NFT Asks District to Defend Teachers
In a press conference Tuesday evening, the NFT called on the district to defend teachers.
The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers held a news conference Tuesday evening to address an alleged shoving incident that that took place Friday, September 23 at Neshaminy High School.
According to the union, a ranking member of the NFT was allegedly shoved by a school secretary during an altercation in the main office of the high school. The NFT member filed an incident report Monday with the Middletown Township Police Department and is consulting with NFT attorneys on options for filing harassment charges or seeking a restraining order against the alleged attacker.
NFT officials claimed that this alleged incident as well as reports of vandalism to NFT signs and property, and "anti-teacher and anti-NFT" comments online are examples of the bitterness that has grown in the community through the contract impasse.
"It is quite clear to us that the district's silence on these matters is appalling. We have asked the district verbally and in writing to speak publicly out against this type of behavior and to tone down the rhetoric directed at the NFT, but they remain silent," NFT Vice President Anne Schmidt said at the news conference.
The union believes that, in remaining silent, the district is "toying with the safety of its certified staff," Schmidt said, adding that the district is sending a signal to the community that it is "open season on teachers."
During the news conference, Schmidt and the rest of the union leadership showcased comments that have been made on the Neshaminy Info Facebook page, which is operated by board member William O'Connor.
They also displayed a letter dated September 21, 2011 they sent to Superintendent Louis Muenker, to which they said they have not received any correspondence.
"It's not our job to protect them," school board member Mike Morris said at the following school board meeting.
During the meeting, O'Connor said that while he does not condone the actions of those involved in the alleged shoving incident, he is "shocked" that the NFT would "exploit" the situation. He also that said the NFT is "doing what they do best" by deflecting attention away from "their unaffordable contract demands" and placing "blame on everyone and everything else."
NFT and board members did not comment on the alledged shoving incident as it is a personnel issue and is still under investigation.