The big bully on campus

The big bully on campus

Teachers at an Oxnard elementary school speak out against allegedly abusive principal

By Shane Cohn 03/14/2013

Editor’s note:  The VCReporter has just learned that Principal Marie Pierre of Christa McAuliffe Elementary School has been place on paid administrative leave for the remainder of the school year, effective immediately.

Bullying has become more than schoolyard intimidation, or faceless cyber threats.


The principal of an Oxnard elementary school, whose district has adopted an international program to reduce bullying among school children, is being accused of aggressively bullying and humiliating her teachers since August.


Stemming from numerous complaints, a formal investigation was launched.


During the Oxnard School District Board of Trustees regular meeting on Wednesday, March 6, teachers from Christa McAuliffe Elementary School — and their supporters — stood in unison as they read emotional testimonies about workplace abuse, harassment and bullying carried out by the school’s principal.


“Our self-esteem is being torn apart and the working conditions are unbearable,” said Amanda Wilson, first-grade teacher and Oxnard Educators Association (OEA) site representative at McAuliffe for the past eight years, during the public board meeting.


Wilson described a fearful working environment that ultimately reflects back to the students, as teachers have been working in fear of having their jobs threatened, being humiliated, or with basic preparatory tasks being made impossible to execute, all due to the alleged bullying tactics by the school’s principal.


While Wilson and other speakers never identified the school administrator by name, the school’s principal is first-year hire Marie Pierre, who previously worked in the Saugus Union School District.


“We are fearful with our encounters with her,” said Wilson. “We hide and eat lunch in our classrooms or our cars. We take the longest route possible to get to our destination just to avoid contact with her. We’re exhausted because we have to endure her varying and unpredictable temperament. We are the victims of her bullying.”


Pierre did not respond to VCReporter’s e-mail or phone requests for comment.


Teachers who were interviewed for this story all chose to remain anonymous, except for Wilson, fearing retaliation from their administrator, but all confirmed that the bullying began on day one of the school year in August, with reports of Pierre aggressively chastising everything from their teaching methods to where they parked their cars.
“We need her to go. I don’t see how school survives with her,” said a McAuliffe teacher.


Multiple formal complaints about Pierre were filed with the district and an investigation was opened.


Superintendent Jeff Chancer couldn’t comment on the issue, citing personnel reasons, but confirmed that follow-up on the complaints is in process.


“Since teachers filed formal complaints, the incidents between staff members and admin have increased, not decreased,” said Wilson. “We are experiencing almost daily attacks.”


Gary Grayson, whose wife teaches at McAuliffe, said in a letter to the board that his wife now experiences shortness of breath and recently fainted, likely due to the workplace bullying at McAuliffe.


“Never in our 21 years together has she brought home more horror stories from school than she has this school year,” wrote Grayson. “Being a teacher, I know about the stress level that can occur — I teach high school. But this time, it’s not the students. It’s the leadership under the current principal. And from what I’ve observed first-hand these past six months, it’s the situation at Christa McAuliffe that is very unhealthy and very damaging.”


Another teacher, who chose anonymity, said, “Every Sunday night, I am so anxious I can hardly sleep because I know what’s going to happen on Monday. I’m going to show up and be confronted, accused of something, treated badly or even ignored.”


Trustee Denis O’Leary said the board is looking into the problems at McAuliffe, and trying to bring both sides together, but couldn’t state specifics because of personnel issues.  


“The bottom line is, we have to make sure it doesn’t affect working conditions and the education of the kids,” he said.
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 54 million Americans say they’ve been bullied at work. Of those, 78 percent lose their jobs either by quitting or through termination. While laws are in place to protect employees from sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, bullying is not unlawful and an employer must establish good cause and evidence for terminating the “bully.”


In the case of an administrator, such as Pierre, the district could either place the employee on paid administrative leave until the end of the school year, or choose to non-re-elect the employee for the position.


“All of us want and deserve a workplace where we can do our jobs to the best of our abilities — a workplace free of fear and full of respect,” said Robin Lefkovits, OEA president.  “No one comes to work hoping to be humiliated or berated, but it happens.”


Wilson pointed out that Oxnard School District has adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, an internationally used program to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at schools. Yet, in an ironic twist, it is the school’s leader who has allegedly become the bully at McAuliffe.


“According to Olweus . . . students who bully have a strong need for power and negative dominance,” said Wilson. “Take out the word students and replace it with our administrator and you have abuse, harassment and workplace bullying.”   

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Comments

Im the parent to 3 children who attend McAuliffe School Im here to say I am proud of our teachers for speaking out !!! Im embarrassed that Mrs. Marie Pierre was our principal.. she was rude and had no manners. She came into the school like a tuff guy she forgot that school is about our children !!! there education and there safety !!!

posted by elizabeth805 on 3/14/13 @ 04:23 p.m.

i to also have three kids that attend the school and I feel this story is long overdue. Ms.Pierre is a person that is rude and should have no business working in any field with children any encounter I have had with her was nothing but excuses not once did she take responsiblity for her actions to any level . I am appalled that this person felt she had the right to treat the teachers or anyone else with disrespect and she deserves being let go. Congrats to the teachers and us parents that had the courage to speak up and fix this situation. Ms.Pierre's best interest wasnt our kids it was being in control and abusing her athority.applause to those who made the right choice and once again having our children and their teachers come first..

posted by christina1128 on 3/14/13 @ 06:58 p.m.

I'm outraged by this article. Did the VC Reporter bother to interview any parents, any one with another experience? Principal Pierre is the best Principal Christa McAuliffe ever had. Each time I went to pick up my child I saw her hugging students, parents smiling with her. Over the last few years McAuliffe had some issues around student misconduct and I could sense that Mrs. Pierre was there to make the school a safe and high-performing school. However, from day one, I observed how teachers sabotaged the new principal. They conveyed their frustrations over new rules to the children directly (e.g., reducing the number of parties to two per year or a no candy). Instead of teachers helping students adjust to the new policies they instead told students that new rules were "all her fault." I was shocked by the unprofessionalism. At award ceremonies, when the principal asked teachers to quiet their students, I personally observed the teachers simply walk away. I thought to myself, sabotage, sabotage sabotage.
This is a petty coup if I've ever saw one. Had this woman of color been a white guy in a tweed jacket none of these alleged complaints would have been made. These teachers tried to bring down a disciplined, smart woman because of an arrogance they held. Many of the teachers have taught there for quite a long time and it was clear that their sense of entitlement and ego game them the idea that they were above learning or implementing anything new. Today, when parents were notified our children came home to tell us that teachers throughout the entire school year had complained to them about the new rules. Shame on some of those McAuliffe teachers – Shame on the district for letting this go down like this. I've never observed Mrs. Pierre be rude, aggressive, or disrespectful. She was always gentle, kind, and sensitive to the needs of others. In fact, I witnessed her go door to door on a Saturday seeking support for Measure R, a local measure to help our school district. This woman was recruited from a county many hours away and yet on her own time she volunteered to get political support for out school. She commuted many miles, back and forth without complaint. This is a sham. McAuliffe was my favorite school. I was proud of the district for hiring her, and I am now disgusted that they allowed this sneaky and underhanded plot against her to be carried out. Good Grief. Did it occur to anyone to ask the parents?

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/14/13 @ 07:01 p.m.

Are u sure we are talking about the same person??this nothing to do with color so your the arragont one here this has to do with her behavior i was able to view the side the teachers saw and was present at the meeting where were you. this principal didnt have the qualificnations of someone in her position should ..there were many issues including someone jumping over the kindergarten fence and entering the school and what was done nothing just a dont do it again and this happened in jan do we not remember what happened before christmas at sandy hook and instead of takin responsiblity for what she did wrong it was excuses and lies..your entited to your opinion and i would of loved to meet this ms pierre that you saw but get it straight it wasnt about color it was about having respect

posted by christina1128 on 3/14/13 @ 08:16 p.m.

Please dont hide behind your child with your comment i have yet to even hear a 6th grader or younger speak like that and to respond yes i have had numerous conversations with her so i do know what im talking about i dont need to follow a crowd i speak for myself i have viewed first hand what im talkin about so dont get it twisted ..whats done is done and im estatic that shes gone it has nothing to do with race so please dont make it a race issue everyone has an opinion this is america freedom of speech ..

posted by christina1128 on 3/14/13 @ 08:22 p.m.

As a professor of 20 years, it's a good thing that I don't get my esteem from the comments of others. My sentiments are directed at the school, some of the teachers, and some district members. Really, I didn't write this to have a personal back and forth. Particularly, when you have no I idea who I am, nor do I have any idea of who you are. Please keep your comments directed to the subject matter rather than individuals who have the right to their opinion based on their own experiences (that is, the facts as they witnessed).
p.s. Individuals on this site don't get to be the arbiter of what constitutes race issues. We are all experiencing life from different vantage points. I respect your right to speak from yours.

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/14/13 @ 08:31 p.m.

I think you need to broaden your horizons. 6th graders do write that way. I'd never never write something for my child. I'm sorry the level is above what you're used to reading. The rude tenor of your comments is truly disappointing and disturbing. Thanks for complimenting my daughter's writing ability.
Signing off. Peace be with you.

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/14/13 @ 08:36 p.m.

Yeah yeah whatever disappointed parent whateves u haply and its not above my reading level i think not it was what you wrote just with a couple of things added to make ot look different but when you get to my level you can let me know until then enjoy your precious principal being let go because i sure am..good night all...today was def a good day ;-)

posted by christina1128 on 3/14/13 @ 08:43 p.m.

@ Disappointed Parent why do people always run to "Race" your quote was (Had this woman of color been a white guy in a tweed jacket none of these alleged complaints would have been made)YOUR SO WRONG.....
How about this dont look at the color look at problem. I spoke to Mrs. Pierre many of times she did things she should not have done and got away with lots of things. Myself and other parents went to school boared meetings to try and fix these issues and show our school support.Where were you to show support ? But she turned the other cheek and continued to be rude. Im going to be fair every NEW principal is nice but as soon as they gey comfortable they start slacking. We had a school lock down on January 25th 2013 and she did not follow all the procedures. Her staff did not know if it was a drill or the real thing shame on Mrs. Pierre, she did her own thing and ran down the hall way on the kindergarden side and notified them door to door. She had a conversation between her and I recored Mr. Chancer was notified she had no right to do that I to have rights. My son was getting bullied and she did nothing about it I had to go myself and deal with the teacher to find a solution, cause she did not help very much with her "POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT" instead of helping the teachers when a child does not behave !!! She needs more training if she ever goes back to any school. I think a Psychological evaluation is needed for Mrs. Pierre. She has left a bad taste in that school. Tomorrow Im going to pass out flyers to let all the parents know what kind of principal they had. And to continue to support out teachers who work so hard everyday.I am Elizabeth Garcia I respect and believe in our teachers at McAuliffe School

posted by elizabeth805 on 3/14/13 @ 08:55 p.m.

God, I pray that you to be released from your cynicism. Given the comments I made previously it isn't logical that I would have to hide behind anyone. Children really do write that well, and those are her words verbatim. Finally, I value American freedom very much. In fact, I served my country and fought for us to have this type of discourse. I hold no animosity toward you. Really.... I pray for you. :-)

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/14/13 @ 08:57 p.m.

Elizabeth,
I'm very sorry that your child was bullied.

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/14/13 @ 09:01 p.m.

As valid as any of the comments are above - there are no winners in a situation like this...the staff that felt bullied, the staff that supported Mrs. Pierre, the parents, the students, ect....as of yesterday we lost a principal and inherited a divided school campus -- despite your experiences, despite your personal thoughts/opinions of the current situation - let us not all lose focus -- the students....as parents, staff and community members, now is an opportunity to put aside our differences and remain focus on -- our children. To waste any additional time or energy on our opinions (as valid and important they each may be) is time taken away from children, time wasted from our families, time wasted from their educational development -- as adults, educators and community leaders we should foster a sense of security for the students of McAuliffe, a commitment to move forward, well wishes for Mrs. Pierre, support for the staff and most importantly an education for all of our students. The experiences of the past 6 months at McAuliffe were unique for individual (good or bad), we can each argue a very valid case for support or non-support for Mrs. Pierre (as is our personal rights) - but I do encourage you to act and comment responsibly - ultimately remain focused on the students and ask yourself how would I want my child to resolve a conflict (with sarcasm, hurtful words, rumors -as been evidenced above) -- as we begin the last trimester of this school year I encourage everyone to step forward, support each other, support our interim principal, support Mrs. Fox and our students. Go Challengers!!
Regards,
A proud McAuliffe staff member and OSD employee

posted by number14 on 3/14/13 @ 09:48 p.m.

great voice of reason. Thank you.

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/14/13 @ 10:15 p.m.

You are truly welcome. Your comments above appeared sincere (as did the others) - despite the difference in opinion....the passion in all the comments above reiterates my thought that you each want what is best for your children and McAuliffe School (with nearly 1,000 students that may very well mean a thousand different opinions)....may you each approach tomorrow with positivity, sincerity and have a truly blessed day - appreciate that your children have such caring parents and staff and the opportunity to be a part of Christa McAuliffe School.....as it is a privilege to work with your children, you (as parents) and an incredible staff.
Sincerely,

posted by number14 on 3/14/13 @ 11:27 p.m.

I appreciate the mom who respects her child's mind and desire to be heard. I'm glad her child thought so highly of Mrs. Pierre, that's the way it should have been. How Mrs. Pierre chose to treat her staff shouldn't have been any concern of a student who was there to learn in a positive, safe environment!

Let's be thankful the students don't know how Mrs. Pierre treated her staff... why crush their spirits. In a blink of an eye these children will be adults and they'll have plenty to worry about, I don't want to rush it!

posted by applesandbananas on 3/14/13 @ 11:31 p.m.

@applesandbananas My child knew about how the staff felt long before this article. For quite some time she knew because the sentiments came directly from the mouths of some of the teachers. And you're right, I wish she didn't know...but that's what she was exposed to at school. I'm moving forward as "number14" suggested.

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/15/13 @ 08:59 a.m.

What the reporter failed to report and is clearly indicated by banter in these exchanges is that this is a racial encounter in a school divided, on who is going to run it!
“Christa McAuliffe’s first African American Principal ridden out by two white teachers,” also, Teachers extending their reach beyond the Superintendent and going directly to the Elected Board in order to drive change.
Clearly this shows a lack of respect for the chain of command and hence your problem.
Can the teachers who had complaints describe what their issues with the Principle were? Could it be that the Principle was following School District Policy and Procedures? Finally, why would an educated and experienced administrator lock horns with a staff without having the idea that they would complain? Or, did the principle have issues with their compliance with District Rules and related documentation and report them up the chain?
Did they leave early from campus and get caught?
Were their complaints about their performance and treatment of children?
Were the teachers disgruntled at the lack of budget to provide additional services and the cuts from programs supporting their individual class and no longer allowing for services they had been provided in the past?
Fathom that you were an African American Woman given a job in an upper middle class neighborhood as Principle of an Elementary School. Would you go in with both guns blazing just to show you were there? Or would you work to define what the issues dividing staff and the community it serves are, and notify your chain of command and attempt to remedy them? It is also worth commenting that Christine Anderson who was replaced by Pierre had issues with staff as well, and gave no reasons for leaving the job. Tough Job!
With 30 or so classrooms going at once, how is it possible to reach each one each day for evaluation? This is to say that while Ms. Wilson has voiced her complaint. She and the reporter did not report what she was accused of, or why she felt she was the focus of Ms. Pierre’s attention. Why did she feel singled out? Is it that children leaving her class and advancing did not possess the skills necessary to reach the next grade level. Did Ms. Wilson not teach the curriculum?
All good questions which need to be answered before passing judgment!
If the Principle had given her list of concerns with staff we may have a better understanding of what is truly needed to repair this divide between Board, Union, School Administration, Teachers and Families. Now, it is, as it was, no better!

posted by The truth on 3/15/13 @ 12:14 p.m.

To The Truth - after reviewing your comments above I would suggest you consult with the administrators of the Oxnard School District - as you stated, "all good questions which need to be answered before passing judgement". Please remember that McAuliffe School and the Oxnard School District represents a true melting pot of cultures and backgrounds - from the staff to the students that are served....please remember that Ms. Wilson was acting as a representative of the teachers (as she had been a union representative for years) and was speaking on behalf of numerous individuals....please remember that there tends to always be two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lays the truth....the article above is a snapshot of the board meeting that took place, the concerns that were complied and the investigation that was under way -- instead of placing blame on an individual such as Ms. Wilson, who was solely acting as a voice for the multiple individuals who had expressed concern, perhaps we should take a wholistic approach to the current situation and question about how the media (such as the article above) may not be a thorough representation of the situation) - which is extremely unfortunate because as community members you should each be presented with all of the facts and be allowed to make your own conclusion - again, I encourage each of us to serve as models for our children, to teach them how to approach a difficult situation, how to resolve conflicts in an appropriate manner, abstaining from blame, hurtful comments or "making judgments" prior to having all the facts. With much appreciation....

posted by number14 on 3/15/13 @ 09:04 p.m.

It's so nice to have Marie Pierre appear here on this form to try to clear her name. Let's clear some things up shall we Marie? Why don't you stop blaming the staff for your short comings? Why is it that you so cleverly write that you...I mean Principal (that's how you spell it, by the way) Pierre, was the best Principal the school has ever had? Really? You're a "parent" at a 6 year school, and you can make that judgement? Since your child has been there so long, that you can compare all the other leaders? Seriously Marie? How about the "safe school"? You mean when she/you ignored the safety of the children when it was reported there might be a trespasser on campus? Then she/you lied about it to a parent in the hallway of the school?
And why is it the you know the Principal drove "for many miles"? Your dead giveaway was when you wrote, "I've never observed Mrs. Pierre be rude, aggressive, or disrespectful..." Really? Were you in her office when she regularly dressed down teachers and staff? Were you hiding in classrooms when she called out teachers? Do you even know what a good leader is? Of course you don't Marie...that's why you got fired. As for piling on Ms. Wilson, she's the spokesperson for the staff. To write (under a new name it seems) that her children leave her classroom unprepared is petty and unprofessional. Of course, that's why you got fired as well.
Christa McAuliffe's test scores were one of the highest in the District for the 2011-2012 school year. The teachers MUST be doing something right. This was NOT a coup. This was NOT sabotage. The only person who sabotaged anything was Ms. Pierre herself. It DID NOT matter if she was African-American, Chinese-American, Native American or even a white guy in a tweed jacket. And to bring that up...well, that says it all about your character.
And that...and only that...are the sad but true facts.

posted by Sad-But-True on 3/15/13 @ 10:38 p.m.

Sad-But-True - as valid and truthful your opinion may be, I believe the"facts" of the situation are contained within the conversations/interviews that transpired between McAuliffe members and OSD HR (which followed appropriate compliant/grievance procedures as outlined within OSD procedural guidelines)- including the interviews of staff, parents and Mrs. Pierre...the information from all involved parties was complied and submitted to the appropriate individuals for review - outside of the "formal" report that was submitted for review is opinion and speculation (which we are all entitled to and allowed to express), but there is a vast difference between "fact"and "opinion" - I mean no disrespect to you, but encourage responsibility when expressing a "fact" vs "opinion"....I may very well stand corrected in my opinion if you met with OSD representation and your experience was contained within the 50+ page report that was submitted....but, as I stated above you are very much entitled to your opinion, but wish to distinguish between fact from opinion....ultimately, I want to stress that any individual (staff, parent or other) that may have experienced a negative experience with Mrs. Pierre was required to follow a "protocol" for addressing the concern - individuals that supported Mrs. Pierre were also allowed to express their praise for her --- but, it did follow strict protocol...unfortunately, because a great majority of parents and community members were unaware of the situation, many opinions and experiences may not have been expressed (pro or against)....if you feel strongly about the situation I encourage you to "formally" address it - as all opinions are valid and may prevent a situation like this in the future so we can all remain focused on.......the children.

posted by number14 on 3/15/13 @ 11:40 p.m.

After reading this article and the blog that has followed I have become interested in this discussion and have done some research that you all may be interested in before you add any more fuel to this fire. After reviewing the recently published announcements of items for discussion of the Oxnard Elementary School District Board of Trustees and minutes, I am not able to find an announcement of a discussion item related to the Principal of Christa McAuliffe School and her treatment of employees to be discussed in public and requesting public input. Although, as #14 has laid out there was apparently some discussion at a Board meeting in which all teachers, community members and concerned citizens were invited to participate in a discussion on the performance of the Principal.
I find this very peculiar in that while #14 is attempting to negotiate opinion and interject that in fact the District files will have evidence that is detrimental to maintaining the contract of Ms. Pierre, if this is true; it is a question and possibly a violation of the States Brown Act. As we all must understand that the type of Kangaroo Court proceeding which have resulted in a news piece on television this past Friday, March 15, 2013 is now far reaching and can be considered Defamation of Character. What you all need to be aware of in this type of action, is that this can result in a Civil Action which may be discussed In a Superior Court whereby you may not have the protection of the Oxnard Elementary School District and possibly your union.
Further, reading through this article and related discussion there is not a single thread of discussion citing a limitation of rights as an employee/teacher. This discussion is clearly subjective and based on feeling. How she made me feel. In executing the changes in School District Policy and specifically the State of California and CTA’s agreed to evaluation process, things are changing. Healthy Schools and limitation of Sweet Treats in classrooms is an Initiative that has been adopted by the Oxnard School District and must be implemented at every school in the District. Furthermore, the expansion of the number of students in each classroom has all seriously affected teacher moral. So, to retaliate against the person charged with administering change and to have not been supported by her superiors is appalling.

posted by Gran Torino on 3/17/13 @ 09:53 p.m.

As the Oxnard School District Campus with the Highest concentration of Students classified as GATE Students at 45% it is a given that Christa McAuliffe School should be attaining the 800 API Goal each year. The question is, should this score be higher? No other school in the District has the reported concentration of GATE Students currently attending Christa McAuliffe Elementary School (Soria reported at 25%). There is a discussion in this blog that the great scores are the result of Great Teachers and used to support and affirm that actions and dealings with Ms. Pierre were proper and followed due process. Is it your opinion then that all other Oxnard School District Teachers are not as good?, or is it that Christa McAuliffe School is the beneficiary of the School Districts decision to do away with the concentrated program that had bused the GATE children to the Colonia for years?
Finally, a District wide and Campus site Safety/Disaster Plan is to be executed by all including Law Enforcement Officials to coordinate at the time of the incident, which was also discussed in this blog. I have the following questions: Were the police called?, did they take over the protection of Students and Staff when they arrived?, was the School Office Manager instructed to call the breach of Security? I am going to assume that the answers to all my questions are yes, so, to continue use this incident as leverage for a perceived poor performance or response to an unsecured access to the school site is the wrong way to go about creating a better plan and more secure environment. Incidentally, the fence where the access was said to have been made is approximately five feet tall easily scaled and designed to keep little folks in the yard and never to keep anyone out as evidenced by your breach, otherwise the fence would have been built to a height of six to eight feet. As all who are familiar with Christa McAuliffe School are aware there are some eight entrances to the building. I am sure that you did not expect Ms. Pierre to run and cover them all. As you may realize that is clearly where the School District will need to invest funds in the way of a Security Consultant, and funding in fortifying its physical plant which means a solid investment in the whole district which is where this reader would have expected this discussion to go including discussions with the CTA/OEA. This would serve well for Emilie Ritchen Elementary School as well since they are similar designs.
In closing, is this type of treatment and lack of process that every Principal in the Oxnard Elementary School District should expect when change is required or things aren’t going so well? Clearly there are a few Bullies remaining on campus!

posted by Gran Torino on 3/17/13 @ 09:54 p.m.

@gran no the police werent called and no one is expecting her to run across campus we expect the use of intercoms and radios thats proper protecal i called the police and spoke to whos in charge of the officers involved with the schools no proper protacal was taken so unless u know facts firsthand please dont speak on heresay and also to be able to sue for defremation of character it has to be untrue believe me i have facts to confirm so knock urself out with a suit my attorney would love to expose ms .pierre..

posted by christina1128 on 3/18/13 @ 11:35 a.m.

And the answer to all ur protocal questions its NO!

posted by christina1128 on 3/18/13 @ 11:38 a.m.

Judging by the grammar, spelling and punctuation from the commenters, Oxnard's schools have more problems than bullying.

posted by nomdecrayola on 3/18/13 @ 03:22 p.m.

Its called touch screen cell phones

posted by christina1128 on 3/18/13 @ 03:58 p.m.

I have no intention to continue to add to or read this post, but I wanted to emphatically point out that I am NOT Mrs. Pierre. To make the accusation that I am Mrs. Pierre is quite amazing. If this is any indication as to how Mrs. Pierre was treated, the process of grievance accumulation is (shockingly) even more suspect.

posted by Disappointed Parent on 3/19/13 @ 11:10 a.m.

I have had children at McAuliffe since 2005. I currently have a daughter in 5th grade, she has been a student since Kindergarten. I also have a son in 1st grade. Their used to be a very strong sense of family and community at McAuliffe. It was one of the reasons I loved the school. With, the arrival of Mrs.Pierre, it was extremely noticeable that the sense of family had all but vanished. The sudden wave of changes and rules were fast and furious. Some were annoying to some parents and students but not ridiculous. The party rule and no cupcakes on bdays was a huge blow to the kids but something that they could learn to accept. She had health and adequate use of class time on her mind. I get that. However, not allowing the kids to play basketball at recess because she thought it was a dangerous sport, seemed very strange to me. My 5th grader was very confused about some of the rule changes. Mrs.Pierre was not very approachable in my opinion. Former Principal Mrs.Anderson was very open and always put the students and teachers first. It seemed to me that Mrs.Pierres first priority was implamenting all of her rules. My daughter even referred to the school as " Shawshank". I am all for structure and change, it is necessary for growth. However, the dictatorship that Mrs.Pierre seemed to bring into the school was insane. If I as a parent felt the negative energy , and my daughter a 5th year student felt it, then I can only imagine how rough it was for the teachers. I have known most of these teachers and that have always been outstanding and caring people. To say they had it out for Mrs.Pierre is ridiculous. These teachers are wonderful, especially Mrs.Wilson. My son was suffering from lunch time nerves and was visiting the nurse every day in he beginning of school. Leaving the little world of the Kinder area seemed to be too much for him to handle. My husband and I went to the school to talk to him during a lunch time nurse visit. He was in tears, with stomach pain. When he asked us to walk him to the cafeteria, we were stopped by Mrs.Pierre and told that parents weren't allowed in the halls during school hours! He had been vomiting every day from anxiety and she wouldn't allow us to walk him 15 ft down the hall. In the end, it was his teacher Mrs. Wilson who sat with him and ate her lunch with him everyday that week until he got over the nerves and conquered his fear. She stepped up as a teacher and went beyond the call of duty,in my opinion. I saw Mrs.Pierre many times after that day and not once did she ever ask me about my son. To me that says a whole lot. Its unfortunate that Mrs.Pierre didn't work out, but personally I am glad that she will no longer be in charge, so that maybe the next principal to walk through the door will not only bring with them a form of leadership that can be respected and be able to also revive the family that McAuliffe once was.

posted by missnea30 on 3/19/13 @ 11:33 p.m.

Well said missnea30 Im so happy that other parents are speaking out. The school will be a better place now that Mrs. Pierre is gone

posted by elizabeth805 on 3/28/13 @ 12:09 a.m.

I know Marie Pierre personally and this article breaks my heart. What do you people know of Marie Pierre? A woman in charge of an entire school, with two children at home. This all seems like a lack of evidence, and pure slander from a group of people who dare call a grown woman a bully.

These accounts are from grown ups calling themselves victims? I'm sure if you had a problem with Mrs. Pierre you could of talked it out sensible like adults, instead of spreading obnoxious rumors that can terrible damage someone's reputation in this era of social media! Please take the time and think of the damage you are now inflicting onto Marie, her husband (in the military!), and her two children. Just take the time and try to think of a more sensible solution to getting your point across. If you have a problem with her, why did no one approach her? why did no one mention having a conference with her?

posted by snickers17 on 4/12/13 @ 03:04 p.m.

The school year is now over and since Mrs. Pierre has been gone its been so peaceful. The teachers look so happy the children come out with big smiles...and me as a parent that makes me so happy.

posted by elizabeth805 on 6/18/13 @ 08:29 p.m.
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