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You’ve Been Fired. I Don’t Need To Do This.

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Here is a letter from a New Bedford High School teacher to Mayor Jon Mitchell in response to his letter ‘Were I Permitted to Speak.” 

Mr. Mayor,

I’m confused. Your words and your actions are not matching up. You make statements that contradict what is being told to us.

You see I have attended all the meetings regarding this subject, required meetings, volunteer meetings, school committee meetings, etc. each and every time it has been the teachers that have been told that we must be replaced, that we aren’t what the city needs to move forward. We are being kept in limbo.

We are being required to write a letter of intent to stay. We soon will be instructed as to how to reapply for our jobs. It’s my job! I have held it for some time. I have never had a bad evaluation. I do what is required of me and more. I have professional status and I’m tired of being treated in such a non-professional manner by the leadership of New Bedford Public Schools.

Sir, this means you! You are allowing your teachers to live this every day. You cannot respect me. Your actions say this! I choose to teach the children of my city. I give to my city everyday. I try to do what is required of me yet the rigor I attempt to provide falls on deaf ears. I am not respected by the students I try so hard to serve. They do not try to improve. They tell us, “you’ve been fired. I don’t need to do this”, and more.

You sir have approved the cuts that have been made to my school. 52 teachers are no longer with us – 52! Where did the number 30 come from? I could go on.

Retirement choices are being made by frightened people that are afraid of loosing everything. This is not the system I started with. Yes I am angry, at you, at EVERY member of the school committee, at member of this community that have no clue as to what it means to teach, as people with an axe to grind….. I demand that this terrorism stop. I will do that at a ballot box. I will not support anyone that doesn’t support teachers. I do not need to be told that by my union or anyone. I am very capable of thinking independently.

I am not a lemming! As long as I have breath left I will continue to fight for my kids and my school. I AM NEW BEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL!

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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9 comments

  1. I completely agree with this letter to the Mayor. I’m a student at New Bedford High School, and the amount of disrespect that most (yes, most) of the students give the staff is ridiculous.
    Some of the teachers have had the same position in that school for years and years, and now they’re being told that they’re fired? Not only are the students being disrespectful but now the school committee. They’re blaming the TEACHERS for the level 4 position that we’re in. Students are the reason for everything that has happened up until this point. They refuse to be taught and to change their behavior in the classroom.
    Students have graduated from NBHS and went onto Harvard University, Yale, etc. It is NOT the teachers faults, it is the students. It’s really sad that the teachers get reprimanded for the students’ doing. Changing the staff is not going to improve the situation. It might even do the opposite, to be honest.

    • I couldn’t have said that better myself!! I completely agree!!

    • Jamie,
      Kudos to you! You are a representative of what students SHOULD be. Not only do you respect the teachers and acknowledge the difficulties and disrespect that they face daily, but you are courageous enough to criticize your own peers. That is not an easy thing to do, as a high school student especially. Students of all ages, as well as their parents, need to take ownership of their actions instead of pointing fingers at the teachers. They say when you point one finger at someone, three more are pointing at yourself. And besides, the teachers have to be doing their jobs in order to have a student post a brave, well written post on a public forum. I hope you go on to do big things.

      • Thank you so much for your reply. It’s very disappointing to see that the student body of NBHS doesn’t acknowledge what is going on. I really want to help every single way I can. But really, thank you for taking the time to read and comment back to my response to this letter.

    • Good for this student. It is clear that her teachers and her parents have not failed her.

  2. Ditto with the kudos! Great letter, too bad you need to spend time defending yourself… Sometimes, when I read some of the ignorant comments (like so many I just read on NBGuide) I wonder if it is worth our time…, but then I remember that if you let them get away with it they will trample you or worse!

  3. Elizabeth-Ann Brown

    I was a student at New Bedford High and graduated a almost two years ago. I have witness a lot of things by going there. I can honestly say that it goes both ways their are a lot of students that want to learn and their are also a lot who don’t But to blame the teachers is a for the way they teach is crazy because I had a lot of good teachers and the same amount that weren’t . So it really depends on a lot of things for example if the child wants to learn or not and if the teacher really likes working with kids. So maybe all the teachers getting fired is a good and bad thing because if you look at it this way firing all the teachers gives them an opportunity to get ride of the bad and hopefully keep the ones that are doing there job right.

  4. This is a problem in other cities in this state, not just New Bedford. It’s time the administration starts taking responsibility for the problems that they are responsible for instead of putting the blame on the teachers who are under staffed, under paid, and over worked.

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