A silent protest is planned for Thursday, June 4 from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM at the Spooner High School.
Students, staff, and families are protesting what they call bullying of teachers by school administration. They say that ill treatment of staff has led to an exodus.
This message gives you a taste of what’s up:
Recently coach and physical education teacher Andrew Melton was escorted out of the school and put on administrative leave after he sent out a district-wide email critical of the administration’s treatment of its employees.
On Wednesday over 70 Spooner community members held hands and prayed outside their local high school before the school day to “bring healing” to the school district.
On Tuesday students conducted a walk out.
From Washburn County Register:
“Before classes and after the bell on the morning of Tuesday, June 2 about 50 students from the Spooner High School gathered outside the school on in protest of how they think district staff have been treated over the school year and to show their support for district staff.”
Students initially gathered outside then went into the school and walked through the halls, returned outside, marched around the building then stood along the highway. They later ended up downtown Spooner to continue the protest. While marching students chanted “enough is enough” and “#Spooner Shame”.
School district officials deny that resignations and retirements are as high as students claim they are.
Also they say that much of staff frustration is related to Obamacare changes. (Yes, reader. I too am incredulous.)
From a NNCNOW.com article:
“Since July 2014, resignations, retirements and non-renewable contracts have been responsible for 27 resignations and 13 retirements, according to the district.
The district says they began the 2014/15 school year with a nearly $1 million deficit, and that they had a year full of difficult decisions due to state and federal changes.
The district attributes a lot of the staff frustration to the recent requirements of the district to be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.”
One note relayed to me with an accompanying video suggests that the school board plans to public relations their way out of this:
“WAKE UP SPOONER!
This is a video of the last school board meeting on 3/16/15
At around 1:44:00 Senora Elsen pleads her case to save the Spanish program and a teacher’s job at Spooner High School. The board offers no response.
Skip to about 2:05:00 to 2:15.00 you will be absolutely shocked.
In one sweep of yes votes with only Bob Hoellen standing up and voting NO they hire a Communication Specialist. A one year term with a $50,000 salary. That is not including benefits. The job description: update Facebook, twitter and maintain web page, work on school logo, post pictures of celebrations.
“A fulltime cheerleader” one board member explains.
Wake up Spooner! This is a inexcusable!
See it for yourself!!!” : LINK TO VIDEO