IT'S ALL ABOUT JUSTICE

 

On Monday, April 6, 1998, residents of Plainview-Old Bethpage community will see members of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Congress of Teachers picketing outside of our community's schools. This informational picketing is being undertaken to bring to the attention of the community a gross injustice perpetrated against one of our members, Eric Brooks, a physical education teacher at the Mattlin Middle School. Although he has been in the words of our Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Cavanna, " an excellent teacher," Mr. Brooks is being denied tenure, and, unless this injustice is reversed, he will not be teaching in Plainview-Old Bethpage next year.

In his almost three years in our district, Eric Brooks has quickly earned the respect and affection of his colleagues, his students and his immediate supervisors. Every immediate supervisor for whom he has worked has evaluated him as a superior teacher. As one of the pitifully few minority teachers on our staff, his presence in our ranks has afforded his students a very positive and powerful image of minorities, an image in sharp contrast to the stereotypes that pervade our society.

Why then are his excellent services to our community being terminated? We don't know. We do know that powerful forces in our school district are hellbent to have him fired, irrespective of his teaching skills and the esteem of his colleagues, supervisors and students. Something is terribly wrong when an injustice like this can happen in Plainview-Old Bethpage.

As people of conscience and good will, the members of the PCT are determined to confront this injustice and to root it out. We are steadfast in our resolve to preserve our school community as a place in which fairness, decency and tolerance underpin the instruction we provide. We call upon all people of conscience in our community to join with us in this vital endeavor.

On Monday evening, April 20, 1998, the Board of Education will be meeting to act on this matter. Citizens who care about our schools and the education of the young will want to be there to put a stop to this injustice.

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