If you were to be fired from your job for negative performance, do you think you would get a severance package valued over three-quarters of a million dollars? I know I wouldn’t, but Valeria Silva is.
Silva has been superintendent of the St. Paul, Minnesota, school district since 2009. During her tenure, school violence has been on the rise and a number of people blame her and her policies. Apparently, Silva is a fan of the Pacific Educational Group, a radical San Francisco consulting firm that concentrates on fighting white privilege at the cost of black and Hispanic students. They encourage schools to use less drastic forms of discipline on minority students instead of suspensions and expulsions which ruins their records.
Since Silva began using soft discipline to keep problematic students in school, the number of violent incidents, including physical attacks on teachers, has been increasing. Teachers have been injured trying to break up fights among students.
In December 2015, one teacher was severely injured by a sixteen-year-old student, when the teacher tried to break up a fight. That teacher has now filed a lawsuit against the district for failure to provide a safe working environment.
Another student continued to disrupt a classroom and repeatedly refused to leave resulting in a school safety officer having to use a Taser to control the student.
In January 2016, a former teacher also filed a lawsuit against the school district, claiming that she was repeatedly verbally abused and harassed in a vulgar sexual way by students and on more than one occasion was hit, kicked and kneed by students.
The conditions for teachers in the St. Paul school district has gotten so bad and dangerous that the teachers union has been talking about going on strike due to the unsafe conditions teachers face.
In November 2015, four new members of the school board were elected and all four saw Silva as the core of many of the districts problems, especially the violence. In January, much to the surprise of many, Silva announced that her schools were not out of control in spite of all of the evidence to the contrary. The new school board members tried to work with Silva to change her policies, but she stood her ground.
Consequently, the board members met this week and fired Silva, which needed to be done long ago. What’s shocking about her termination is the severance package the board gave her which totals $787,500. According to the local press:
“Silva’s separation agreement effectively pays her half the salary should would have earned — $269,478 — over the final 30 months of her contract.
“There’s also $25,750 in longevity and deferred compensation she was already set to receive, and a $75,712 for 91 days of vacation.
“The board added a $100,000 severance, along with $103,350 in pension payments and insurance benefits worth an estimated $213,210.”
Additionally, Silva will receive pension payments through October 1, 2019. At that time, she will be eligible to draw full retirement benefits which in reality means that she’ll get a lot more that the $787,000 over time.
WOW! I’m 64 and if I received a severance package like that, I’d apply for Social Security and retire. I just don’t understand why someone that has created such an unsafe environment for students and teachers is rewarded for it. That’s not exactly sending a positive message from the school board.
To cap off the obscene severance package, one of the school board members that voted against firing Silva said that she will resign from the board at the end of June, saying:
“The environment at this table has become so disrespectful, destructive and cynical that I can no longer be a part of it.”
Seems to me that Silva was the destructive and disrespectful one in that she created the atmosphere of violence and disrespected the board’s recommendations to make necessary changes. But that seems to be the norm in today’s twisted and perverted America where the bad get rewarded and those that try to do the right things are accused of being the bad guys.