CEA Advisor: ‘Student Assault and Aggressive Behavior’

I loved my job. But then one day I no longer recognized my classroom. It wasn’t the fun, friendly place it used to be. No one felt safe. No one was learning. The principal shrugged. ‘Get used to it,’ he said. I would never get used to it.
When they begin their careers, teachers imagine creating a secure, welcoming, and stimulating environment where they’ll inspire
generations of young thinkers and learners. Long before their careers
are over, however, many teachers find themselves trapped in
classrooms that are unstructured, unsustainable, and unsafe.
In Connecticut and nationwide, a steady rise in student aggression,
especially among younger children—combined with a lack of
administrative support in addressing the problem—is pushing new and
veteran teachers to leave the profession and the students they love.
“This is unacceptable,” says CEA President Sheila Cohen. “The path to
earning a teaching certificate is rigorous and challenging.
Connecticut has some of the best, most dedicated teachers anywhere—
professionals who come to the classroom with all the preparation
and enthusiasm they need to make a lasting, positive impact on their
students’ lives. That dream is crushed every time a student is allowed to
threaten, attack, abuse, and return to the classroom. We need to ensure
that for teachers, dealing with student assault does not simply
‘come with the territory.’ Everyone has the basic right to work without
fear of abuse.”
Though the problem of assault by younger children is underestimated,
Roblin Kaplan-Cho says this demographic accounts for most of the calls she receives. “It’s never acceptable, regardless of a child’s age or
disability. Make sure your administrator is aware of the assault
and reminded of his or her obligation under the law to file a copy of the
assault report with the local police. At the top of the incident report you
file, write, “Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-233, I
am notifying you that I have been assaulted.” Involve your local
Association so that they can track the frequency of the problem. Call
the police if you feel you aren’t getting the help you need.

CEA Call to Action

Reminder: Time is Running Out, Make Your Voice Heard

Dear Nancy,

Legislators are presently considering shifting the costs of teacher retirement contributions from the state to cities and towns across Connecticut. This will increase local property taxes and cut local public education funding, leading to job cuts, larger class sizes, and fewer resources.

Tell your legislators not to shift state costs onto the backs of local property owners. Contact your legislators and ask them to vote NO on any state budget that will force cities and towns to raise property taxes and destroy public education.

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CEAGo April 17, 2017


Legislators, including the Democratic Leadership in both the Senate and the House, are pushing for the approval of a scheme to shift a portion of teacher retirement costs from the state to cities and towns. This shift would impact our retirement, our jobs, our students, and the way our schools are funded.

Tell your legislators to Keep the Promise and vote NO on any state budget plan that shifts the cost of teacher retirement contributions from the state to cities and towns across Connecticut.

Click here to contact your legislators


Attend a County Forum and tell legislators how their ill-conceived plan to shift pension costs to cities and towns would lead to school funding cuts, hurting teachers and students.

Click here for a list of upcoming County Forums


A rotten apple to legislative leaders who are making school funding plans all about politics, not what’s best for students, teachers, and public education.POLITICAL INSANITY: GREENWICH GETS MORE EDUCATION FUNDING THAN NAUGATUCK


A shiny apple to State Board of Education members who acted on teachers’ concerns by voting to prohibit the use of state mastery test scores in evaluating teacher performance.

Read CEA’s statement

Read CT Mirror article

Read the “purpose of the state mastery test” statement


Connecticut lawmakers have introduced numerous anti-union and anti-middle class bills that are bad for Connecticut. Read why these would hurt our economy and our way of life.

Read story


Teachers and their families (up to four people) will receive free admission to Mystic Seaport this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, 2017. Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore the museum and learn more about educational programs. Staff will be on hand to discuss program offerings and answer questions. Click here for details.


Attend a free dinner, screening, and discussion of the Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th, which explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration. The April 27 event is free for CEA members. Click here for information.


Save the dates! The Hartford Yard Goats are holding two CEA Teacher Appreciation Days this summer, with discounted tickets and fireworks after each game.

• Saturday, July 29, at 6:35 PM versus the Reading Fightin Phils

• Friday, August 11, at 7:05 PM versus the Harrisburg Senators

Look for details in an upcoming email.


CEA members and their families save nearly 40 percent at The Adventure Park. Hike the woodland trails or try their aerial ropes courses and zip lines. To take advantage of your CEA discount at The Adventure Park in Bridgeport, click here. For the Storrs park, visit https://storrsadventurepark.com/cea2017/.

April Rep Council Notes

Submitted by Nancy Sasso Janis

Naugatuck Teachers League Meeting Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017

President’s Report – George spoke of New Haven County Forum/Legislative Agenda

Forums are held on Thursdays with 4:15 registration, making it hard for elementary teachers to make it in time. New Haven county is held at Cascades in New Haven. Encourage your legislators to vote no on the state passing along our pensions to the local districts; call or email them personally.

Staff surveys did not make it to all school psychologists. One representative wished that they had been a “middle of the road” button to choose; the PDEC survey committee did not meet to make changes to the survey this year, nor has there been any other PDEC meetings.

CEA/RA will be held in Hartford in May. Charley Marenghi, George and Melissa will attend.

Officer elections – The closing date for any further nominees for officers (president, vice president, treasurer and secretary) as well as for the negotiation team, was on Friday, 4/7/17. Voting will be done by paper ballots and collected by building reps.

Corrected TRB statements have been delayed because of staff reductions at the TRB. They will be reviewing the errors made and getting them out.

Parents that did not make Parent/teacher conferences should be sent their report cards; we cannot hold the reports hostage. ROTC students can help with taking parent surveys during conference times.

There are no grievances at this time.

Keep membership updated on teachers coming and going. So far 3 teachers have left this year.

NTL website has gotten lots of updates.

Director of Security has been eliminated and a burgess is trying to reinstate the position.

We must use our “necessary and unavoidable personal day by May 15 of the school year; regular (explained) personal days may still be used.

NTL scholarship is opening for applications.

There are 8 people retiring this year so far. George will email them regarding a workshop with Melissa Massicotte about unused sick days and the like.

Some new teachers are being asked to submit written formal lesson plans on a weekly basis and it is becoming overwhelming. A new art teacher was grilled in front of her students; it was suggested that she should request another set of eyes for observations.  

March Rep Council Notes

Submitted by Maria Ryan

Rep Council Meeting March 7, 2017

Present: Charley Marenghi, Tracy Theroux, Cathy Lungarini, Maria Ryan, Ed DeCosta, George Macary, Jenn Barbarito, Kathy Nauber, Deb Rutigliano, Cheryl Campbell, Karen Schiaroli, Melissa McInvale, Mary Johnson, Alice Unschuld

Secretary’s Minutes (with addendum) – Maria Ryan: Motion made to accept by Kathy Nauber with a second by Deb Rutigliano. Approved.

Secretary’s Correspondence – Maria Ryan: None at this time.

Treasurer’s Report – Deb Rutigliano: Report was reviewed. CEA suggests all organizations conduct an audit. Does anyone have the name of someone who can conduct an audit? Ed DeCosta made a motion to accept report with a second by Melissa McInvale. Approved.

President’s Report – George Macary:

Reorganization of the NHS Administration: There will be the following five positions: principal, associate principal, two deans and one person as director for athletics and several other departments combined.

New Haven County Forums: March 23 for presidents, forums on April 26.  

Legislative Agenda: One proposal is to shift responsibility of teacher pensions from state to towns: move money from richer towns to economically challenged towns, etc.

Website – Nancy Janis: naugatuckteachersleague.com has included current legislative issues concerning statewide education.

Nominations: Nominating forms have been sent out to all buildings for officers, reps, negotiating, CEA/RA and NEA/RA. All nominations will be sent to Maria Ryan.

Committee Reports

Grievance – Charley Marenghi/Mary Johnson: None at this time.

However, there was a caveat reminding all reps to be sure that the time allotted for parent/teacher conferences is equal to release time. Maria will send out an email reminder.

Membership – Cheryl Campbell: A lot of changes over the last few weeks with staff leaving and their replacements arriving. Let Cheryl know of any changes. NHS had a “coffee and” with CEA literature which was very successful. Cheryl provided the CEA literature for all reps to take back their buildings for these touch-base meetings that make our members aware of what the union does for them.

NTL Concerns:

Professional conduct: District decides how our days are organized. At the high school the principal met with department chairs about schedule changes, such as number of periods and their lengths. The language is the contract considers common planning time as part of the school day. Any additional hours would have to be paid. Therefore the schedule will change for next year to a seven period day with a rotating block. As a result, there was much confusion and angst at the high school which the NTL “coffee and” meeting helped to alleviate.

Director of Security: This position has been eliminated. The ramifications of this decision were discussed as to how it affects all the buildings. A motion was made by Ed DeCosta with a second by Cheryl Campbell to draft a “letter of concern” from the union expressing student and safety concerns. Ed offered to help draft the letter with George. It was noted that each building should have a working safety committee.

TRB: Many discrepancies found in Teacher Retirement Board reports. Even though there are a series of checks and balances within the district to make sure the information the district sends to the state is correct, these are not always being utilized.

Elementary Concerns: No budget allotment was given to specials teachers in one building for their supply order planning even after a specific request for one was made. Charley will investigate the problem.

Intermediate Concerns: None

Middle School Concerns: Only a few days were given between grades closing and grades due, which was difficult.

High School Concerns: (See above – Professional Conduct)

New Business

New Teacher Meeting on April 1, 2017 Be sure to tell all teachers who have been teaching six years or less that this workshop is available.

PDEC – Met and found that we should be doing things differently, so these issues are being dealt with by this committee.

CEA workshops: Low attendance so there is a need for strategic planning of topics for workshops.

Motion to adjourn made by Karen Schiaroli with a second by Tracy Theroux. Adjourned at 5:21pm


Get Up! Stand Up! Rise Up!


On May 1st in cities, towns, and communities across the country, activists will Rise Up to demonstrate the power, resistance, and strength of a social  justice movement that is gaining strength and influence by the day. Change is happening – in town halls, in school board meetings – and in the streets of America.

Will you Stand in Solidarity with your fellow educators, students and communities?

NEA is partnering with community groups and activists across the country to “Build Schools, Not Walls.” Educators will join together with neighbors, friends, and allies to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize. We will Rise Up  to ensure that we have welcoming schools that support immigrant students and their families. We will Rise Up to speak out against hate and bias. We will Rise Up to demand the resources for schools and opportunities for all students no matter where they live or what they look like.




Want to do more? Marches, Walk-ins, Rallies, and Town Halls are happening all around the country. Click here to find an action near you.
Are you organizing a May 1st Rise Up event? Tell us about it.
We can’t wait. We won’t wait. – Education Justice Starts Here.

The NEAEdJustice Team