To The Editor

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To The Editor:

I have heard many people discussing the recent “pink-slipping” of all the Calais public school teachers and saying they were “fired”.  I wanted to make people aware that these educators were not fired!  They were the victims of what is called “riffing” or “reducing in force”.  They have not done anything wrong which is how they would have been fired.  Instead they may have their jobs eliminated due to budgetary restraints.  There is a big difference. I am sure the last thing they need to hear is that they were fired!  Also in this sad situation, contractual and legal requirements cause all to receive pink slip notices before they actually may be “riffed.” It is not certain what positions or how many may be eliminated.  I urge all parents and concerned citizens to attend meetings and get involved.  Ask questions of school board and city officials as to how, why, and who they intend to “riff.”  I empathize with everyone because I was an educator for 37 years and was riffed twice.  It is an emotional turmoil for all concerned. I also know you will see just how much many of these educators love their students and their jobs.  They will put their own feelings and low morale aside and work with the same dedication they always provide for the good of the students.  Remember too that in these years of budget restraints in the Maine schools, many teachers have bought teaching materials to enrich their classroom lessons with their own money. 

Karen E. Holmes