Tacoma School Superintendent Art Jarvis has chosen the wrong path in electing to withhold Tacoma teachers’ pay for the month of September.
The strike is over. Teachers and students are back in the classroom. Now is the time to begin the healing process, not exacerbate an already difficult situation with a final inflammatory act.
Tacoma teachers and administrators have fought with each other long enough. It’s time for them to remember that they share a common goal: the education of the young people of Tacoma. Withholding pay from Tacoma teachers will simply cause more families to suffer, more children to go without. What is the point of that?
It is entirely understandable that Jarvis is angry with Tacoma teachers. It is equally understandable that Tacoma teachers are frustrated with their administration. Neither side conducted themselves in an entirely exemplary manner during the dispute.
However, now is the time to ask the question, “Is the next step we take meant to be punitive or curative?”
I hope Jarvis will decide on the latter.
(Hockman is a 28-year veteran teacher in the Fife School District.)