November 17, 2009
Ms. Luvenia Jackson
Special Assistant to the
Clayton County Public Schools
1058 Fifth Avenue
Dear Ms. Jackson:
I am writing you on behalf of one of MACE’s valued members, Mrs.
Jenni Love who teaches at Tension Elementary School. Mrs. Jenni Love is in her fifth year teaching in Clayton
County and has good reviews for four years now. This year, however, has added much stress to her already-stressed
life. It appears that little sympathy and hardly any empathy has been shown toward Mrs. Jenni Love in respect
to her EIPs and other matters in light of the fact that her husband is suffering daily with lung cancer.
What have schools become? Are they no longer like
families and little communities but are like military training grounds for the best snoopervisory marksmen or markswomen who
can demonstrate to the General (or, in the instant case, the Sergeant) that a teacher can be taken out? In
the old days, when a teacher had a very difficult situation at home, other staff members lent a helping hand, and the administrators
did not play this I gotcha game of supervision. Has the current system which seems hell-bent on
raising some stupid and inane test scores (even if it means encouraging educators to falsify the scores; e.g., DeKalb and
Atlanta) reduced educators to “robotucators”
(note that I
just made up this term and hereby copyright it) who leave their hearts at the school house steps?
When did support personnel no longer become supportive?
I thought people from the Central Office were there to support the teachers who are in the trenches, on the front line
in the important action of reaching and teaching our children. Perhaps I have been out of the active teaching
and administrative ranks too long. When I was an administrator, I led by inspiration, not by intimidation.
This is not only good practice but also good theory. Any current administrator could do himself
or herself (and certainly the teachers and children some good) if they read some social psychology from Abraham Maslow, Kurt
Lewin, and Carl Rogers.
Mrs. Jenni Love could be out on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but she is committed to the children of Tension Elementary
School. Could you look in to her situation and see if more support, not critical supervision,
could be shown her during this time of major stress in her life? I know that you remember the days when
your fellow teachers and administrators were always supportive of teachers in times like this. Your principal
at Morrow Elementary School, I believe, was that kind of principal back in the day.
R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD c. Mrs. Mrs. Jenni Love