I'm Just Sayin': Enough name-calling, let's work together

I read with great dismay Glendale school board President Greg Krikorian’s letter to the editor that appeared in the Glendale News Press on Tuesday, “Union leaders don't speak for most teachers.” I agree with only one thing that Krikorian said, and that is, “Enough is enough!”

Enough with the bashing and name-calling. As a Glendale Unified parent I have had it with the acrimonious tongue lashings regularly handed out by members of the Board of Education to the teacher’s union.

We saw the most nasty and divisive contract negotiations last year between the district and the union. Let’s put an end to this now. Certainly with the budget cuts coming our way, both sides will need to work together during this tough time. Animosity just gets in the way.

As parents, we teach our children to listen to other’s opinions, even if they differ from ours. We teach them to be respectful and civil, and that just because someone disagrees with us, it doesn’t make them a bad person. Shouldn’t we expect, and don’t we deserve, the same level of behavior from those who lead our schools?

It’s clear, Mr. Krikorian, that you don’t like unions. I heard you say as much at a Crescenta Valley Town Council candidate forum during your last campaign. You need to realize, however, that you set the tone for the entire administration and your personal feelings must be put aside.

In your letter, you said that columnist Dan Kimber wrote “that union leadership doesn’t speak for the majority of teachers”. Kimber actually said that “a good number” of teachers may disagree with the union’s stand on Measure S, and he may be right.

Speaking of Measure S, from my understanding, the union wants a guarantee that the savings will be used to retain teachers and keep classes small.

At the Glendale Council PTA’s candidate forum, the two Glendale Unified incumbents, Mary Boger and Nayiri Nahabedian, each said that the school board was committed to these two goals.

With the same objective, why can’t the two sides come together?

I haven’t yet decided how I will vote on Measure S. The parents that I talk to say that their biggest concern is keeping class sizes down and that’s certainly top on my priority list too. Will Measure S help us secure that?

Additionally, I am still undecided about how I will cast my vote in the Board of Education race.

I need to get more information before the election on April 5 and, as I mentioned in a previous column, the Crescenta Valley Community Assn. will host two more forums before Election Day.

The first is a Glendale Unified school board candidate forum at 7 p.m. on March 23 at the Dunsmore Park Community Room at 4700 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta.

We will also be hosting a panel discussion on Measure S, featuring Glendale Unified Supt. Richard Sheehan, Glendale Teachers Assn. President Tami Carlson, and a representative from the Yes on Measure S Committee at 7 p.m. on March 29 at the La Crescenta Library.

SHARON RAGHAVACHARY is on the steering committee for Crescenta Valley Community Assn. and a member of the Family Advisory Council for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She may be reached at sharonchary@gmail.com.

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