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By Henrietta Cisneros, freelance correspondent.
June 2, 2011
12:00 p.m., PST
Dirty Pool: SCTA Style
Members of the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) and a faction of teachers at Hiram Johnson high school are waging a new kind of warfare. Children at Hiram Johnson High School and throughout the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) are being misguided and manipulated by a group of teachers and union bullies as a means of ousting seasoned principal, Felisberto Cedros.
Conflict erupted on the Hiram Johnson campus between Cedros and a group of teachers shortly after he was appointed principal last year. Cedros implemented new policies at the school ranging from a dress code for teachers (teachers were wearing flip flops and shorts to work), no pets at school, no food or drink in the classrooms, to ensuring that best teaching practices were being utilized in each classroom. Cedros also initiated a summer long cleaning spree in which many teachers were told to remove their personal belongings from their classrooms. During the summer cleaning phase a school employee noted that she observed custodial staff remove six beds, old and outdated textbooks from the 1960’s, and open food items that had been expired for nearly three years. It was also suggested that many classrooms were infested with rat and dog feces.
Some teachers on the campus have resisted the changes almost from the beginning. Now, in a retaliatory effort, many of these teachers have resorted to drafting students on the campus to do their dirty work. That’s right; kids are being recruited and manipulated as a means of assisting SCTA in “dirty pool” tactics. This plan comes to fruition this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the SCUSD Board of Education meeting. Tonight, school aged children that have been taken advantage of and unduly influenced will be marched in front of the School Board in an effort to do away with a principal that has fought valiantly to eradicate an atmosphere of low standards and poor teaching on the campus. Why? Simply put, there are some teachers on the Johnson campus that want things to go back to the way it used to be. How did it used to be? Student expectations were low. Teacher standards were nearly unheard of. Teachers rested comfortably in their poor performances while the union approved former principal treaded quietly until he could retire.
It is apparent that Cedros and his administrative team have created a climate of new expectations at Johnson high school. Many teachers and students on the campus enjoy the new expectations and challenges. Some students have exclaimed that they feel “more prepared for the world after high school.” It is evident that the new leadership is making a difference.
Tonight’s board meeting will be important. Tonight can be a defining moment in the direction we want to take our schools. Do we want “old guard” union lackeys with a track record of failure and low expectations running our schools or do we want leaders with intestinal fortitude that are willing to do what it takes to get the job done? Our children are certainly worth the debate.
The public is encouraged to attend and speak at tonight’s school board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Serna center located at 5735 47th Avenue, Sacramento, C.A. 95820.