Harrisburg PA – Unfortunately there is more bad news for Harrisburg School District. Concerned teachers have allegedly been threatened for participating in an education support group, and now the High School Principal is reportedly being replaced due to a controversial grade changing policy.
Harrisburg100 first reported on the so-called “Gifty-Fifty” grade changing policy in 2017, as well as threats against teachers when similar accusations of coercion where reported over a year ago.
The results of previous reports concluded that the district has financial incentives to not expose the extent of bad circumstances and conditions, and they are also incentivized to not reduce their total student enrollment. This has led to an environment of accepted delinquency and a controversial grade changing policy that has resulted in Principal Love being removed and likely to be replaced by an Assistant Principal.
Recently many new allegations have been made that teachers are being threatened for participating in the private Facebook group C.A.T.C.H., Concerned about the Children of Harrisburg.
Former Harrisburg School District staff member:
I have been out of the district for a few years now. This is not the first time staff was threatened. We were once put on a media blackout. Told we were not allowed to talk about anything to any media or on social media.
When pressed on the allegations of teachers being threatened or coerced into silence, an unnamed Union Rep said the claims are not true.
The Union Rep, who refused to go on record by name, said:
“Well it’s not true. And whether you noticed it or not, it was addressed here. I addressed it myself, and urged anyone who received any such threats to report it to a union representative so that they would be protected. All of our members have been informed of the chain of leadership, so if someone is uncomfortable with a rep they have many alternative people to turn to. Our union doesn’t threaten our members, we rally around them.”
It is a sad reality that teachers can face serious consequences for speaking out on injustices, and standing up for what they believe is in the best interests of the children.
Upon further investigation it was found that the Union Rep did address the matter on the original group discussion of teachers being threatened a week prior, and stated:
If anyone is receiving such threats they should report it to their union representative so they can be protected. Such a threat is a grieveable offense and should be followed up.
The modus operandi of Harrisburg School District is far from typical of Pennsylvania schools. While the conditions of an urban public school may be similar around the nation, one fact remains; the children are not being properly educated or prepared for the real world.
It is time to expect better from our education system.
An excerpt from Harrisburg100’s 2017 exclusive “No Reporting”
Some of the bullying and no-snitching culture that is prevalent in Harrisburg begins in our public school with the teachers who are in fear of District retribution, and Union retribution. Those with seniority loom over the new teachers. It puts the younger teachers in a tough spot, and their moves are controlled by fear of being pushed out. That is well known in all levels of academics, and is an effect of bullying and positioning for power or money.
Many of the repetitive fighting problems are due to the fact that reporting of the issues by staff creates problems with PDE (PA Department of Education), especially reporting the violence. Students know they will not be held accountable for fighting, and most staff don’t want to see the youth get a juvenile record, causing the student to be forced into the legal system.
The Superintendent doesn’t want any trouble from the PDE. This is a direct cause of the lack of accountability in the district, because to report the truth will put the school at a financial disadvantage.
The school district gets funding per enrolled pupil, therefore it is not in their interest to report bad things that would cause the student to be expelled from the district. Disciplining these children is not beneficial to the school because it has a direct negative correlation to their funding.
If a staff member makes waves by speaking up about the circumstances of the school, they get booted. It is understood that making waves in the district cause teachers and staff to drowned.