CAT Tracks for December 4, 2000
A TALE OF TWO TURKEYS
NEW CRISIS IN CAIRO SCHOOL DISTRICT #1...
New financial crisis?...No!
Concern about low achievement scores?...No!
Why...To cook or not to cook...That is the question!
Folks...I don't make these things up...stuff just seems to always happen in Cairo School District Number One.
Despite the fact that employees have had potlucks, including cooking on site, for years at Cairo High School...
Despite the fact that employees have had potlucks, including cooking on site, for years at Cairo Junior High School...
Despite the fact that employees have had potlucks, including cooking on site, for years at Bennett Elementary School...
Despite the fact that employees have had potlucks, including cooking on site, during previous years at Emerson Elementary School...
AND...Despite the fact that employees (including present and past superintendents) have had potlucks, including cooking on site AND grilling out back...at the Central Office...
Superintendent Isom issued an edict last Wednesday that there would be NO MORE COOKING AT EMERSON ELEMENTARY!
What does this have to do with "A Tale of Two Turkeys"? Well, evidently Dr. Isom's edict was brought on by a complaint by someone at Emerson who chose to go over the principal's head (or behind his back). The complaint was that one of the secretaries was spending her time cooking everyday...instead of performing the duties listed in her job description. IN FACT...as I found out when I asked..."cooking" has only taken place on three occasions...and on one of those occasions, the food was actually cooked at home and brought to school and warmed. The "last supper" consisted of deep fried turkeys.
But what about "cooking" everyday? Those "transgressions" consisted of having assorted snacks available before school, during breaks, and during the lunch period...fruit, cookies, and the like...Things that the District provides during inservices...IF we are lucky!
I went to the school board meeting last Wednesday to report all of the above. Why? Employees at Emerson Elementary School have been brought much closer this year...morale has soared! Faculty and staff looked forward to coming to school, unlike some of us at other buildings. This is something that the Board has always professed to want...knowing that happy employees tend to work harder and accomplish more. The Board has even spent some of its scarce resources to accomplish this purpose--beginning of the year breakfast, end of the year luncheon, tokens of appreciation during American Education Week. THIS morale booster cost the District nothing!
BUT...Someone evidently thinks this is bad...and this person evidently is receiving a sympathetic ear.
What was the Board's reaction to my appearance? Superintendent Isom told me after adjournment (1:05 a.m.) that the Board had declared a "MORATORIUM ON COOKING ACTIVITIES"...IN ALL BUILDINGS...until such time that they could "consult with their attorney and their insurance carrier! GIVE ME A BREAK! More money spent on lawyers to FIGHT employees instead of working WITH employees for the improvement of the District!
So...Stay Tuned...Will we be able to have the annual Christmas parties...or will we have our own local showing of "THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS"?