School Board President: Right to work means work at your own risk!
PEQUOT, SD --- Two months ago, Pequot High School suspended its entire faculty for staging a drunk-out - a protest action against a newly instated "C" honor roll. Now, the school board is willing to reinstate some teachers, but under one condition. They must indemnify the school district in writing.
Paul Madison, school board president, said that the risks of working at Pequot High are well-known among the teaching staff.
"Most teachers have been around long enough to remember last year's riot, and they damn well know that some folks got killed. They know the risk," he said. "This is South Dakota, and in South Dakota, everyone's got a right to work. That means you come to work, you work at your own risk."
Madison further pointed out that the controversy-riddled school district has taken significant steps to raise self-esteem in its student body, thus empowering them to take charge of their education.
Superintendent Pat Burn elaborated, "Well, first of all, we took the teachers lounge and turned it into a student lounge. We don't need a place for a bunch of whiners with teaching degrees to get together and complain. But we do need a place for those students who smoke, since many of them are of legal age. We established the C' honor roll, and that allows students with even a 1.75 GPA to get recognition for their so-called academics. And last but not least, we rehabilitated our gang kids by putting them in charge of school security."
School psychologist Laurel LaBrasche said self-esteem and empowerment are crucial to the development of the adolescent psyche. She strongly supports the idea that teachers ought to indemnify their school districts.
She said, "For one, this frees up much needed funds from law suits and workmen's comp claims for programs that can foster students' self-esteem and empowerment. Furthermore, indemnifying the school district can actually empower teachers to view their own roles are nurturers, rather than disciplinarians. Most importantly, it would empower teachers to take responsibility and ownership in their interactions with the students."
LaBrasche is currently seeking funding for a week-long seminar she intends to teach in Palm Beach, titled Fostering Student Self-Esteem and Empowerment.
Students largely agree with the school board's requirement.
Said Junior Security Officer Doug "Thug4Evva" Hohlbein, "If some dumb-a** teacher tells me what to do, you're damn sure I'm gonna blast him. It's all about respect, you know. You gotta pay me respect, so you can earn some."
But teachers are less than enthused. Former Spanish teacher Constanza de la Barca and Math instructor Jake Rodham called the school board decision "pathological".
Burn replied their comments did not surprise him.
"You have to consider the source," he said. "Jake Rodham is still mad that the local parents set his house on fire. He would really be better off leaving town before people find out he still owns a car. That's not a threat, mind you. Just an observation of fact. As far as Senorita de la Barca is concerned, she is still crying about how racist we bad white South Dakotans supposedly are. Maybe they just don't know how to take a joke in Mexico or wherever the Hell she's from."
Burn said he was optimistic, estimating that up to 20% of his teaching staff will be certified before the end of the school year.