Hyde parents speak out against Wichita School Board treatment

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While the decision has been made to transfer two Hyde Elementary School teachers. Parents associated with Hyde tell KAKE News it's not the decision that's leaving a bad taste in their mouth.
They're unhappy with how the Wichita Board of Education treated them during the process.

It was a highly debated topic, but Monday the BOE voted to transfer 5th grade teacher Dorothy Adams and music teacher Kali Barnett. It's a decision parents fought strongly against but in the end lost the battle. 5th grade student, Addie Stultz, says this has left her classmates feeling upset She said "I was overwhelmed and stunned that those are leaving and I can't believe they were just cut and just transferred."

The school district isn't discussing the specifics on the why the two teachers were going to be transferred. In the BOE's policy it states under assignment and transfer:

Transfers may be directed by the Superintendent or designee due to one or more of the following reasons:
a. Unique requirements of a program at a given administrative base

b. Reduction of staff within a given administrative base

c. Job related personal and/or professional problems of an employee

d. Overall imbalance as it relates to the Affirmative Action Plan with respect to the staff of a given administrative base

e. Recommendations of building and/or district office administrative personnel

Hyde school parents know the decision can't be overturned, but want to shed some light on how the board treated them. Hyde Elementary parent, Patricia Hileman, said "we need the board to listen to us and we're hoping to communicate to them that it's not okay to ignore your parents. it's not okay to ignore your constituents."

One parent, Rebecca Snell, says she was also appalled on how the school district treated the teachers. She tells KAKE News one BOE member told her that teachers work for the district, not with a particular school. It's a comment that did not sit well with her, "when the district's attitude is to that teacher is our piece of property and we can remove them anytime, anywhere it really breaks down the fabric of your school."

While the transfer decision is being called a "personnel matter," parents feel their children have been robbed of quality education. Hileman says "our students are the losers here and they may give us great teachers to replace these two but they can't replace what these teachers did."

Snell said "if you want to build a strong organization you do not tear apart the pieces."
While the atmosphere will change at Hyde Elementary. 5th grade student, Addie, says she hopes there can be better communication with the board, "I hope that the board would just listen to the families, the parents and the teachers and consider that it's not just their decision."

According to the BOE assignment and transfer policy it states "the BOE shall assign and transfer employees to positions which the Board determines to be in the best interests of the school system and the individual employee."

The 5th grade teacher, Dorothy Adams, had been with the district for 13 years. She started at Kellogg Elementary and moved to Hyde after. In part of a letter she wrote to the BOE she says, "to say that I feel targeted is a vast understatement. I am not a perfect person. In a leadership vacuum, I'm going to be a person to step in and attempt to help our school. This probably puts me at odds with some people at different times. I am a direct person. I like to get things finished quickly and efficiently. I believe that my principal, Laura Thompson, has made an effort this year to put me in a position so that I would be forced to leave Hyde. I believe she's done this because she is aware that I raised concern last year about her lack of leadership. This retaliation has been coordinated with downtown administration. Not only is this affecting me, it is affecting my child, who will have to switch elementary schools if this happens."


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