Indian Woods teacher publicly tenders resignation, telling school board ‘you just aren’t listening’

Indian Woods Middle School teacher Amanda Coffman tendered her resignation at Monday's board of education meeting. Coffman said the district had not shown teachers the respect they deserved.

Monday’s meeting of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education, the first since the board voted 6-1 to adopt a three-year unilateral contract strongly opposed by the teachers union, saw a teacher publicly tender her resignation, saying she could no longer work for a district that was not showing teachers the respect they deserved.

Amanda Coffman, a gifted education teacher at Indian Woods Middle School, was the first person to speak during the public comment section of the meeting. In her remarks, she likened the district and its teachers to a bad marriage, and said she had lost hope that things would improve.

“Just like a bad relationship, our communication has broken down,” Coffman said. “You aren’t listening.”

You can see Coffman’s full remarks to the board below:

Shawnee Mission teachers have until Friday to decide whether to accept the terms of the three-year unilateral contract, to continue to work under last year’s contract, or to resign without penalty.

Coffman is one of two teachers to tender resignations effective before the end of the school year so far. SM North math teacher and baseball coach Zachary Stinnett resigned effective Feb. 7. Both Coffman and Stinnett’s resignations were included on the human resources agenda approved by the board Monday.

The HR agenda Monday also saw the board accept nine resignations and 11 retirements effective at the end of May.

NEA-Shawnee Mission president Linda Sieck said she expected the majority of teachers who decide to leave the district in part due to the unilateral contract to do so at the end of the current school year.

Mission councilmember says board decision was reasonable

Mission councilmember Sollie Flora, seen above in a file photo, spoke at Monday’s Shawnee Mission Board of Education meeting, saying she believed the board had acted responsibly in issuing the three-year unilateral contract.

Monday’s meeting also saw Mission city councilmember Sollie Flora speak during public comment. Flora said she’d reviewed the the report of the fact-finder in the labor dispute as well as the statements board members submitted to Education First Shawnee Mission and had come to the conclusion that, “within the funding restraints presented, the three-year contract is a good contract.”

“As an elected official, I appreciate that the board can only work with the dollars it has,” Flora said. “Further, in making its decisions, the board must take into account not only the interests of teachers, but all of the other competing priorities that are critical to a well functioning and stable school district.”

You can see her full remarks below: