I was one of the middle school Spanish teachers who was laid off due to RIF-Reduction in Funding in February 2010. We were notified by being called into our principal's office, met with our principal and Mr. Ben Desper, verbally notified that we would not have our contracts renewed due to budget cuts, then dismissed to go back to our classrooms and finish teaching for the day while stunned.
I very much beg to differ with the quote from Harper [Daily Tribune News article "Finances and transitions for area schools in 2011", Dec. 30]. What wasn't said was that the four middle school Spanish teachers were made to interview for the four high school Spanish teacher openings that were available at the time. All of us interviewed at all of the high schools. Only one was hired after being turned down at two of the other schools. The rest of us were turned down by all of the high schools. We are highly qualified, certified, experienced teachers and had worked for Bartow County Schools for many years but yet we weren't "good enough" to work for the high schools?? I worked for BCS for 12 years. The other three of us middle school Spanish teachers have all had great difficulties in locating other positions and one teacher has yet to find another position two years after being laid off. I am currently unemployed as well.
BCS non-renewed several teachers for various reasons during the 2009-2010 school year in order to reduce staffing. They kept assuring the rest of us that we would be taken care of and to not worry. One teacher turned down three other positions after Mr. Desper assured her repeatedly that she would be employed with BCS. She was not.
Why weren't the four of us laterally moved into the four available high school Spanish positions? That was done for several other employees at the same time we were dismissed. They were not made to interview for those positions as we were.
We were owed so much more respect and professionalism.