Timmonsville teachers say disorder causes instability for students

By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) Florence School District Four continues to sort through their financial and personnel dilemmas, but now parents are saying all of this is hurting the learning process in the classroom.

"One teacher gets something done, another teacher doesn't. It needs to be consistent," voices one concerned parent.

WMBF News Reporter Alisha Laventure asked the parents why they say the kids sense the disorder at the administrative level and are acting out.

"Teachers have been hit by other students and nothing's been done about it," claims a Timmonsville teacher.

One Timmonsville teacher says there's a discipline problem at the school that's gotten worse since the uproar started. She doesn't want to show her face because of how it will affect her job.

"We've had children say, 'you know, you can send me to the office anyway because nothing's going to be done'," admits the unidentified teacher.

Superintendent Dr. Bertha McCants says she has not heard of any teachers complain about being assaulted. She refused to speak on camera but did say the district does have a policy on teachers being bullied.

When asked about the state department of education sending a representative to observe the school, she refused to comment on that as well.

Terry Cassady attended a special meeting held by the Timmonsville school board Tuesday afternoon. He came to protest his 6-year-old son being suspended because, according to the parent, his son did not keep his head down when the teacher told him to.

"It seems like it's all going down hill. It's 5-K, you know. Who gets suspended out of kindergarten?" questions Cassady.

"Children need routine, and their routine is broken. Their stability is broken," explains the school teacher.

Until that stability returns, this teacher says the classroom will continue to be disruptive.

"Once the kids know that everything is in place, everybody's where they should be, this is my teacher, she's not going anywhere, I think things will calm down," adds the instructor.

Still no word on when the state department of education will send someone to check out the Timmonsville school.

The Florence District Four school board discussed this at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, but they did so in executive session and refused to reveal any details to the media.

Officials from Columbia say the State Superintendent Zais has not yet selected the person who will monitor the district. Officials say they will be transparent and make the reports public once observation begins.

Meanwhile, teachers are saying students sense the confusion and are getting more rowdy in the classroom. But the administration isn't doing enough to put a stop to it.

"They just said 'just follow the 7-step plan that we have in place', and we tried to discuss that that 7-step form is not working any longer."

Timmonsville parents will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss the current state of the school district. The location is to be determined.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.