Friday, August 05, 2011

persecution and humiliation / MS in the workplace

If life were a Clint Eastwood western an avenging rider would thunder into the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. 
“Debra Caldieri, 48, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said she received a letter from School Superintendent Gus Sayer last week informing her that she has been taken off medical leave and terminated.” South Hadley teacher Debra Caldieri, friend of late freshman Phoebe Prince, fired
 “Caldieri believes her downfall at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts is connected to her relationship with Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old freshman who hanged herself in January of 2010."  
"Prince’s suicide ... sparked an international campaign against school bullying and put the media spotlight on South Hadley and its social dynamics. “
Caldieri is credited by Phoebe Prince‘s family as one of the few people who reported the bullying that led the teenager to take her own life and broke Sayer‘s mandate of silence when she cooperated with police investigation.

According to Caldieri, symptoms of her multiple sclerosis were exacerbated by stress she endured due to related workplace bullying by the South Hadley High School principal Daniel Smith and Sayer.

Extended medical leave has left her unable to support herself or family. With friends helping her with rent and insurance premiums and less than three weeks after she spoke out on bullying in the workplace on Beacon Hill (Massachusetts' metonym for their State government) the school system only had one last coffin nail to drive – they fired her.

When someone in a wheelchair ‘stands up’ for those who cannot stand up for themselves and gets smacked down – you do have to ask yourself where have all the cowboys gone?

Then again it’s not a fictional town in the old ‘West’, it’s a real town in modern Western Massachusetts 
“The persecution and humiliation of Deb Caldieri, the teacher who responded to the suicide of Phoebe Prince with a compassion so utterly lacking elsewhere in South Hadley High School, is complete. …” Boston Globe: Cruel lesson for a teacher
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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