because of any bias against you, but because of the respect Mr Morales commands
I strongly suggest you take a deep breath, reverse your course of action and bring Mr Morales back to the classroom. You will save yourself a great deal of grief and also do a lot for the children of your school district who see Mr Morales as a role model and a great leader
Mark D Naison
Professor of African American Studies and History
Fordham University
Co-Founder, Badass Teachers Association

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