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Letter: Lebanon Teachers Deserve Respect

To the Editor:

I respect Deb Nelson for eloquently communicating her support for her accomplished teaching colleague, Luke Michener, following the publication of the Dec. 17 article “A Call for Better Teaching in Lebanon.” In response to the article, which must have been troubling to the many fine teachers at Lebanon High School, Ms. Nelson’s letter was professional and courageous in tone and substance.

Lebanon High School administrators failed to demonstrate the same level of professionalism in their public communication. Although comments attributed to assistant principal, Gina Moylan, may have been taken out of context, the unfortunate silence from the administration following the publication of the article would suggest otherwise.

Ms. Nelson wrote, “There may be teachers (at Lebanon High School) — or at any school, for that matter — who would benefit from support and guidance in strengthening their work.” I would agree with this statement, but I would further suggest that the same could be said for professionals working in any organization, business or institution. I do not believe that administrators at our local hospitals, businesses or colleges would so publicly and casually evaluate their professional staff using broad generalizations, while tacitly agreeing to feature a photo of one member of their staff under a sensationalized and demeaning newspaper headline. Nor would they think it appropriate for members of the general public to haphazardly evaluate their staff.

If we really do care about providing students at Lebanon High School, and elsewhere, with a high quality education, let’s expect school administrators to lead the way by elevating the dialogue. Teachers at Lebanon High School deserve more respect.

Susan Pullen

Plainfield

Related

A Call for Better Teaching at Lebanon High School

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It isn’t unusual for parents to express concerns about a teacher or a particular class at Lebanon High School, administrators there said. But it is uncommon for a group of parents to press for improvements to teaching. Such a group has emerged, a small group of parents who are decrying what they see as substandard teaching at the high school …