What are teachers afraid of?

The Virginia Gazette

Two Board of Supervisor members spoke at the March 8, BOS meeting about the fact that WJCC teachers are afraid to voice their concerns about school-related issues. My questions are: Why? What are they afraid of? And who are they afraid of?

So I asked around myself. Yes indeed, there is most definitely an aura of fear surrounding this administration. More pointedly, the teachers I spoke with fear Superintendent Constantino. Not one teacher I spoke with would dare to give a public opinion concerning opposition to the proposed re-purposing of James Blair, for example. Not one. Nor would they dare bring this up with their Superintendent, Dr. Constantino. I find this greatly disturbing.

Our society is based on free speech. Or was. How can the governed freely engage with their own government if they are stifled through fear and intimidation? The issue of James Blair, one would think, would naturally involve the opinions of the teachers, as this is about building a new fourth middle school, at great taxpayer expense, involving a new and innovative design and teaching format completely foreign to JCC. Yet few teachers, if any, have expressed their concerns to pertinent bodies. Only positive feedback for this middle school has been expressed.

As a litmus test for Dr. Constantino's administration, there could not be a more telling negative result. One should never fear to voice an opinion.

Barbara Henry

James City County

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