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February 13, 2003

Teachers vote against leaders of Rhode Island School for Deaf

From:, MA - 13 Feb 2003

By Associated Press, 2/13/2003 06:44

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) There's dissent in the ranks at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.

The school's teacher association took a vote of no confidence in the director and the board of trustees at a board meeting Wednesday. The association claimed faculty morale is at an all-time low. Teachers also said neither director Reginald Redding nor the board have provided the school with a sense of leadership, and have not defined its mission.

''You don't know who we are or what we're doing,'' said Dinaz Adenwalla, the union's vice president. ''Has anyone ever come to our classrooms and asked how the school is doing? The answer is no! We're fed up. We've had enough.''

Redding became director in September 2001 to much fanfare, as he's the first deaf person to lead the school in its history.

Teachers told the board they're worried about layoffs and a reorganization at the school of 160 students in this city's North End, The Providence Journal reported.

''I've never felt more fearful about the future of our school,'' said Barbara Simon-Olson, a teacher.

Some board members acknowledged problems, such as two unfilled openings on the board and poor recording of minutes of meetings.

''It's not just our fault,'' said board member Paul Tomasian. ''It's everyone's fault! We have a lack of confidence, too.''

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