Teachers Reach Boiling Point 


Elena Forrest, Writer

After a hard first semester of the school year where teachers’ concerns have not been remedied, they reached their boiling point, resulting in a demonstration outside of the school. 

Teachers gathered in front of the school with signs reading “SVUSD, Listen to your teachers” in an effort to get their message across on March 22.

Ms. Weismann, a teacher of 21 years an VMTA union representative, stated that the teacher’s goals are “to get the administration to listen to our concerns and to actually do something about them.” This includes “behavior expectations and discipline on campus as well as loss of prep time and curriculum.” 

In an interview during the demonstration which was conducted by senior Cesar Pulido, Mr. Jacobs, veteran math and shop teacher,  stated, “ We don’t feel that our admin at this point in time is supporting what we feel we need at SVHS for both the teachers and the student safety. I’ve been doing this for 23 years, and we have had more fights this year than we have for the past five or six years put together.” 

Weismann later stated that “if I have to send a student out of my class, I’ve been told to send an email, but I’m not sure who to send an email to. I’ve been told I need to fill out forms, but that the forms aren’t necessary. It’s almost as if they are trying to make it more difficult for us to discipline students.” 

Mr. Anspach stated that  “there is a lack of communication and there is not a lot of follow through with any punishment. I really like the restorative practice model, but it doesn’t really work for kids who are violent and get to be back on campus the next day. It strikes me as a safety issue.There is a clear issue with our campus safety, which must be handled with discipline, but if that system is broken, where do we begin?”

When asked if the demonstration was successful Weissman stated, “I was completely impressed with the number of teachers who made this a priority. It shows how serious they are to make changes on this campus.”

However the reaction from the administration was different. Superintendent, Adrian Palazuelos stated, “Our highest priority is creating and maintaining a culture on our campuses where everyone feels safe and secure – that includes, students, employees, families, and community members. Our teachers and staff members who connect with our students every day are our biggest asset, and we want to make sure they feel safe and fully understand that administration has their backs.” 

Despite this statement, Weissman stated, “Actions speak louder than words, and the teachers refuse to not see change on this campus any longer.”