More at stake than one teacher’s job

If BOE fires Lomond teacher, district's reputation, relationship between administration and teachers will crumble

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More at stake than one teacher’s job

By The Editorial Board

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The editorial staff of The Shakerite have covered a recent controversy within their school district: the decision whether or not to fire a long-time teacher over a potentially tragic mistake.

It’s tempting to take the easy way out in an op-ed–to respond only to an isolated incident, rather than consider a larger context or underlying issue. The writers have done a great job here at examining not only the symptom, but the root cause, of the conflict. And by doing so, they’ve made a very compelling and informed argument.

When senior Emma Kagan recalled Cathleen Grieshop, her kindergarten and first grade teacher at Lomond Elementary School, she did not remember someone careless, disorganized or inconsiderate.

Rather, Kagan called Grieshop “a dedicated teacher who genuinely cares about her students” in one of 13 speeches from community members to the Board of Education Feb. 10. Kagan attributed her current success in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes at the high school to Grieshop, who took extra time to enrich Kagan’s reading skills, giving her “bonus spelling words” and encouraging her to seek knowledge.

Grieshop has been on administrative leave since Jan. 9, when she let a 6-year-old student of hers go to his locker. Instead, he left the building. In five minutes, Grieshop realized the boy was missing and called the main office, lunchroom, computer lab and aftercare, according to Shaker Heights Teachers’ Association President John Morris. A neighbor noticed the boy and called the police eight minutes after he had left. Now, the Board of Education is weighing whether to fire Grieshop, who has taught for 22 years.

Read the full article here.