UPDATED~ BVT: GRANT MR. LEMARBRE THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS HE DESERVES AS HE BATTLES ALS!
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Dr. Philip LeMarbre is a beloved Advanced Placement Biology teacher at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT) who was denied approval of accommodations to work for his retirement due to an intentional delay from Superintendent Fitzpatrick and the BVT School Committee prior to qualifying for full retirement benefits. As of now, he is not allowed to retire and loses his pension and benefits that come with it. In the fall of 2016, Dr. LeMarbre was formally diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Shortly after his diagnosis, Dr. LeMarbre requested to return to teaching at BVT with accommodations but was denied by BVT officials. Dr. LeMarbre has been teaching at BVT for 9+ years but in the state of MA, a teacher must have taught for 10 years to receive a full pension. This delay from BVT caused Dr. LeMarbre to not to meet the state requirement to retire and is now denied his retirement and all benefits that come with it.
Dr. LeMarbre is a well-respected educator and loving family man. Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, BVT Superintendent, has declined to right this wrongdoing and grant Dr. LeMarbre the benefits he deserves and was requesting to work for. According to the ALS Association, “There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease.” We believe Dr. LeMarbre not only deserves his full retirement benefits, but that Dr. Fitzpatrick and the school committee needs to lead by example to show the students at BVT that compassion takes precedence over policy.
Please sign this petition requesting that Superintendent Fitzpatrick and the school committee at BVT reinstate Dr. LeMarbre's full retirement benefits and allow him to receive the dignity of life he rightfully deserves.
This petition was updated to include the fact that Dr. LeMarbre was not officially terminated as the meeting was cancelled once this issue was made public. However, the decision to allow him to work for his retirement while he was able was delayed and therefore he was denied his rightful retirement, making a terrible situation even worse.
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