Teacher's union fighting back against Dallas ISD

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 31 at 2:29 PM

DALLAS -- The Alliance AFT Teacher’s Union claims that Dallas Independent School District is punishing members who criticize school board decisions. That includes the board’s decision to extend the work day without extra pay.

The union is very concerned about those recent developments at DISD. They are furious about what they call a habit of “bullying” their teachers.

The union started an online petition today demanding that fourth grade teacher Joseph Drake gets his job back.

Drake, a teacher at Central Elementary School, was placed on paid administrative leave last Friday after he sent an email to Trustee Edwin Flores about extending the workday by 45 minutes. An hour after he sent the email, Drake was pulled out of his classroom and told he was put on paid administrative leave. 

Flores admits to forwarding the email to administrators, but won’t clarify if he had a role in the 14-year teacher being placed on leave.

Teachers groups said this is an example of an ongoing trend in DISD of teachers being punished for speaking out.

“I think the people that are supporting Mr. Drake and asking for him to be put back in that classroom saw that as another bullying tactic to say ‘If you voice a concern or if you voice or your opinion, then there are certainly consequences that could happen immediately,” said Rena Honea, Alliance AFT.

Drake has hired an attorney and is considering a lawsuit.

The school district said it is investigating the case, but refuse to say if he has a job.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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