FLORENCE — A teacher was forced to resign from teaching eighth grade math at Copper Basin K-8 School after receiving “zero support” from administrators in dealing with student misbehavior, she told the Florence Unified School District Governing Board.
Amanda Russell was on the board’s Jan. 11 agenda to be charged $1,500 for breaking her contract in the middle of the school year, “but that’s not why I’m here,” she said. “I’m here because I need you all to know exactly what’s going on in that school and why I left.”
The board had already approved charging Russell for breaking her contract, but after hearing her speak, rescinded that action and continued the item to next month’s meeting.
Russell told the board that despite the fact she was a new teacher, administrative staff never checked on her in 15 weeks. Students who were misbehaving in other nearby classrooms were sent to her class. “I was in the middle of trying to do a lesson, and I had to handle every behavioral issue on a hall full of seventh and eighth grade students.
“I was then told if my test scores aren’t where they need to be, I wouldn’t have a contract at the end of the year anyway. How can I teach a class when I’m constantly being interrupted by students coming in because they misbehaved in their class and they were sent to me for discipline, because my admin staff’s not there?”
She said she was told, “Just write ’em up. … I did 57 write-ups in 15 weeks. Nothing happened with any of those students.” Russell said she was ill, wasn’t eating or sleeping and lost weight, “because of what was going on in that school. I had zero support, and I finally physically could not do it any more.
“So that is why I resigned my position. It wasn’t because I wanted to or I hated my job, or I just couldn’t stand it. It’s because I had zero support. And I physically, mentally and emotionally could not do it any longer. My stress and my sanity is worth more than $1,500. But I need you all to know what is actually going on in that school to help fix it.”