Bronx High School of Science Students Support Teacher
To put it lightly, Mrs. Reidy has been notorious for not getting along with the teaching staff of Bronx Science. It has been in the news on more than one occasion. This time, however, Mrs. Reidy made a personal attack on a veteran teacher who was retiring this year.
Her inappropriate actions towards Mrs. Alexander and other teachers have resulted in students and teachers rallying against her administration of fear and disrespect. A large number of teachers are retiring/transferring out of Bronx Science this year, many in retaliation to this and similar events.
In an email dated June 24, Mrs. Alexander sent the graduating officers of the S.O. this message:
To the Student Organization:
I just wanted to bring you up to date on Reidy's latest actions. As you know, I have been a dedicated teacher in the Math Department at Bronx High School of Science since September 1977. On June 24, 2009, a few days prior to retiring, I received a U rating on my annual professional performance review, the first U rating of my professional career. The reason cited for this U was “Absence and Punctuality”.
On May 7, 2009, I had received a letter from Assistant Principal Phoebe Cooper stating that I had been absent 10 days for self-treated (sic) and 4 days for religious observance and that I had only provided medical documentation for one of those days. The letter concluded by stating, “Continued absences could lead to an unsatisfactory rating for attendance.” After receiving this note, I provided the payroll secretary with medical documentation for the other days I was absent. Unfortunately my health continued to be poor and I was out 5 more days for illness, for which I provided doctors’ notes.
Each morning this year I arrived at school one hour before my classes started, to do school work, and I also worked during my lunch hour. Every night and weekend during the school year, I worked countless hours at home on behalf of my students. To be given the only U rating of my career a few days before my retirement, after teaching at Science for 32 years, was a personal insult, a stab in the back. At the same time it served to further shock and demoralize many of the equally hardworking faculty members at Bronx Science.
In the Teacher’s Handbook that was given to me along with this U rating is a statement that 10 or more absences MAY result in a U rating, meaning that the decision to do so is at the discretion of the administration. Principal Valerie Reidy evidently decided to make my retirement more memorable, to kick me out the door as I was leaving.
From Bronx High Student Facebook page