Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

June 6, 2013

Union fighting to restore fired high school teacher

Meagher testifies before state labor board

(Continued)

Costello, in her testimony, said “there was no withholding of service” sparked by Meagher’s email because teachers “could vote to abstain, but they voted.”

“I felt this was protected union activity,” she said.

Meagher received a letter from McGrath not long after her email was sent out stating that the superintendent intended to terminate her. The official notice came two months later, after the 2012-2013 school year had already started.

Meagher at one point broke into tears while trying to describe her last day at the school, forcing the hearing to recess for around five minutes.

Once she returned, she said she was “stunned” by McGrath’s termination notice, and not just because it ended her relationship with the district. It also said she exhibited “conduct unbecoming of a teacher,” which she took direct issue with at the hearing.

“People who are fired for conduct unbecoming of a teacher do things like have sexual relationships with students or hit students,” she said. “They do horrible things to kids. I was being given that label officially. That was now a part of my professional record.”

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