Crowell Teachers Victorious Over Former Principal

Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com

After more than a year since six teachers from Crowell Elementary School filed grievances against former Principal Linda Alaniz, an arbitrator has ruled in favor of the teachers.

Last year, then-Principal Alaniz reassigned 12 teachers at Crowell Elementary School — six of which ultimately filed grievances — to different grades to fill two vacancies. The 12 teachers, which made up roughly one-third of the staff at Crowell, were reassigned without consideration of experience that the educators may have previously had.

However, after filing grievances, a labor arbitrator has found that there were “no permissible grounds” for reassigning the teachers.

“It was a bad move for students, having teachers arbitrarily flip-flopped from one grade level to another,” said Turlock Teachers Association President Julie Shipman. “This rights that wrong.”

The arbitrator’s decision holds Turlock Unified School District accountable and TUSD will have to comply with the negotiated agreement and base personnel decisions on sound educational bases.

“And that means teacher experience needs to be factored in,” said Shipman.

In fall, the teachers will return to their original and preferred grade levels.

“The union is ensuring our students are getting educators who are teaching at grades they are familiar with and passionate about, teaching lessons they have perfected, and learning from teachers who have, in some cases, decades of experience,” said Shipman.

In addition to the teachers returning to their proper grade level, Crowell Elementary School also has a new principal and vice principal. Margaret Osmer was named the new Crowell Principal after Alaniz was moved to the Assistant Principal position at the Turlock Adult School and Angela Freeman is the new Assistant Principal.

Shipman added that she is proud that the teachers stood up against the administration to fight for what they believed was right.

“It took courage for the teachers to stand up and file grievances,” said Shipman. “I’m proud of them for doing that and following through the process.”

TUSD administration did not return a request for comment on the arbitration ruling. 

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