Stevens Point teachers are speaking out against their superintendent. In a school board meeting Monday night, they told the board they want Supt. Attila Weninger out.
The board voted to wait to make any decisions about Weninger's contract until August. His contract is up in summer of 2014, but if the board had not taken action by the end of the month, his contract would have automatically been renewed. And that's exactly what more than 80 teachers who showed up on Monday, did not want to have happen.
"As the president of the Stevens Point Area Education Assoc., I am asking on behalf of our members and district, to not renew the superintendent's contract," said teachers union president Pat Leahy.
Speaking one after another, members of the Stevens Point teachers union express their concerns about the superintendent's style of management.
"What we've been dealing with is top down, top down, top down," Glen Reindl said.
"Instead of working on solving unexpected problems, employees have to contemplate legal action to resolve these issues," Tiffany Reindl said.
"We feel you are running a district of fear, intimidation and a lack of respect," TJ Pharo-Kozak said.
Many of their complaints stem from problems most districts are facing, such as fewer resources and increased class sizes.
"Seventy-two percent of our teachers surveyed, 266 people, said they can't meet their students' needs at the current situation going on in the classroom," Glen Reindl said.
But they argue, unlike most districts, the administration isn't willing to compromise or allow anyone to even try.
"I'm fearful," Tiffany Reindl said. "I'm scared of what's going to come when I say what I say."
This isn't the first time Weninger has come under fire. Two parents told NewsChannel 7 this past fall that the superintendent threatened them if they spoke out about alleged staff misconduct that involved their children.
Now, those at the podium Monday say it's their turn to take a public stand.
"Why is this important?" teacher Art Greco asked the board. "Achievement."
"Since the superintendent has turned a deaf ear to our concerns and created a hostile working environment, we'll be coming each and every month before the board to advocate for our students regardless of tonight's outcome."
Two people spoke Monday night in favor of the superintendent, asking the board to renew his contract.
When asked if he wanted to respond to what happened at Monday's meeting, Supt. Weninger declined an interview with NewsChannel 7. He says he doesn't think it's appropriate to comment on public input.
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