We, the undersigned, as students and parents, are petitioning the IMSA board of Administrators and IMSA CEO Dr. Jose Torres to appeal the recent layoffs issued by the academy.
IMSA thrives its success on its students, however, we feel that the recent decisions (in not just the layoffs but also for the online academic year and the @blackatisma Instagram page) did not have the student’s and faculty's best interests at heart. Most, if not all, of the faculty members who were laid off had strong performances in the classroom and in their teams, and more direct student interaction than most of the members who were kept, and we feel that the layoffs were not made with consideration for the future of IMSA students. Many of the laid off teachers included those with plans to add new SIR research opportunities, who were the backbone of language departments, integral members of science and math classes, and more; some remaining faculty members have historically poor track records with student interactions, fail to help students in their specialized areas (i.e., the IT department), do little to nothing compared to those were laid off, have cases of racism against students, and more.
According to one of the recently terminated faculty, "IMSA administrators have not taken layoffs, furloughs, or reductions in pay." This only further highlights how these decisions were made with no concern for the well-being and future of IMSA in general; class sizes will be bigger, the incoming sophomore class will be affected significantly, integral teachers and staff members are gone, heavily controversial staff members remain at the academy and continue to tarnish an inclusive environment, and so much more. It is also widely agreed that several staff members do not get paid enough for their contributions when there are several administrators (including Torres) and staff members who get paid for doing less. We feel that it is critical for admin to rethink their budget and salaries and to meet the needs of the students first before themselves.
This is most certainly not the first time Dr. Torres has shown himself to be a leader who is not willing to seek input. In response to the @blackatisma Instagram account, highlighting the racism occuring at IMSA, he simply responded with plans for a town hall meeting and an email that includes, “I could list all the work that we have been doing to address racism at IMSA. But I won’t today.” In the past few years, important budget money has been spent to better the IMSA brand instead of helping the IMSA community, and now with a cut budget, they choose to lay off critical staff members. This level of disregard was not only proven here, but also at his past districts (District U46 and San Ysidro School District), where petitions detested his actions.
For these reasons and many more, we generously and respectfully request that the IMSA administration rethink the recent layoffs, and reevaluate all the decisions that were made without student consideration.