NEW BERLIN – Today New Berlin Education Association (NBEA) Co-President Tonya Delaney released a statement denouncing the actions of the New Berlin Community School District 16 Board of Education (BOE) vote to suspend NBEA Co-President Joe Kindred and to move toward terminating Kindred. The BOE made the decision during its virtual BOE meeting on Thursday night. The meeting was attended by more than 250 with many parents, former students and educators speaking on Kindred’s behalf. During the same meeting, the BOE also voted to take disciplinary action against Co-President Tonya Delaney. NBEA Vice President Sarah Knepler was also targeted in the retaliatory investigation.
The following statement is attributable to Delaney:
“Every parent, student, community member and unionist should be both alarmed and outraged by the board’s complete disregard for the law. The board’s attempts to fire Joe have undoubtedly cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and are clearly retaliation for Joe’s leadership and involvement with our union, the NBEA.
In October, the NBEA took a vote of no confidence in former Superintendent Adam Ehrman. Since then, the BOE and Ehrman have demonstrated a clear pattern of retaliation against Joe, Sarah and myself. Make no mistake, we have done nothing more than use our voices to advocate against the toxic environment created by Ehrman. A right that is protected under both federal and state law.
The vote by the board to suspend Joe and push to fire him is another attempt to silence us, to intimidate us and prevent us from standing up for our students, our schools and ourselves, as teachers.
We, as the union, are reviewing our legal options and will pursue any legal remedies to protect the interests of our members. In the meantime, we are calling on the board to immediately rescind its actions against NBEA leadership and to reinstate Joe’s teaching position. We are encouraging all of those who support Joe to call and email the board to let them know you stand with Joe and the NBEA.”
The NBEA represents more than 60 teachers within the New Berlin School District. Kindred has spent nearly 15 years in the district as a high school math teacher and the baseball coach. The New Berlin School District has three schools and serves 950 students.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.