Opine I will

I am a retired elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

Parents setting the record straight for me.

My previous posts, I Need to Set the Record Straight and Still Setting it Straight  have  documented the false accusation and removal from my classroom that I was subjected to.

Just to recap, I was accused of posting a Pearson test question on Twitter. I was placed on administrative leave, escorted out of my room by my superintendent of schools, ultimately escorted out of the building and ordered not to return until New York State ruled on my guilt or innocence . Twenty four hours later, NYS ruled I did no wrong and I was informed that I was no longer a threat and could return to my classroom.   I have been demanding a public apology from the Superintendent, as well as my school board. To date that apology has not happened.

At this point, I don’t expect an apology. I never really did. In this age of litigation an apology could be seen as an invitation to accepting a liability. I understand that. What I don’t understand is the  failure to correct a wrong doing. I don’t understand the pretending that my superintendent’s actions were OK, and that no comment was warranted. Not even a show of support for him.. nothing, nada.. no comment at all.

Until the other night…

Tuesday night was our PTA’s installation and award night. Typically this night consists of awards and certificates given to parent volunteers and several teachers for their hard work. In the past I have received as well as presented  several of these awards. I was asked this week to present an award to a grade level colleague of mine, which I really enjoyed  and was honored to do. As I sat there watching and listening to the awards my mind was racing with thoughts of how does NYS measure this? How could this fit into our evaluation that will rate our effectiveness.

Then something unexpected happened, my family walked into the room. My children and my wife! ( I wondered what was going on.) Then 3 of my colleagues stood up and announced that the PTA has awarded me the highest award of the night ,The PTA Distinguished Service Award!  Their heartfelt words washed over me and cleansed me of the injustice I have endured!

The parents of my school set the record straight! Choosing me for this award and more importantly making sure my family was there as well to witness it  was more than I could  ever imagine.  I am forever grateful for the support and confidence during these trying times.

But the story is much bigger than just me…

Parents throughout the nation are also beginning to set the record straight.

Parents are organizing to opt their children out of high stakes testing. Parents are challenging the motive and research behind the Common Core Curriculum. Parents are challenging those who want to create a data base of their children’s information. Parent’s all across the nation are saying stop scapegoating our teachers, stop closing our schools, stop destroying our nations most important asset. Parents will be setting this all straight.

As far as my superintendent and school board’s apology… well they can keep it. I don’t need it. They had their chance.

The parents of my school  set the record straight.

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19 thoughts on “Parents setting the record straight for me.

  1. Michael Paul Goldenberg on said:


  2. Anonymous on said:

    That’s great Ralph, so happy for you. Dale

  3. Kathleen Knauth on said:

    And that is what it is all about! Congratulations to you! I know you will stay grounded in your beliefs! Sorry your district does not appreciate what you have to offer. Not that unusual, most like the employees that do not ask questions and follow the rules.

  4. schoolgal on said:

    Wonderful!! And the way they spoke up for you at the Board meeting was priceless.
    But did you ever receive an apology from the woman who started this whole thing??? Did she ever receive a reprimand?? The fact that your math example was published prior to your Tweet means that any math specialist or staff developer should have know about it. This is the only profession where teachers are guilty until prove innocent. I just read on Diane’s blog about a teacher who was fired because of his blog. Are there targets on the back of teachers who print the truth??

  5. That’s great. You are lucky that it was only 24hrs. I’m removed 407 days and today a student asked me to come to graduation. This award seems well deserved. Bravo.

  6. Anonymous on said:

    So happy for you!

  7. Middle school teacher on said:

    Every now and then, a story has a happy ending. You really deserved this particular happy ending, authored by the parents of the children in your school!

  8. Anonymous on said:

    Made my night !!! Well deserved honor 🙂

  9. Anonymous on said:

    Great news! Thanks for posting this.

  10. Patsy Joinnides on said:

    So happy, so deserved. You made me cry. I only wish I was there. I applaud you Ralph.

  11. Pingback: How Parents set the Record Straight for This Teacher | Diane Ravitch's blog

  12. Pingback: Parents setting the record straight for me. | Opine I will ← NPE News Briefs

  13. WordsMatter on said:

    It is so scary how teachers are being targeted. I stand in your honor for bravely standing for teachers everywhere.

  14. Congratulations — it used to be that the PARENTS and their children were our clientele. Local BOE’s set the standards for the local schools and the local teachers. Its wonderful to see local parents taking back some measure of that control by giving you an award like this.
    While we’re at it — what about this Allison Sikes? She’s a state employee who knew better (or should have known better) and accused you nevertheless — hmmmm, isn’t that a legal problem? Or at least a “job competency” problem?

  15. And the word is spreading faster than the Santa Ana Wind fires..
    Thanks to a brave and excellent teacher who is not afraid to stand up for the rights of all Americans!

  16. whythispath on said:

    As a parent and future educator, my heart is warmed by this message. Parents and teachers are the closest advocates our children have. We are both in the field every day, managing the ups and downs of the system that has been implemented by people who are strangers to our children. My children have had many remarkable teachers, and the most remarkable were those who not only included me as a team member in their lives, but shared a message of hope that the system hadn’t taken the lead in my children’s education.

    These special teachers made me a better parent and I know my children wouldn’t be the charismatic people they are without the influence of their strong teachers.

    It is just such a teacher who encouraged me to become a teacher, and I am proud to be a parent who advocates for both teachers and children. I will stand up to a school board and teach other parents how to stand up to them as well. We are a team, my children’s teachers and I. And I am so glad your parents understood the value and the steps necessary to validate your presence and the wrong doing of your administration.

  17. Peg Metzger (Bflo,NY) on said:

    Wonderful! You and your family really deserved this honor. Thanks for letting us know . Kudos to the parents who rose to the occasion!

    Meanwhile …why are the people who over-reacted and caused you so much trouble still working at their jobs?

    If someone lower in the pecking order goofed up so badly, they would be gone in a heartbeat.
    …You didn’t even goof at all, and look at how quickly” they” took action! Aargh!

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