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Riverside dispute leads to teacher suspensions

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Buffalo school system has suspended the entire five-member Social Studies Department in Riverside. The punishment is in connection with a dispute over correcting Regents tests in the spring.

Exactly what happened is a little unclear since the district says it's a personnel matter and won't comment.

BTF President Phil Rumore says the teachers wanted to ensure security of the scoring and wanted overtime to work late on corrections. According to Rumore, an administrator called the teachers terrorists for their actions.

"For them to call the teachers terrorists is disgusting in the first place but to have a teacher that left a country because of terrorism called a terrorist just shows the kind of mentality of the people that are making these decisions," Rumore said.

Rumore says a top district administrator broke state rules and removed the uncorrected tests from the building and had unidentified people do the final grading. He says there have been complaints to Albany about violating test rules.

The suspensions are being appealed.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.