Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CTA lawyer Beverly Tucker violated the law to cover up her own crimes, but still touts free speech rights

Head CTA counsel Beverly Tucker used all her power and influence to cover up CTA wrongdoing against a teacher in Chula Vista Elementary School District. She has used this same power to deprive teachers all across California of their rights. But these were teachers without political influence.

Ms. Tucker takes a completely different tack when a teacher has political support. Below is an example of this from a story on CTA's website. Tucker's attitude would have been quite different if the teacher had tried to publish information about CTA's wrongdoing:

"Andrew Nolan was ousted from his post as student newspaper adviser at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill last June when the publication ran stories that made administrators unhappy. Topics included student fights, discipline problems on campus, broken computers, the High School Exit Exam and a job-shadowing program that some students considered ineffective.

"Nolan, a member of the Mount Diablo Education Association (MDEA), has been reassigned to teach English.

"When he first accepted the role of newspaper adviser, he told the principal he planned to encourage students to tackle “real issues” much like a community newspaper, and there was no objection. Students, he says, did a good job journalistically.

“They put their hearts and souls into it to make it the best paper it could be,” says Nolan. “Students started reading it for the first time. It used to be delivered and kids would just walk by on their way to lunch. But soon kids were clamoring for copies.”

"When he was first told of his reassignment, administrators said the reason was that his “talents could be better put to use teaching core curriculum.” However, a school district spokesperson later told a local newspaper that Nolan was reassigned because the student newspaper did not include the viewpoints of administrators. Nolan finds that ironic, since students often asked administrators for quotes and received a “no comment” response.

"CTA plans to file a lawsuit against the district alleging that Nolan’s First Amendment rights were violated when he was removed from his position, says CTA Chief Counsel Beverly Tucker.

"Quietly accepting the principal’s decision was not an option, says Nolan. “What kind of role model would I be for students if I just rolled over on this one? That wouldn’t be teaching them anything. And they deserve better than that.”

Link to full article.

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