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WTU President: Fired Teachers Deserve More Than Back Pay, Jobs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Kadesha Bonds was one of the 75 D.C. Public Schools teachers fired in 2008. She worked for two years at McKinley Technology High School and says she never received a negative evaluation. In fact, just the previous year, she won an award for outstanding first year teacher.

    So when she received a letter telling her not to return two weeks before school began,"It was a total surprise and shock," Bonds said. "Like wow, what happened here?"

    Bonds couldn't find another teaching job and has since worked as a receptionist.

    An arbitrator ruled in favor of the teachers because DCPS didn't tell them why they were being fired.

    DCPS has decided to appeal the decision. But if that fails, Bonds said she'd like to teach again.

    "I want to go back," she said. "I was there for the kids."

    DCPS sent the laid-off teachers letters last week with reasons for their firing, which the union said included personal comments about their dress and attitude, not the quality of their teaching.

    But DCPS said the reasons these teachers were fired included not showing up, cursing students and playing DVDs.

    Saunders said he doesn't agree.

    "They had to put down something so folks got real creative," Saunders said.

    Saunders said they should receive damages for emotional distress. He also said by being labeled "bad teachers" they couldn't find other teaching positions. A decision about the appeal will take several months.

    Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

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