Friday, November 22, 2013

TV news exposé shows how union work rules lead to huge legal bills for schools

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando television station’s recent “investigation” revealed what many education advocates already know: union job protections are costing schools hundreds of thousands in legal bills.

WFTV cites the case of former Osceola County special needs teacher Lillian Gomez, who fought her termination for soaking crayons in hot sauce and force-feeding them to an autistic child. A judge ordered her to be reinstated after a protracted legal battle that cost the district $120,000, although school officials have refused.

“I find this to be borderline child abuse,” Osceola school board member Jay Wheeler told WFTV.

Another local case involves Seminole County special needs teacher Cydney Abrams, who was recorded telling a student, “You got me pissed off today. You might be an idiot, but I’m not an idiot.” She’s among other cases that have cost Seminole County taxpayers about $70,000 since 2011.

Brevard County school officials spent $170,000 to try to remove a band teacher accused of mistreatment and sexual comments toward students and lost the case, the television station reports.

The point is, these types of cases are ongoing in virtually all parts of the country, and they’re costing taxpayers a lot of money that could be much better spent on things that actually benefit students.  (more...)

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