J.E. Turner teachers seek legal counsel

Danny Goodwin with the Alabama Education Association said the 20 J.E. Turner Elementary School teachers who were given mandatory transfers have been assigned legal council.

“Some are interviewing with other schools, some are waiting to see what happens,” Goodwin said.

Earlier in the year, 26 teachers filed a grievance against the school’s principal, Missy Nolen. According to Goodwin, some of those same teachers asked for a transfer.

“They asked for a voluntary transfer because they didn’t feel they were in a situation they could continue in,” Goodwin said.

Voluntary vs mandatory transfers

What’s the difference between a voluntary and mandatory transfer? Goodwin said with a voluntary transfer, the teacher asks to move to another school. With a mandatory transfer, the school board tells the teacher it’s proposing to move the instructor to another school.

“I understand the superintendent’s idea that the mandatory people have to be placed first before voluntary, but the problem is there’s some stigma attached to being a mandatorily transferred teacher. It can come because fewer students, or programs are cut, or sometimes you’re not getting along with your principal,” Goodwin said.

Mobile County Public School Superintendent Martha Peek, is not commenting on the matter but parents say they want answers.

Parents, students protest

Last week, students and parents protested the transfer of the teachers outside the Mobile County Public School System’s Central Office.

“It saddens me terribly to know a group of teachers are going to leave because of the problems they’re having here. And it appears that it’s the principal’s situation,” said Gene Manter who has grandchildren at the school.

Employees told not to protest?

One parent said some MCPSS employees were told not to protest.

“If you’re an employee of the Mobile County Public School System, bus driver, teacher or anything, you were told and I won’t say the word ‘threatened’ to not come to a function like this because your job would be in jeopardy,” the parent explained. “If you have a child involved, that means you can’t voice anything for the education of your child just because you’re an employee of the MCPSS. I don’t agree with that.”

JE Turner’s Principal, Missy Nolen, told Fox10 News she was too busy to speak with us last week but gave us her cell phone number and told us to call her. We left a message Tuesday night and have have not heard back.

The teachers who were given mandatory transfers, have a conference scheduled with the Mobile County Public School Board Monday, June 16 according to Goodwin.


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