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Annie Pollard issued a statement that praised school teachers and staff, and said her comment was directed at a select few.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Bedford County Supervisor Annie Pollard defended herself this week against criticism for calling some school teachers “crybabies” for asking for increased funding for schools.
Pollard issued a lengthy statement in which she praised county teachers and employees, but stuck by her original comments.
“To the majority of Bedford County teachers, I want to repeat my statement from the same meeting which is, ‘I know that Bedford County has some of the best teachers in the state,’ ” Pollard said.
Near the end of a supervisors meeting on April 22, just as supervisors approved their 2013-14 budget, Pollard criticized teachers who had appeared at an earlier board meeting requesting more money from the county.
She said that supervisors should take a further look at school funding after “listening to … the crap we took” from some teachers. She also said that teachers were acting on directions given by the school board and Superintendent Douglas Schuch .
Then she added: “If you’re asking me to rob taxpayers that can’t afford, a lot of them, to pay what they are already paying, to pay a bunch of crybabies, that’s not going to happen.”
Teachers and school board members objected to Pollard’s language, with board Chairman Gary Hostutler telling the (Lynchburg) News and Advance this week that Pollard’s words were “very demeaning.”
The county’s allocation of $38 million in general operations money opened a $3.47 million deficit for the schools.
The school board passed its budget Tuesday and closed the gap by canceling plans to hire teachers, cutting stipends for math teachers, taking money from the textbook fund and other reductions. School employees will receive a 3 percent raise, their first significant salary increase in five years.
While praising teachers and other school employees, Pollard did not back off from her criticism of some teachers.
“I recognize that the teaching profession is an admirable one and I applaud anyone who is dedicated to making a positive difference in a child’s life,” she said. Later, she added: “To the few teachers, specific school board members and specific school staff (you know who you are), I directed the rest of my statement to you.”
Related coverage: Read the story where Supervisor Annie Pollard made the comment.
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