2 Chapel Hill teachers fight transfers

August 21, 2012 2:29:55 PM PDT
Two Chapel Hill teachers were at the center of a court appearance in Hillsborough Friday.

It was a packed courtroom with most in support of the two teachers who want to remain at Chapel Hill High School.

Before the hearing, supporters rallied outside, wearing t-shirts and waving signs. They are hoping the judge will put a hold on the school system's plans to transfer the teachers to other schools.

The teachers said they were confused by the transfers and fear it is backlash for criticizing school administrators.

"I love Chapel Hill High School," said teacher Anne Thompson. "I love the kids. I love the community and I want to end a wonderful career there on a happy note not a sour note. The treatment we've received has just been abominable."

"I don't know to be honest with you," said teacher Bert Wartski. "They've given us different reasons at different times. They say it's good for both schools."

School leaders claim that Thompson and Wartski are troublemakers. They said feedback from students and faculty suggests the two teachers were part of a negative culture at Chapel Hill High School.

"When you frame this in terms of personal conflict between the board and the teachers, you're missing the point," said Chapel Hill Carrboro Schools attorney Ken Soo. "The new principal coming in has got to have the flexibility and cannot waste time with resistance as they try to take that school to another place."

Judge Elaine Bushfan will make a decision by Wednesday next week on whether to stop the transfers while the teachers appeal the school board's decision.

Meanwhile, Thompson and Wartski will have to attend the mandatory teacher workdays at their transfer schools. School starts on the Aug. 27.

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