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School staff morale exceptionally low

2011-06-23T00:00:00Z 2011-06-23T09:33:01Z School staff morale exceptionally low The Billings Gazette
June 23, 2011 12:00 am

At the end of this academic year, I retired after teaching in School District 2 for nearly 40 years. It has been a long and extremely rewarding career and one in which I take pride.

However, it saddens and sickens me to leave a district that has been good to me and in which I have invested so much when I see the sad state it has degenerated into. Since the new superintendent began his reign, a pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation has taken over. I have served for a long time under a great variety of superintendents and administrations, many good, some not so good, but I have never experienced the uncertainty and unrest that the district is now undergoing.

When I read the recent comments in the June 19 Gazette by Superintendent Beeman concerning morale and I quote, " I'm not convinced we have low morale. I would suggest we have high morale," I was absolutely flabbergasted. I don't know who he's been talking to but it's obviously not the rank and file. If he really believes that, he is woefully uniformed.

I have talked to countless employees of the school district and not one of them has expressed anything like that. Be it teachers, administrators, custodians or aides, the universal feeling is that they are merely numbers that are to be manipulated and arbitrarily shuffled around or dismissed, all in the name of being fiscally sound whether it is or not. Being educationally sound, apparently, is not a consideration at all.

We all know that our schools are experiencing difficult times financially and nearly everyone is willing to work together to get things corrected and put the district back on a sound financial footing. However, the general feeling is that all decisions are being made from the top down without any input or suggestions from below.

Gerald R. Kessler

Billings

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