Tony Norman, a Knox County Commissioner, wanted the County Commission to hear publicly from teachers in his area. To make sure they could attend and speak at the County Commission meeting, he wisely rescheduled from an afternoon to an evening time so the teachers would not have to miss school.
The agenda topic Norman put on the County Commission's agenda was: "Discussion regarding teachers' revolt and superintendent's contract." When someone questioned the agenda's name, Tony Norman said, “It absolutely is a revolt. You don’t understand just how docile teachers are. This is not only way outside their comfort zone, it’s historic. Nothing like this has ever happened here before."
Norman, a veteran teacher from Farragut High and West High, understands the teacher's reasons for risking their job security to speak up for their students. He called the excessive testing of students and high-stakes teacher evaluations "data collection morass.” He further said, “I talked personally to McIntyre about these same issues when he got here. These ‘concessions’ infuriate me because teachers have been telling the administration about these things for years. Think about all the stress this has caused, all the psychologists and gastroenterologists who have been busy because of the BS this idiot has imposed on his employees. They’ve made people sick all across this county. And for them to come back and start backpedaling now? Oh, my gosh.”
He is also unimpressed with the joint commission/school board working group formed by Superintendent McIntyre to pacify teachers. Norman calls it “the Kumbaya Committee.”
Norman believes McIntyre’s staff attempted to intimidate teachers who attended the school board meeting on Dec. 9th to speak against McIntyre’s contract extension. Norman isn't fooled, saying, “That $900,000 PR department at the AJ (the Andrew Johnson Building, where KCS administration is housed) did its job. They filled up the first three rows with principals and shoved the teachers out into the outer lobby. They’re good, and they’ll sabotage this (Monday) meeting, too, in some way, if they can.”
(Click HERE to read the full article from the Knox Shopper News)
This quote by Tony Norman speaks volumes:
“You don’t understand just how docile teachers are. This is not only way outside their comfort zone, it’s historic. Nothing like this has ever happened here before.”
Teachers in TN are getting braver, or maybe they're just fed up. They are watching, cheering, and learning as Knox County teachers boldly lead the way, risking their jobs to make things better for their students. After years of abuse, teachers refuse to be victims any longer.
Watch this teacher's impromptu testimony at the Jan. 27 Knox County Commission meeting. The last 2 minutes will literally break your heart...