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Stoughton Teachers Rally For New Contract

Jack Kneeland, a student at the Gibbons School, shows his support for the Stoughton Teachers at Tuesday night's rally. Photos by Michael Hardman
Jack Kneeland, a student at the Gibbons School, shows his support for the Stoughton Teachers at Tuesday night's rally. Photos by Michael Hardman
On the eve of a contract talks meeting, the Stoughton Teachers Association held a rally Tuesday night outside of the high school cafeteria before their planned appearance at the Stoughton School Committee.

A crowd gathered to rally to support the teachers, singing songs and blowing whistles, while drinking hot chocolate to keep warm. Parents and students also joined them.

"We love the support and love the energy," said Andrea Pires, president of the Stoughton Teachers Association.

Pires said she is hopefully the two sides will be able resolve their differences when they meet Wednesday.

"That would be a nice Christmas present for everyone," she said.

The STA was supported by their Dedham counterparts

"The war on teachers and the war on public education ends here in Stoughton," said Timothy Dwyer of the Dedham Education Association..
Debra Smith Cote December 10, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I was profoundly disappointed in the conduct of the school committee members and the Superintendent during the meeting. Talking, chatting, Dr Rizzi checking her cell phone every few minutes. It was as if all of those parents and teachers ALL OF THOSE VOTERS mattered nothing. And when there was a recess, I told them so. My KIDS were next to me and more respectful.
SJP December 10, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Debra, SPS's will have a $39,300,000.00 budget, 700 employees, an almost 4000 students. They will spend about 10K per student, Cardinal Spellman spends 10.3K per pupil and sends 99% to higher education, there is only a finite amount of money in this town. This Endless cacophony and critiquing on a daily basis makes me want to take off to Hawaii for 6 months. Add in pseudo Zen like analysis with the incomprehensible "Magic" soliloquy. EVERY other union in town is under contract and lacking the constant drama of the contract less union. Some of the invective I've heard from the union I can hear the price of my house going down as I'm reading it. This is what I expect from EVERYONE: The administrators to administrate. The teachers to teach. The students to student. The parents to parent. Every single one of the 4700 students and employees I'm quite sure has room for improvement, but this constant transference helps no one. The most positive means of action for Stoughton is to have each individual expected to do whatever they can according to their means, including myself.
Michelle December 11, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Are you really comparing SPS to Spellman? Really? a private school where people pay tuition and they can reject students? Where the lower income/ ELL population is but a small percentage of what SPS has to deal with? Where parents can afford to send students to college? While the other unions in the town fight for personnel and equipment, teachers fight for your student. Decimating a pay scale they way the SC is proposing will have teachers flock from this system. You will hire new teachers who will then leave to teach in a system that values them and pays them accordingly. Students will have a constant flow of new teachers, which is hardly beneficial to anyone involved. The majority of teachers do not go into teaching for the money...you know that right from the start...but they do deserve respect and a competitive wage. people expect teachers to help create students, future leaders, who will stand up for themselves and fight for equity but for some reason think they will not apply those principles to themselves. As far as Debs comment, behavior of that sort from the SC and Super basically shows their own inability to understand the severity of the situation. The disrespectful actions show how little importance they put on this matter.
SJP December 11, 2013 at 09:19 AM
Hey Lady, as usual you completely miss the point, try reading the entire thing first, before your pathological hatred of Dr Rizzi makes it's near daily appearance . What in the world have u ever done for this town? Oh and BTW, I agree with u, I'm glad you're not a teacher in this town also.
Debra Smith Cote December 11, 2013 at 12:24 PM
SJP, I agree with you that the expectation is that everyone do their jobs. I don't agree with your tactics of attacking people on a personal level on a blog when you do so under an anonymous name. You are so very courageous to present your opinions to the public without any accountability for your words. Hmmm... lack of accountability. .. There seems to be a lot of that going around. I will make this simple. It is the job of the School Committee to 1. Supervise and hold the Superintendent accountable. This does not happen in Stoughton. The Superintendent consistently drops the ball. This leads me into #2. Most recently she mismanaged the school budget to the tune of over 700,000 dollars. If you work with budgets then you understand that if you don't use it, you lose it. You can mismanagement a budget to a deficit or a surplus. Neither one is acceptable. It is a slap in the face to the schools, the parents teachers and kids to not use the money (you could easily utilize that money in every category of the budget that it was designated for. A budget is a working plan and must be regularly managed and reviewed. No excuses). It is also a slap in the face to the taxpayers of this town after all of the drama that unfolded in order to get that money to the schools in the first place. If she didn't need it then why did she demand it? It was the School Committee's job to hold her accountable. A best practice would be to review the progress of a current budget before voting on a new one. That didn't happen. 3. It is the School Committee's job to participate in collective bargaining and secure contracted teaching staff to run the schools. They have not done this. We should NOT be having the fights surrounding this that we do. I don't really care what you have to do to reach a fair agreement, GET IT DONE. Teachers are leaving our school system in large numbers. Interesting that they met together on one of their meeting dates, and school committee members were not available so no negotiating took place. I guess negotiating a contract isn't all that important? ?? So there you have it. I DO hope that was Zen enough for you. I would hate to disappoint.
Debra Smith Cote December 11, 2013 at 01:03 PM
@SJP do YOU like seeing the mismanagement of our schools in the news constantly? Do you enjoy sseeing good potential residents of our town pass us by in favor of towns with better school systems? Or do you enjoy the drama that unfolds like a Jerry Springer episode every Damn time the powers that be are asked to do the jobs that they signed on to do? All I ask at a school committee meeting is that people do their jobs and do it respectfully, with consideration and respect for those that granted them the privilege of sitting there. The conduct of the people sitting at that table last night was a sad reflection of their opinions of their constituents.
SJP December 11, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Debra, I is staggering the double standard that you employ when you don't agree with someone. First of all I NEVER mention you in my post, other than directing it to you. I have read on here comments calling the SPS's management team and SC members among things, liars, cheats, incompetents, lapdogs, spinning, not truthful, deceive, gross incompetence, an on an on an on an on. I was simply stating the facts that the town has finite resources. And don't play games with me like you don't know who I am either, ask Erdem.
SJP December 11, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Looks like I made many typo's, typed it from a very small android with large hands. My mistake.
Debra Smith Cote December 11, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I actually have no idea who you are. Nor does it matter because you choose to hide behind 3 letters. "and BTW, I agree with u, I'm glad you're not a teacher in this town also." Is not a personal attack? Oh and I understand, when in an intellectual debate is customary to utilize condescending labels like "lady" when addressing others. Especially when you use it in a public forum to devalue others' opinions. My mistake.
SJP December 11, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Michelle stated on Oct 24th "I am so happy to be a teacher --- in another school system". Why would I want an employee who hates the SPS's? I have given far to much of a commitment of my time, effort, and personal wealth to stand that. Glad to set the record straight. BTW, the silence is deafening on the personal attacks.
Debra Smith Cote December 11, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Why would a teacher want to come to a school system if the wages aren't competitive and they can get more support from a better administration? I think it's very sad. I don't subscribe to the "Hey there, this is how it is and if you don't like it, don't let the door hit your bottom on the way out!" I have a great respect for teachers. They contribute more to the future of our communities than most. If we want to attract (and here's the key word... wait for it. ...) RETAIN great teachers we have to be competitive. It's no secret that many amazing teachers have left our school system to work for other communities. If my employees are complaining to my Administration constantly that I am not receptive, unfair, unapproachable and won't pay them fairly and that's why they're all resigning and taking positions elsewhere, do you think that my employer says "Oh that's fine. They were just crybabies whining because they want something for nothing. "? No, in reality the entire corporate HR department would descend on my facility and my employees would be listened to. I would then be called out for my poor management style, inability to resolve conflict and a general lack of management skills. Couple that with a significant budget surplus and an under performing department with poor outcomes, and I would be sending my resume out to other places of employment. I have a lot of respect for teachers. And from what I see has been happening in our school system lately I don't blame some for not wanting to come here. Instead of stomping our feet and saying shame on them! I don't want people like that working for us anyway then! Don't you think that maybe we should look around to how other communities work with their teachers and do what they do? It's nice that you have given some of your time and "personal wealth" to kids' educational development. But teachers dedicate there lives, most of their personal time and their passion to the kids.
Debra Smith Cote December 11, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I think it's kind of funny how "competitive wages" was an argument used to justify Dr. Rizzi ' s pay raise, but is an argument that's dismissed when the teachers use it. Just an observation. ..
Michelle December 11, 2013 at 04:57 PM
First off, do not address me in a derogatory way. Also, never assume that I am not a critical reader who reads every word before I post anything. Your ability to take personal offense to a comment pointing out the error in your logic is simply astounding. You really cannot compare SPS to a private setting. If you'd like to do a side by side comparison, check a school of equal marking or standing, not a private for pay institution. If not, your faulty logic cannot stand the comparison you are trying to make. Second, I would not want to be an employee here because of the basic blasting this town's teachers have received and continue to receive for doing what is best for all involved. As far as what I have done to support Stoughton, the town that I was born and raised in, you have no idea. Just as you have no idea how many generations of my family have done the same for this very town, a town where places are named for and after MY family. The difference is in defense of my beliefs about what this town used to be and where it is going , I don't have to go on a direct attack of people who post. I have neither love nor disdain for Dr. Rizzi as a person, but mismanagement is mismanagement, plain and simple. People who don't even live here and know of this can see it. I also find your hyperbolic statements of my " pathological hatred of Dr Rizzi makes it's near daily appearance", libelous and incorrect as neither statements are true. Oh and "BTW" make no mistakes in believing that my"silence" constitutes a cowering on any part, which is highly indicative of your having no idea who I am. The only reason I even bothered to address your comical comments is because of Debra Smith Cote and her support. Like her, I have no idea who you are, nor do I care, but you might want to back away from this tag team before the rhetoric becomes to challenging.
Heather December 13, 2013 at 12:48 AM
I have been trying to keep quiet but now things have gone to far. I just found out the Joyce Husseni, also know as the Chair Person of the School Committee sent a message to Debra on her personal facebook page. Not only did she use foul language (really professional there), but she accused Debra ofcosting the town donations because of her comments here. For starters I thought this was America and that we had freedom of speech. Second, where does she get off telling anybody that they are wrong because they don't agree with her. I hope that Debra publishes this letter so that the town can see just what kinds of people are representing us. I believe that due to this behavior Ms. Husseni should resign from her position. Yes, that is how disgusting her actions were. It is time for this town to open their eyes!!!
Tim Corkum December 14, 2013 at 12:37 AM
I got news for you SJP. Your days of bullying and harassment in the school system are coming to an end. I promise you will be exposed for what you are along with the rest of your thug buddies. I encourage everyone to Watch The Freedom Network on StoughtonTV.com. Gary Rosenberg and I will be exposing the dictatorship run school system right after the holidays.
SJP December 14, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Hey Tim, nice try pal, I've never worked one day in my life in the school dept. I was a donor, but I'm now taking the year off. What have you ever done for the town or the Stoughton Public Schools? I'll give u a hint, I'm the largest donor in town. Or should I say thanks to people like you, I was. Just got back from the Celtic, have a nice night.
Tim Corkum December 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM
SJP, we keep hearing about ALL this money you donate to the town. You have a big opinion of yourself yet you still hide behind a screen name. So who are you? As for the money, who cares how much money you have. Others like myself don't have the money to donate but if we did we would for the sake of our children. That's if it was going to be managed right!
Tim Corkum December 15, 2013 at 07:49 AM
My apologies to SJP I thought you were the one who wrote the letter to Debbie. My anger was meant towards her.
Tim Corkum December 15, 2013 at 07:56 AM
Robin..email me please
Robin December 15, 2013 at 08:02 AM
Tim - I messaged you on Facebook.
Robin December 15, 2013 at 09:06 AM
Somehow my commented disappeared - SJP = Steven J Prone, Prone Family Foundation.
Jane Doe December 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Is Ms. Husseini suggesting we should allow people who donate money to the school department to make policy or to judge what can and cannot be said? Ms. Husseini's Facebook comments to Ms. Cote are juvenile and embarrassing. If Mr. Prone thinks he can buy control over who speaks out against the schools, he can keep his money. Our schools teach kids about democracy; let's practice it, people, and try not to be an embarrassment to the town.
SJP December 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM
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Stoughton Parent December 17, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Does anyone else think it's a bit ironic that people posting as Jane Doe and Robin are putting a persons name who used his initials? Maybe it's just me.
Robin December 18, 2013 at 07:13 AM
No, it's uncanny that someone posting as Stoughton Parent would make that statement. I don't hide behind initials or generic names.
Stoughton Parent December 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Who in the world are you accusing of hiding? Why are you so concerned with that? I'm working 70 hours a week and still have no idea how I am paying 2 kids tuition next year. Goodbye

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