2009-04-10 / Columnists

It's My Turn

By Mohammed Bility UFT Representative MS 53

Lyn Nofziger, White House Aide for President Reagan, was indicted and subsequently convicted despite ambiguity in the statute under which he was judged.

He appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in his favor and threw out the conviction. Upon hearing the decision of the High Court, Mr. Nofziger wondered, "Where do I go to reclaim my good name?"

Your article besmirching the staff and students of Middle School 53 in a previous issue, puts us in a similar position. "Where do we go to get our good name back?"

Your accusation that "students were provided answers to State Examinations" is completely false. I have been employed as a Special Education Teacher since 1999. Over the past five years, the hardworking teachers and support staff of Middle School 53 have made tremendous improvements in student academics, the home-school connection, student attendance and preparing our students for a smooth transition to high school. These improvements continue to increase by the hard work of an experienced, dedicated staff. Throughout my many years teaching at MS 53, I have personally witnessed these exciting improvements.

To debunk another falsehood in your article, three teachers took maternity leave last year and all have returned to teaching duties. A fourth will leave shortly and is scheduled to return.

As the MS 53 UFT Chapter Leader I write this on behalf of the staff to say that we find your article offensive, incendiary, unfair and most importantly, false. You are sabotaging our efforts to educate our students.

As the honest reporter that you are, we insist that you "check the facts" so that you may issue a retraction of your previous article. If you ever visited our school you would be pleasantly surprised by our students' achievements and the overall positive tone in the building. Perhaps that should encourage you to write a retraction, so that we can get our Good Name Back.

In Search of our Good Name.

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