Memo To:   Dr. Kriner Cash, Superintendent, BPS
Members, Buffalo Board of Education
All District Administrators

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          April 6, 2020


Subject:     FYI - Email to Dr. Cash, Members of the Board and All BPS Administrators

These are and have been some of the most difficult, painful, dangerous, heart-wrenching and challenging times.

Many of us know of someone who, and whose family, have been victims of this devastating pandemic.

We have also seen the heroic efforts and sacrifices of first responders, police, firefighters, grocery store workers, sanitation workers and many more too numerous to mention.

We must also commend all those in the District and community organizations who have worked to supply thousands of families with desperately needed food and meals.

Parents have called me to say how much they appreciate the teachers, who have continued to work with their children, while relating the extreme pressure of having multiple children at different grade levels.

One parent was in tears when she heard there might be no spring recess. The stress of working with a baby and an elementary school student was almost too much to bare.  I have had numerous such calls.

Teachers, some of whom have children of their own at home, are also under unmanageable stress, e.g. learning new technology, trying to keep in contact with their 30-150 students, when many students have no equipment, internet service or a working phone, insufficient educational materials for their students, nasty responses from a few parents, (one parent sent a naked picture of herself to a teacher’s cell phone) – to name a few.

We have also had a few administrators, who are not enduring what the teachers are, heaping even more pressure on teachers, e.g. I want your lesson plans, I want you to check in with me or else, I want you at this teleconference, I want to know how many students you have contacted, I am having parents report you if you haven’t reached them, you must create a video, I want you to contact parents via a platform that isn’t FERPA and HIPPA compliant, you must use Schoology even though you have not been trained and it breaks downs constantly, I don’t care if you have to use your personal cellphone and are concerned you have to use it,  what about marks, student equipment or materials, will there be a spring break since it is up to the District to make the decision, I have tried and tried and can’t reach the parent or student… to name a few.

Yet, because they care about their students, they and their families endure the stress.

Yes, we are all under tremendous stress; however, based on the actions of some school and City Hall administrators, I don’t think anyone has a clue about the additional stress your teachers are enduring to connect with, care for and educate their students.

All I ask is that when you make decisions, that you put yourself in the body of a teacher, who has from 30-150 students for whom they are responsible and that you also consider the stress on parents.

Hopefully that is not too much to ask. We are not looking for sympathy – just understanding and compassion.

We, as always, remain committed to work with you as we educate our students and overcome these dangerous times.