Teacher Union And OKCPS Board Disagree Over Classroom Discipline

Wednesday, November 4th 2015, 10:46 pm
By: News 9

Concerns over classroom discipline in the state's largest school district, lead to an intense argument.

This is between the teacher's union president and an Oklahoma City school board member.

OKCPS Board Member Bob Hammack and President of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers Ed Allen are at odds over a survey conducted by the union. 

It says more than 800 teachers believe their classrooms are unsafe, and the district isn't doing anything about it.

“These ought to be disturbing statistics,” said Ed Allen.

Allen called the survey which focused primarily on student discipline in the district, a plea for help.

“Teachers took the time to write comments, and they are powerful statements. Pleas for help. I need help right now,” said Allen.

He said according to the more than 830 teachers who took the survey, discipline is worse despite a new plan put in place at the beginning of the year. 

“If you don’t acknowledge a problem, you can’t fix it,” said Allen.

Allen presented the survey results Monday during the public comment section of the board meeting.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Allen used his three minutes as a tirade to really sully the reputation of many of the staff members, the superintendent,” said Hammack.

Hammack said he had already prepared to speak out against the survey before Allen’s presentation.

“Apparently Mr. Allen doesn’t like the steps that we are taking and prefer that we go back to the days that we suspended kids, rather than deal with their problems,” said Hammack.

Hammack also said Allen is "stirring the pot."

“He also criticized the board and sort of characterized it as, we don’t care, which is outrageous,” said Hammack.  

“I go a little upset, I’ll admit that, when he was making those specific comments,” said Allen. “I thought it was appropriate to stand up and disagree with him.”