Tribune Article

February 5, 1999 Chicago Tribune

by Julie Deardorff
Synopsis of the Article

Deardorff pointed out that parents criticized the district, but some colleagues said that if I “was so unhappy at a prestigious school” I should leave.

The union President, Tracy Gordon, was quoted as saying “She has a difficult time doing that (working collaboratively). It’s a wonderful school district, and teachers are very happy working here. There is always one person who is disruptive to the entire district, and she wins that award.”

Another teacher, Shelly Kelly said what a great district it was and pointed out that if you are professional, they give you a tremendous of amount of support. She conveniently neglected to remember that just a few months earlier, the librarian, Barb Entin, who had about 17 years experience and was quite professional, had been arbitrarily demoted to a floating substitute teacher in preparation to push her out using humiliation and intimidation. (They would have made her an aide if the contract hadn’t prevented them from doing so.)

It was hard to determine if this action against Entin was age discrimination or due to her proactive role as President of the Union several years previously, or both. But it was easy to determine it was abuse used to deliver a message. Gordon, the current president, must have “heard” the message when she saw what happened to Entin. Certainly, Gordon’s abusive treatment of me indicated she knew what was expected of her in her role of union president. Kelly must have heard “it” as well. Kelly condemned me without ever discussing anything with me, in spite of knowing what they had just done to Entin, and having worked with me collaboratively in the past.

The next day, a parent wrote a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune, which was published as Missing Support.

The parent said that Deardorff’s article neglected to mention that Tracy Gordon was the union President and how he had never heard of a union president not backing a fellow union member.