The contract includes a 3.6 percent pay increase for teachers, as well as new requirements for teachers to keep lesson plans and grades updated.
The new contract also includes a stipulation that states, “Crimes committed in schools will be pursued as crimes committed elsewhere, to the extent the district has the right to press charges for those crimes. In all other events, the district will fully support the teacher who chooses to press charges on his/her behalf.”
Opponents of the measure, including RCSD teacher Brandon White, attended Thursday’s school board meeting to protest the clause, and countered it could end up being a discriminatory practice toward black and Hispanic students.
“We all know how wild some students can be, but we also can’t ignore the fact that the vague nature of this teacher contract clause can be easily abused by professionals,” White said in an open letter to RCSD teachers. “We already disproportionately suspend kids for minor infractions, and nationally we disproportionately suspend black, Latino, and sped students for the same infractions that other students commit. Imagine how much more malpractice will happen with a clause that provides carte blanche for some of our colleagues that subjectively label our student’s behavior as criminal, without an objective process of determining the validity of the accusation.”
However, despite the group’s protests, board members voted to pass the contract, except for board members Cynthia Elliott and Mary Adams, who cast the only “no” votes during the meeting.