HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Reports of fear within the Huntsville City Schools work environment have only become more prevalent following a lawsuit against Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, Casey Wardynski, and the entire school board.
The lawsuit, filed by the Huntsville Education Association, seeks to get answers to a controversial presentation that took place in December.
According to the lawsuit, the board held a presentation for district principals. This presentation was titled “Guidance in Dealing with Teachers Who are Not Effective” and gave a step-by-step policy on observing, evaluating and documenting educators the board deemed to be "sub par."
“Principals were given notebooks or binders with a list of names of teachers. Teachers learning conditions are the students learning conditions. So if teachers are very concerned about their job prospects that impacts all of us,” said Alabama Education Association Director, Adam Keller.
The Huntsville Education Association has requested to see the list of teachers since the December meeting citing Alabama’s open record law. However, the board has not provided any documentation.
“The records that the union requested are not public records and the reason will not be releasing them is based on what the attorney general said,” explained Superintendent Wardynski. “So we did not take this action without clear reference to guidance from higher, in this case the attorney general, so we won’t be releasing those.”
According to Keller, it was common knowledge among teachers that the book existed.
“Which means in every building there are people who fear they may be on the list,” said Keller. “And that makes it very difficult to work and do your job successfully for those students. If you feel like your name is in a notebook and every move scrutinized, if an administrator comes into your room you may see it as adversarial instead of supportive.”
The goal of the Huntsville Education Association is simple. Keller says they want there to be open communication with the board, “I think we need to know how it was created, who’s on the list, why were they put on the list, are there patterns to the people on the list.”