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Laid Off D.C. Teachers Want New Leadership For Teacher's Union

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By Kavitha Cardoza

Some teachers in D.C. Public Schools who were laid off say there should be a change in leadership at the Washington Teacher's Union.

Crystal Proctor, a former DCPS teacher, uses words such as "ridiculous" and "terrible" to describe watching the union attorneys in court, as they tried unsuccessfully to persuade a judge to reinstate laid off teachers. Proctor says the union has not been proactive enough and wants to see a change at the top. "Someone who's not afraid of Michelle Rhee," says Proctor. "Someone who's going to stand up to her and stand up for us." Some teachers spoke of not getting information from their representatives, while others say the union should pay for private attorneys.

George Parker, president of the Washington Teachers Union, says they organized a rally, met several times with teachers and went to court to try and stop the layoffs-- something he says hasn't been done in the past. Parker says understandably teachers are upset. But as for teachers asking for a change in leadership, "I don't even want to discuss that yet. I mean we have too much work to worry about that," says Parker. "I think a lot of what you're seeing is the political posturing that takes place in the WTU. I think it's unfortunate but that's what happens."

Teachers can still file individual appeals with the Office of Employee Appeals.

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