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Union President Blasts School Administration for Not Firing North High Principal

Friday, April 10, 2015

 

Although there was nothing specific on Thursday’s school committee agenda regarding North High Principal Lisa Dyer’s email from last week in which she accused teacher Janice Harvey of perpetuating racial tensions at North, the incident still reared its ugly head late in the meeting.

Following school committee member Dianna Biancheria’s request for a report on training of Worcester Public Schools employees during the school year on professional and ethical boundaries regarding electronic and social media, Leonard Zalauskus, President of the Education Association of Worcester, expressed his displeasure for the administration’s lack of action and for allowing Dyer to remain as principal at North High.

Zalauskus said, “Enough is enough. North High has been in turmoil and the common element has been the principal. And that’s a fact.”

Zalauskus added, “Publicly reprimanding a teacher is reprehensible, and the principal’s apology that followed is unacceptable. The fact is it was implied that racism was involved.”

Zalauskus then turned to Mayor Joe Petty and point-blank asked the Mayor if he thought Harvey was a racist.

“We’re not doing this. We’re not going back and forth. We’re getting into personnel issues. It’s unfortunate the whole incident that took place with the email,” said Petty. “The email shouldn’t haven’t been sent out and unfortunately it was. Ms. Dyer has apologized.”

“We have two good people involved here,” Petty continued. “We have Ms. Harvey, who is a very good person and who loves her students. Unfortunately, because of what was written, some people perceived that she is racist. I don’t think that’s the case.”

Petty said, “I also believe Ms. Dyer is a good person and she also cares about her students. I would ask if everybody could please just work together. We have a lot of good students at that school and we need to work together. The kids are doing their jobs. And we need to, as adults, do our jobs.”

Zalauskus responded, “Mr.Mayor, Ms. Harvey is not a racist. When no discipline is metered out, and when a public apology is not even close to a real apology, something needs to be done.”

 

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