Keep Good Teachers at Seagull Schools
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To whom it may concern,
This is regarding my termination of employment notice on August 2, 2018.
According to the notice, after an internal investigation was conducted by Seagull Schools due to an incident that occurred on July 17, 2018, the reason for my termination was stated as:
“It was determined during the investigation that you were the assigned closing teacher on duty that day. It is the closing teacher’s responsibility to supervise the children according to procedures. Your failure to exercise your responsibility as a teacher is of great concern and cause to lose confidence in your ability to perform the essential functions of the position.”
It was to my understanding and confidence that I was in fact following procedures during the incident that occurred on July 17, 2018. As stated in my written statement during the internal investigation:
I was in classroom 2A helping two children with a disagreement. I served a small snack to them while another staff member attended to the dishes. At 5:44 pm a staff member came into the classroom from outside inquiring if I have seen a child from classroom 3A. I answered no. Then I had the one child present, at that time, clean up their snack and we all went outside to assist with locating the child from classroom 3A.
I was exercising my teacher’s responsibility and following closing procedures: being in the classroom from 5:30 to the closure of the school and supervising the children of classrooms 2A and 2B whom I oversaw. Upon learning of the classroom 3A child’s disappearance, I acted according to the school’s missing child procedure and went out to look for the child, keeping track of the 15-minute lost child window, as well as informing the campus director of what was going on.
I want to appeal that my termination of employment is unjust, that I deserve an audience with the school’s personnel committee, and that I be reinstated as a teacher . I was “performing the essential functions of my position”, following school procedures, and I was not in charge of the child who went missing. I was not informed that I was the sole closing teacher on duty on July 17, 2018. The incident occurred due to the failure to communicate the absence of the other closing teachers as well as the negligence of two staff members, who were not following procedures, and were supervising only 4 children on the playground (including the child from 3A who went missing).
Megan McCorriston (Executive Director of Seagull Schools) and Amy Hendricks (Human Resources) were unable to specify when asked which “procedures” in question that I was not following which resulted in my termination. I was let go without warning or due process.
I met with Leslie (the schools licensing agent from Hawai'i DHS Licensing) on Monday, August 6 to discuss my ability to apply for other teaching jobs. She was shocked at the decision made by the school. She carried out an external investigation that included interviews, review of staff schedules and children attendance and she concluded that the staff just needs more training. Her report was not sent out yet.
My friends at Seagull informed me that the two staff members in charge that day are continuing their work and no disciplinary actions were taken against them.
I want to include that the child was found, safe, the parents forgave us, and is now back in school.
I am saddened by the unjust decision to terminate my employment. I would appreciate any support you can provide for me.
I’m gone but I’m hoping we can make it better for the teachers and staff still at Seagull and make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else. My goal is to keep good teachers with the children of Seagull Schools.
You may contact me at email@example.com if you have any further questions.
Cory Miyasato (Mr. Cory)
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