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City Honors students & parents appeal to mayor to stop teacher transfers

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The on-going labor dispute at City Honors is causing distress among students.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says students and parents rallied Thursday calling on Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown to intervene.

“Save our teachers,” chanted students and parents standing on a corner of Franklin Street.

City Honors parents and students are pleading with the school district and teachers union to end an on-going labor dispute.

They rallied outside of the Buffalo Convention Center prior to the State of the City Address hoping to attract the attention of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

“We urge you to use your power as the mayor of the city to tell both sides to resolve this issues with the students’ best interest in mind rather than their own,” stated Erin Langdon, City Honors parent.

Langdon delivering a message to the mayor.

“Mayor Brown – this is your city – your schools and your students – please use your voice to fix this and stop the removal of teachers at City Honors on Tuesday, February 27th,” Langdon declared.   

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Erin Langdon, City Honors parent, delivering a message to the mayor.

The city school district is planning to transfer five and a half teachers out of the school by next Tuesday in order to fulfill a long-time contract agreement. It states City Honors teachers do not have to perform non-teaching duties. The district needs to cut the teaching jobs in order to pay for 16-teacher aides at the school to conduct those assignments.

But students say transfers in the middle of the school year would disrupt their hard work. Julia Penchaszadeh Robert, City Honors junior, made a tearful plea. She said her English and music teachers would be transferred out of the school.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Julia Penchaszadeh Robert, City Honors junior, made a tearful plea.

“We will have to change our entire course work – the teacher might have to change entirely what they are teaching – it’s not just affecting students – it’s affecting everyone in the system,” cried Penchaszadeh Robert. “With the 5.5 teacher cuts, the entire music department would be disbanded

Students and parents wand the district and Buffalo Teachers Federation to return back to the negotiating table to prevent these transfers. 

Parent Wendy Mistretta has two children who attend City Honors.   

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
City Honors students and parents rallied Thursday.

“We’re going to lose our teachers when they go back to school on Monday – my daughter – two of her teachers won’t be there if something is not done now,” Mistretta remarked.

The BTF was granted temporary restraining order by a judge to block the cuts, but the district was filing a challenge.   

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