PHSPC letter re: teacher resignation

(This letter was included in the 11/3 PHS school bulletin.)

Dear PHS Parents,

We would like to address the recent resignation of Mark Cowherd.  We understand that many of you have questions, and even though we don’t have all the answers, we hope to shed a little light on this issue.

Many of you have emailed and called and we would like to thank all of you for your input, understanding and patience.  There was a parent coffee Wednesday morning with Superintendent Booker and Principal Littlefield and many of your questions and concerns were voiced.  Both Randy and Adam assured us that there is a plan in place to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Cowherd and to support the students who are currently enrolled in World History, AP US History and AP European History.  The District has been communicating directly with the students in the affected classes, and sent an email to the families of those students last night.

Our Parents’ Club continues to collaborate with PHS Administration, the District and the School Board to review and understand the laws and regulations that dictate how personnel matters are handled in public schools.   As some of you know, the State Education Code limits the ability of the District and PHS Administration to discuss any personnel issues with the public.  This situation can often put the District in an awkward position.  We are encouraging the District to investigate how it may legally share more information with the community.

In light of all of this, we implore parents to help us find a way to heal and move forward.  Our hope is that the silver lining of this situation is that students will feel safe to come forward and speak up when they see something that is not right.  We hope that our community can find a way to work with our teachers in a constructive and supportive way and speak up not only when something is not right, but when something positive happens.  We are part of a very special community that feels passionately about the education of our children.  Together with our teachers and administrators, we can continue the important work of providing a safe environment that fosters a love of learning and prepares our students for life beyond high school.

We would like to encourage all of you to reach out to us if you have any questions.  We would also like to thank all of the teachers at PHS who have provided support and comfort to our students during this stressful time.

Hilary Cooper & Caroline Donaldson

PHS Parents’ Club Co-Presidents

Here are some support options available to students: