MEMPHIS, TN— Breaking their silence: more than 130 Shelby county employees who were let go are not taking it anymore. Many of them are teachers who were told they would be rehired. They say they’re not getting clear information. Two employees spoke exclusively to us.
“It was very hard for me not to be at that registration today, greeting those children that I’ve worked with for years,” said Gina True a Farmington Elementary School counselor.
Losing her job at Farmington elementary was tough. True says what’s making matter worse; the Shelby County School District is keeping her in the dark.
“If there is not a position for us to fill then let us go so we can get unemployment benefits instead of being in this limbo,” the guidance counselor said. “It’s very stressful, it’s very anxious, we have families.”
Genny Kilpatrick feels the same way.
“As of right now I don’t know where my son is going to school. I could not register him today because I don’t know where I’m going to be. I’m a level 5 teacher and I don’t know what the future holds,” said Genny Kilpatrick who used to work for Arlington Elementary School.
Shelby County employees have been told several times by the union and the district that those who were let go have priority in getting rehired.
“We went from 800 teachers excessed. We’re down to 115,” said SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson. “1,600 teachers have been placed in this whole process so we’re certainly in the business of keeping teachers and not making feel displaced.”
“They can say one thing but they’re actions are not showing it. Not when there is this many people,” argued Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick has 2 masters degrees and has taught 5 years at Arlington Elementary. Gina True has been at Farmington Elementary School for 14 years. Both are considered “caliber” or high scoring employees, level five. They’re confused about why it’s taking so long to find out if they will start work on Monday.
“Everyone has been really scared. Teachers seem to be that one profession where everybody just runs all over you,” said True.
Superintendent Hopson says even though those employees who have been excessed and haven’t been placed in a position yet they are still employees of Shelby County Schools. Hopson says legacy SCS employees will receive their first paycheck on August 2nd and legacy MCS employees will receive their first paycheck on August 16th.