The New Berlin School Board released a written statement late Saturday afternoon on the evidence of text messages that the New Berlin Education Association posted to their Facebook page Saturday. The evidence alleges intimidation by an administration member who replied to a group photo saying that non-tenured employees who refused to cross picket lines if a strike were to occur would be served “walking papers.”
The School Board’s written statement was as follows:
“On September 25, 2019, the Board of Education received the text messages of the alleged intimidation from the NBEA. The Board’s understanding is that these messages are from 2017.
The text messages are the subject of a pending investigation.
As was discussed at the Board meeting [on Thursday, October 10th], the District has attempted to meet with the NBEA regarding the text messages, among other topics, but has been met with a lack of cooperation. A tentative meeting was scheduled for October 11th, but was later cancelled by the NBEA. The parties are working on scheduling another meeting date.
The Board and Dr. Ehrman remain optimistic that the District and NBEA can communicate professionally to resolve outstanding matters.”
NBEA President Joe Kindred said in communications with WLDS/WEAI News on Saturday morning the following:
“The membership wishes to make it clear that 1) information like [the text message image evidence] that has been given to board on September 25th; 2) our members present on Thursday, October 10th heard speculation that our evidence was questionable or did not exist in order to make such a difficult decision [as the ‘no confidence vote’]. The motivation behind all of this has always been to keep good teachers in our district, because ultimately, good teachers impact student achievement.
It should be known that we will be scheduling a time this week to meet with the board to discuss a number of issues that we’ve been trying to meet the superintendent about for over two months. The are not allowing us to meet without imposing the superintendent’s parameters characteristic of a ‘labor relations board/committee’ – their words not mine. We are not interested in opening the current contract to negotiate these terms. We just wanted to talk about issues impacting our membership and effectively students.”
WLDS/WEAI News will provide more information as it becomes available.