Revere Teachers’ Association rally to show support for Whelan teachers

The following is a statement from the Revere Teachers’ Association on the meeting that was held by the Revere School Committee on Jan. 30.
In a strong show of support for A.C. Whelan teachers facing unfair punishments, a crowd of approximately 100 educators and community members rallied outside of the Jan. 30 meeting of the School Committee, which was conducting disciplinary hearings for the Whelan educators.
Seventeen elementary educators at Whelan have been disciplined for allegedly incorrectly administering a school breakfast program. The Revere Teachers Association is challenging the punishments, and the hearings were part of the grievance process. No decisions were made at the meeting.
“I’m glad there is so much support for these educators,” said Revere Teachers Association President Erik Fearing. “The teachers from Whelan were given unjust and overblown discipline. We’re all fighting for them to have these unwarranted punishments rescinded.”
Chants of “We support Whelan teachers,” “Hey hey, ho ho, Union busting has got to go,” and “We deserve respect,” echoed down the halls of the high school, under the watchful eyes of security personnel.
One security guard and three Revere Police School Resource Officers were on the scene.
Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy attended the rally.
“You’re here because you are under assault by a hostile administration,” she said. “If the School Committee and administration believe that our students are deserving of a respectful culture and climate, then that begins by making sure that educators are treated with respect and dignity.”
While the posted meeting was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., there was no sign of School Committee members until 5:15 p.m. Superintendent Diane Kelly confronted the crowd. She said that only the grievants would be allowed into the meeting and that “all others need to vacate the premise.”
“You have no business here,” she said.
The crowd responded by chanting “We deserve respect” until eventually leaving the hall.

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