Honorable Teacher Harassed By Union

Photo credit: Zol87 (Creative Commons)

When Trevor Colestock, an award winning librarian at the Miami Norland High School, reported a cheating scandal on standardized tests, he believed he was doing the right thing. But when a Miami-Dade Public Schools Inspector General verified Colestock’s claims, the teachers union–of which Colestock is an elected union steward–and Miami-Dade Public Schools decided that too much honesty is bad for business.

According to the Inspector General, Norland students “…were allowed to cheat on a computerized test designed to prepare students for quality employment after graduation.” Apparently, a number of students “…were provided with a cheat sheet or were allowed to use study guides to pass the Photoshop and/or Dreamweaver certification exams.” The IG went on to say that the school “…received a higher evaluation grade that may have led to performance pay bonuses.”

How was Colestock rewarded for being an honorable individual? Well, in very short order, Colestock was: informed by Miami-Dade Public Schools that he would face an involuntary transfer to another school; two fellow whistleblowers on the scandal either retired or accepted a similar transfer, each fearing retaliation for their actions; Colestock faced “union charges” that were soon dropped “…due to a lack of probable cause;” and Colestock was made the subject of a civil rights complaint charging “discrimination and harassment” filed by one of the teachers charged in the cheating scandal. The complaint was dropped after Colestock met with a District official.

To top it all off, when the Florida Department of Education was contacted concerning a performance grant given to the school as a result of the cheating scandal, the FDE responded that “…the IG report had been reviewed and the school grade had been recalculated.”

Incredibly, the “recalculated” grade, “…remained an ‘A’ and [Norland is still] entitled to School Recognition Program funding.” And it’s a safe bet that the teachers involved will still receive their performance pay bonuses.

Not only is Trevor Colestock the victim of typically thuggish, union behavior; the entire episode helps explain the reason generations of American kids have grown up believing that lying and intimidation are perfectly acceptable alternatives to doing the right thing.

Congratulations, Norland and Miami/Dade Public Schools for setting such a sterling example for the children you profess to teach.


Photo credit: Zol87 (Creative Commons)

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