The Glendale News-Press June 22 article "Teacher sues Glendale Unified," and the letter to the editor titled "Toll teacher should not have been fired" on June 29 paint a very disturbing picture of the actions and attitudes of district administration. To fire a teacher for a legitimate cause may be occasionally necessary, but the facts presented in the above articles strongly suggest that there was nothing legitimate about this particular action.
The fact that her peers elected Jennifer Pakradouni "Toll Teacher of the Year" creates a strong presumption that her character and competence are exemplary. In conjunction with this, the refusal of the administration to reveal the reason for their decision creates an even stronger presumption that they have something to hide.
The statement of Glendale Unified's assistant superintendent for human resources, John Garcia, that "because it is a personnel matter, it is confidential" is ludicrous under the circumstances; it is precisely because it is a "personnel matter" of extreme seriousness to a respected teacher that any appearance of a cover-up in this matter should be strictly avoided. And yet, that is exactly what seems to be happening.
Maintaining the quality of public education is a perennial challenge, and it has become more difficult than ever in recent years. It is expected that Glendale Unified will have its share of problems and setbacks. What is not expected, and not to be tolerated, is that excellent teachers will be fired without serious cause.
I urge the school district's administration to "come clean" in this matter, and if necessary to admit error and make appropriate restitution. To be compelled to do so by the courts, after an expensive legal battle, would be the worst possible outcome for the school district and its officers.
Columnist a delight with humor, good sense
May I take this opportunity to tell you how very much I enjoy Patrick Caneday's column "Small Wonders."
I thoroughly enjoy his combination of humor and good sense. He is a very talented writer. Hang on to him.
Take a moment to appreciate, tolerate
As a resident of Glendale, I want the community members to notice the article about generous people of our city written by Ruth Sowby about Cancer Survivor Day at Glendale Adventist Medical Center ("On the Town: Cancer survivors," June 30).
More than 200 cancer survivors, families, doctors and administrators were present. The Verdugo Mental Health Foundation invited about 75 guests at Wine Cave in Montrose. Among the guests were Verdugo Mental Health Care Chief Executive Jeff Smith and Chairman Carl Povilaitis, who is also a Glendale police lieutenant.
Residents have to know that their Police Department has loyal and brave officers who are not only fighting on streets against crime, but also generously giving their time and money to help people.
We should appreciate the efforts of Povilaitis and other officers who are putting their lives in danger every day. These dedicated officers, like all of us, have families, children, parents and problems, but they are putting their life under fire for us and our families.
I would call on our community members to be more tolerant of the small imperfections that might happen in daily life, and take second look at the efforts of our police officers.