Ed. Note: The following letter was sent to each member of the Board of Education, with a request that it be published in the Voice.
Dear WH Board of Education Member,
As most of you know, I am a life-long resident of West Haven. I have been an educator at the high school level for more that 20 years, and I have spent 12 of those years teaching at West Haven High School. In the last few years my public discussion of corruption in my union and my opposition to the school district’s poorly conceived plans for block scheduling have earned me a reputation as someone who will ask questions and challenge authority when necessary.
Sadly, my outspokenness resulted in Superintendent Cavallaro serving me with a termination notice claiming that I am not capable of being an effective classroom teacher. I am now in the position of having to defend my good name and reputation as an educator.
Connecticut law says that when a teacher is given a notice of termination, he is entitled to a public hearing before the Board of Education. Although I made a request for a hearing before you, the members of the Board, Superintendent Cavallaro is railroading me into what amounts to a private arbitration. I don’t think it’s an accident that he doesn’t want you to hear my case yourselves. An arbitration means that a person with no connection to or knowledge of our school district and our town will decide whether I should continue to teach our students. I think that’s unfair and a denial of my rights.
I am writing you this letter because I think you —— and the students and families of West Haven High and the members of the community —— should be aware of how their tax money is being used by Superintendent Cavallaro: to try to persecute and terminate a dedicated educator.
I am requesting that you, the members of the Board of Education, honor my original request and reverse the process begun by Superintendent Cavallaro: provide me with an opportunity to present my case to you directly and in a public forum, so that you can decide whether I should continue to teach our students.