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    Posted August 26, 2014 by
    District of Columbia

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    Holyoke Superintendent Dr. Sergio Paez Hands Out Trespassing Notice to President of the Holyoke Teachers Association


    Agustin  Morales III, President of the Holyoke Teachers Association, was issued a  trespassing notice by the school department, which was ordered and  signed by Superintendent Dr. Sergio Paez. They, the administration, have  been trying to silence Morales since he started criticizing them about  certain practices taking place in the Holyoke Public Schools. He mostly  spoke to the detrimental effects of data walls and the morale-busting  climate of high-stakes testing.


    Speaking out did not seem enough for Morales and he looked to pursuits  that would allow him to affect change on a much broader scale. In April  he decided he would run for president of his local union and won by an  overwhelming majority vote. Morales was welcoming new teachers this past  Thursday and Friday at one of the Holyoke schools and introducing  himself to them during their New Teacher Orientation. He was letting  them know that he is the President of their union and if they ever need  anything that he is available anytime. It didn’t make sense that in that  time frame, Dr. Paez would be filing a Trespass Notice.


    They thought non-renewal of his teaching contract and the subsequent  trespass notice would quite him; but it didn't work. It seems to only  have further strengthened Morales’s resolve to continue fighting for the  city he grew up in. These kinds of actions luckily just bring more  attention to the fact that change is needed and corporate school reform  is not the answer. Paez is a strong supporter of the Bill and Melinda  Gates Foundation which is a supporter of making all schools part of  their corporate reform.


    Morales works in one of the most impoverished districts in Massachusetts  where some schools have a free/reduced lunch rate above 90%. He works  with a predominantly Hispanic population (almost 80%) of which most are  Puerto Rican. Morales is also Puerto Rican. He is a native of Holyoke.  He graduated from Holyoke Public Schools. From all accounts Morales is  respected and supported by students, parents, community members, and  teaching colleagues from his city and around the country. This all  serves to further compound the confusion as to why he was dismissed in  the first place and begs the question: When will he be returned to the  classroom?

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