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Recognition Of Educational Assistants Is Overdue

To the Editor:

We are the unrecognized group of educational assistants that work in Newtown School District. We are also known as paraprofessionals, classroom aides, aides, and teachers helpers. There are a total of 133 educational assistants that work in classrooms from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Not only do we work in the classroom, but also in math, reading, writing, computers, project adventure, and cafeteria throughout Newtown School District in all schools

We are the support group for the educators in the classroom, not just helping special education students but also all children in the classroom. Each classroom is diverse and we try to meet all the daily challenges that occur. We are paid $13.09 to $17.78 per hour. We receive one paid holiday, Thanksgiving, per year. We are with the students each and every day all day. Their safety is our number one concern.

That being said, on December 14, 2012, there were 25 educational assistants assigned to Sandy Hook Elementary School. Anne Marie Murphy was an educational assistant killed in Victoria Soto’s first grade classroom. Anne Marie’s life was taken away while she held Dylan Hockley in her arms trying to protect him. Another educational assistant was shot in the foot and has not been medically cleared to return to work full time as of yet. You never heard about these educational assistants or the other acts of bravery or heroism from Superintendent Janet Robinson, Newtown School District, Newtown Board of Education, or media.

Since the tragedy has happened, we do not want to take away the spotlight from those who all ready have been recognized. All we are asking is to be recognized as well.

We want the Newtown School District to work as a whole unit, not to be divided into categories. We are all Newtown and we are one!

Sincerely,

Peg McIntyre

IFPTE President

Newtown Educational Assistants

International Federation of

Professional and Technical Engineers

AFL, CIO, CLC

10 Shepaug Road Sandy Hook               February 25, 2013

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