This year, high school teacher. Next year, stripper and egg donor?
When students asked an Enochs High School English teacher this week what she'd do if she lost her job to budget cuts, she said she'd have to become a stripper and sell her reproductive eggs to pay the bills.
Though it was a sarcastic comment, some parents are not taking it so lightly. As the retort was relayed to parents, one mother thought it was inappropriate and complained to Enochs High officials.
The teacher was one of 40 at Enochs and 370 at all Modesto City Schools who received layoff notices this week — and her story illustrates the devastation and stress educators are under as districts across the state slash their bottom lines, teachers and officials said.
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"It was her way of defusing a tense situation" with sarcasm, said Janeen Zambo, an Enochs history teacher and the site representative with the Modesto Teachers Association. "We're all human beings; occasionally there are things we say that aren't our most stellar moments."
Though it's a confidential personnel matter, district officials said the incident was resolved earlier in the week, but wouldn't disclose whether the teacher was disciplined.
The teacher, who was at work Friday, declined to comment.
"We're encouraged to have strong relationships, and appropriate relationships, with our students. Naturally, they're going to be concerned about us," Zambo said. She advises teachers to be honest with students and parents about the impact of budget cuts, but to keep the focus on student learning.
MTA Executive Director Megan Gowans called the comments "a poor choice of words," but said they reflect the stress teachers are under.
The state Department of Education estimates that preliminary pink slips will be handed to 26,500 teachers by the Monday deadline — 2 1/2 times more than were issued last year.
Read more of this story at ModBee.com