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BIGGER PICTURE: A school district in crisis? Part I

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What currently is going on in the Geneva City School District is a big deal for many working there. As one employee told me, “It’s (affecting) our lives and our health and our families.” They allege that a hostile work environment exists that has led to more than two dozen resignations.

At the time of this writing, 23 positions were posted as open on the school website. There also is a dire need for substitutes in a number of capacities, and five administrators have moved on to other opportunities.

If you are wondering, that is not a normal turnover rate, so the question needs to be asked: Why is this happening?

Some say it is a direct result of the actions of Superintendent of Schools Patricia Garcia.

The Board of Education has received dozens of communications complaining about Garcia, and they continue to come in regularly. All are sent anonymously for fear of retaliation.

From administrators to custodial workers, there are claims of a toxic atmosphere that consists of alleged bullying by the superintendent, and fear of her. A few say they even have been asked to make questionable ethical decisions that make them uncomfortable. It has resulted in employees dreading their job, sleepless nights, anxiety, high blood pressure and mental health problems. Just recently, two more employees took leaves of absences, both the result of the stress of working for Garcia. A third left the district for another school.

It can’t be ignored that the residual effect of such workplace stress has to hurt a teacher’s ability to instruct in the classroom effectively. In other words, your children may not be getting the best........

© Finger Lakes Times

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