Teachers deserve fair hearings
Re “Teacher hearings overhauled; Disciplinary process faster, cheaper after major state reforms,” Feb. 16 article:
No one would argue the costs associated with due-process rights are high. Certainly, we are all aware of how much taxpayers shell out each year to support our criminal justice system. Lawyers, like John Gross whom you quote, would be out of jobs (some deservedly so) were it not for taxpayer handouts funneled in their directions. Thousands of dollars of every school budget line the pockets of attorneys.
But does this mean we should eliminate trial courts so the wrongfully accused are sent to prison without the opportunity to defend themselves? Aren’t teachers who are charged with misconduct similarly entitled to defend themselves, and have an impartial third party determine their guilt or innocence? Yes, the costs may be high, and yes, there are certainly ways to streamline the system, but the focus always seems to be “here go those teachers again with their tenure sucking up taxpayer resources that they don’t deserve.”
Every time a tragedy like Newtown or Columbine happens, we hear about the heroism of teachers, and we momentarily pause to recognize their contributions to our children every day. But thanks to articles like this one, that memory is quickly erased and replaced with supposed concerns about flaws in our school systems.