Posts tagged John Grande

    Federal lawsuit filed against Hartford Public Schools over privilege training

    January 11, 2024 // “Over the last several years, the Superintendent, with the backing and approval of the Board, has instituted or enforced policies, procedures, and customs to advance critical race theory in Hartford Public Schools, and to force employees like Mr. Grande to acquiesce to that theory,” the complaint states. Grande was subsequently investigated by the school for the comments he made during the breakout session, with Director of Arts and Wellness for HPS Tracy Avicolli, who had facilitated the training, accusing him of “inappropriate and aggressive comments” and indicating that Grande was under investigation in an email sent to everyone who was part of the breakout session except him. Grande claims that the subsequent investigation, which was revealed to him months later, contained misrepresentations, false statements attributed to him and “coached” comments from two other participants.

    Hartford teacher wins labor complaint against union

    September 6, 2023 // Grande was disciplined by the Board of Education after two colleagues complained about his reaction to mandatory training on privilege. He was issued a letter of reprimand, saying he had made inappropriate and unprofessional comments during the training. Grande has pushed back against that reprimand saying he was asked his opinion on the training and gave an honest answer. HFT did file for arbitration on Grande’s behalf after they were made aware of their duty to fair representation, but it was too late, with more than six months elapsing between the second grievance denial and filing for arbitration, so their request was denied.

    Hartford teachers union denied arbitration in grievance case

    June 13, 2023 // Grande contends that he did nothing wrong. In an op-ed published by the Hartford Courant, Grande says that following an online training about “Identity & Privilege,” he was assigned to a breakout room with several other teachers and asked to give his opinion. “So I gave it, honestly and professionally,” Grande wrote. “Apparently because I disagreed with the training’s implications, two teachers complained. Months later the administration informed me I was under investigation,” Grande wrote. Grande says he was issued a written reprimand and required to undergo further sensitivity training under threat of termination. Grande had been a HFT union member most of his career and says he helped negotiate contracts but resigned from the union in 2018.

    Op-Ed: John Grande: Hartford Federation of Teachers shirked its duty to represent me

    February 23, 2023 // This skewed process is one reason why unions exist. I should know—I was a member of the Hartford Federation of Teachers (HFT) for 29 years, a building representative for five years, and helped negotiate two teacher contracts. I always stood up for my colleagues when administrators treated them unfairly. Though I resigned from the union in 2018, teachers still call me when they need advice. I knew that I could effectively defend myself in front of an unbiased third party during arbitration. But only the union can start the arbitration process. That’s when the surprise came: HFT’s vice president emailed me saying that because I was no longer a dues-paying member, the union would not initiate arbitration. Over 30 years of teaching service. Thousands of dollars in dues payments. A union appreciation plaque for being part of a team that negotiated Hartford teachers’ last good contract. None of this swayed union officials whose representation I, by law, must accept.

    Union Refuses To Aid Teacher Who Faced Termination for Criticism of Woke Training

    August 15, 2022 // A Connecticut gym teacher says his school threatened to fire him after he criticized its mandatory diversity training on "exploring privilege." But when he filed a grievance against the school, the local teachers' union dismissed the complaint without explanation. John Grande filed the grievance against Hartford Public Schools for what he called targeted discipline—including threats of termination and further "Sensitivity Awareness" training—but the American Federation of Teachers Local 1018, which has jurisdiction over this arbitration process for teachers, rejected his plea, his attorney told the Washington Free Beacon. Grande, who has been a gym teacher for 30 years, said the union retaliated against him for refusing to join the labor group. The training included an activity for teachers to split into groups and discuss their privilege in eight categories: class, ability, race, gender/sex, sexuality, nationality/citizenship, religion, and "other." Hartford Board of Education,