Parents Praise Efforts of All Teachers
Several parents asked the BOE to move toward a settlement.
After two board of education meetings in which teachers spoke out about the need for a fair contract, only a few parents spoke out at Tuesday's meeting, praising the work of the teachers and requesting a deal.
And hundreds of teachers still crowded the meeting in a show of support.
"This is very discouraging, and I submit that the negotiations process may in fact be broken," said Raritan resident Charles McMullin. "The negotiating committee has had ample time to finish the process."
McMullin said he moved to Raritan about 40 years ago, in part because of the reputation of the educational system. His two children, he said, went through the school system, excelled at college and are now successful individuals.
"[That is from] the foundation they received at Bridgewater-Raritan," he said. "I am here to thank the teachers and administration, and I want the board to press hard to resolve the festering issue."
"These negotiations are undercutting the board's mission and diverting it," he added. "This has gone on far too long. Let's move beyond these decisive negotiations. Let's end the school year with finished negotiations."
Jolee Roberts, who has two children in the school system, said she is proud of the work the teachers have done for the students.
"How do I begin to express my gratitude for the teachers?" she asked.
Roberts said she had always hoped that her children would have at least one teacher who inspired them and that they would always remember.
"We have had so many of those amazing teachers," she said. "Teachers who check in to see how Justin is after a fall at school, teachers that call students on the weekend to say hi."
"They truly make me feel like we are leaving this world in better hands some day," she added. "I really don't know how you begin to put a price on that."
Sue Rogalski, president of the PTO at Hamilton Primary School, said they are also fully in support of the teachers.
It means a lot to us that they are happy because they do make our children happy."
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