Monday, December 04, 2006

Fired For Being "Too Mean" Or Something Else?

Veteran Nebraska teacher Susan Urbanec was recently shown the door for being "too mean:"
A Siouxland educator has been fired after twenty years of service for being "too mean." The Pender, Nebraska School Board made that decision at 1:30 this morning after nearly two and a half days of testimony following a supervisor's request to terminate her contract. Susan Urbanec, the district's head special education teacher, spent about five hours testifying to allegations that she mistreated students, was unprofessional with fellow faculty members, and insubordinate to school superintendent Joe Sherwood. Some criticized Urbanec's discipline methods... which included a midnight detention and shortened lunch breaks for some students with behavioral disorders. But Urbanec defends her actions, calling herself a "managed teacher."

Before the board Wednesday night, Urbanec said "The students know my expectations of them. They can tell me my expectations of them and follow those expectations."

A disagreement over Urbanec's workload lead to her dismissal in late October. The superintendent says she refused to leave the building when asked, so he called the authorities. The board agreed with his decision to fire Urbanec, calling her possessive and unprofessional.

Joe Sherwood, Pender Superintendent said, "I became aware that Miss Urbanec had removed student records. As a result of that particular incident we proposed to the board an immediate cancellation of contract."

Mark Lander, Board President said, "You got a dedicated employee that's been a certain school for twenty years... they carry a lot of merit. We've heard both sides of the hearing her, and what the school board decided to cancellation of the contract immediately."

Sherwood says he's already found Urbanec's replacement.... a fellow teacher who's been filling in during Urbanec's absence.
Out here in California's so-called "Imperial" Valley, that "midnight detention" part by itself would be enough to get most teachers canned.

As for insubordination, any employee anywhere foolish enough to defy his or her supervisor's legal directives is simply begging for a firing..
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