Saturday, November 13, 2004

Quit Whining About Teachers Working Overtime (For Free!)

APS--The School Police have proposed that teachers be limited in their access to their classrooms after school. I guess it is too difficult to keep track of things what with everybody working all the time. Two key parts of the proposal are that teachers must stay at least an hour if they go to their rooms, and no going after 8:00 PM on weeknights. Weekends have even more restrictions.

The problem is that there are about 5000 classrooms in APS, all of which have motion detectors. Any idiot could predict that a system that relies on 5000 people calling in to Police HQ is not going to be successful much of the time--especially since most classrooms don't even have phones. The penalty for forgetting to call is to surrender your key and have a nasty meeting with your if the teacher were a child rather than a professional. I personally don't care if it makes the job of the School Police harder to have to deal with the realities of teaching. Let them work as hard as teachers do and then we'll have a talk. What person wants to have to go back to work at night and on weekends? Nobody. But a classroom is a complex part of a teacher's life: part workspace, part home (25 young people live in a classroom for most of the day), part maintenance-needing interactive learning environment, part repository for sensitive information which cannot leave the building. The School Police stated that teachers were just showing up to feed their hamsters. Frankly, it is not Police business what a teacher thinks needs to be done in that classroom. It could be that the teacher is sick and dropping off lesson plans. It makes no difference: it is not Police business.

If the job is too difficult with 5000 people working in 5000 different rooms, get rid of the APS Police and let APD respond. Or come up with a different system. But quit whining. Everybody has a tough job.

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