Warning lands Batavia teacher in hot water – DailyHerald.com

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130525/news/705259921/

John Dryden did right, and now they want to punish him. He told his students they had a right not to incriminate themselves, because a survey had questions about drug abuse and other such things. But he is a reluctant hero, and he’s “not a martyr“, and “calm down”.

Dryden mentioned his situation to a former student, Joe Bertalmio.

The campaign

Bertalmio was outraged. The 2002 graduate, who took one class with Dryden, credits him with teaching him how to examine positions and make logical arguments, no matter where one stands politically.

“Back it up — give me evidence,” is what Dryden taught, Bertalmio said.

Bertalmio posted the news on Facebook, where it was noticed by fellow graduates. Parents of current students have also joined in. There are more than 1,000 signatures on the “Defend and Support John Dryden” petition at the petitionsite.com, although many seem to be repeats. He has also urged people to write letters to the Batavia school board, plans to speak at the board’s meeting, and may have a rally before the meeting. A Batavia alderman told the city council Monday he plans to attend the meeting in support, and encouraged other people to do so.

Stick to the issue

But Dryden doesn’t want this seen as him vs. the administrators. He said he knows they were acting in what they thought was the best interests of the students.

“These are good, professional, smart people on the other side who want to do what is right by kids,” he said.

He would rather focus the discussion on the survey.

“I have asked people (the supporters) to talk about the survey. I think I am a sideshow,” he said. “This (the survey) was rushed and it wasn’t vetted.”

“I’m not a martyr,” he said. “I’m trying to refocus people’s attentions. Calm down.”


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