Students Demonstrate To Keep Teachers From Getting ‘Pink Slips’

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MENDON, Mich. (June 6, 2014) – Students in St. Joesph County are speaking out in support of teachers who may be laid off for the next school year at Mendon High and Middle Schools.

The district’s superintendent, Rob Kuhlman, said there is little he can do at this point.  While the rumors started spreading last week, the superintendent said it all comes down to money.

There are pictures circulating twitter under various hashtags including #SaveTheTeachers showing students wearing black t-shirts staging a ‘sit-in’ in Mendon as a way of supporting teachers that could possibly be losing their jobs.

Students in St. Joesph County, like Devon Elkins a sophmore at Meldon High School, said they heard it first hand from the teachers who were already given notice.

“It’s like they are crying so we are crying we are helping them clean up their stuff they are talking about how great it was teaching us and how they are going to miss us,” said Elkins.

Mendon Community Schools Superintendent said it’s not an easy decision but one that had to be made.

“We are planning on reducing three full time staff members we have one other staff member who has voluntarily reduced to half-time,” said Kuhlman.

Who exactly will be losing their jobs are not official according to the Mendon and Centreville combined superintendent.  He said they are middle and high school teachers who teach social studies, business, language arts, and special education.

He said the reason for the layoffs has to has due with budget constraints because of a lack of students.

“We lost 30 students last year and with the projection of declining enrollment for next year it has forced us to make these recommendations to the school board,” said Kuhlman.

The districts will have meetings next week in which the school board will make a final decision.

“These individuals that we are laying off are excellent teachers,” said Kuhlman.  “They coach.  They put their heart and soul into the community and they are great people.”

Several students have contacted FOX 17 and said those who participated in the sit-in received a 2-hour detention.


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  • Concerned mom

    This involves elementary teachers also. Seven are being laid off in Centreville. The lay offs are suppose to be based on the teachers evaluation not seniority according to state law. Mr. Kuhlman is laying off based on seniority instead of laying off the teachers with the lowest evaluation scores. If he truly cared about these schools wouldn't he want to keep the best teachers? If funding is the reason as he states, these newest teachers would also be the people at the bottom of the pay scale. I think the school board needs to do what is right and not follow the lead of a poor superintendent. He needs to go. That would be 3 or 4 teachers saved.

  • Dan

    The students at Mendon need to stop drinking the union kool-aid. Ask your teacher how is it possible to be both pro-union and pro-education? Try not to laugh to loud when they say they can be both. Unions number one priority is job security for the teachers not education. So now we have an education system stuck in the 1970's because it provides the best job security. Unions have manipulated the education system for themselves not the students. Yeah I am sure several of you will tell me how wrong I am but the following statement stands true. The failure of the unions to allow schools to utilize technology to improve education and reduce the cost of education has done more damage to this country then we will ever know.