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Teachers' union to boycott paper


Angered by a news article that highlighted the difficulty of firing incompetent teachers in Baltimore, the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) has launched a six-day boycott of The Baltimore Sun.

"It was an insulting article to the vast majority of well-qualified and professional teachers to see these poor teachers highlighted for the entire reading audience," stated Irene B. Dandridge, president of the 8,300-member group, in a letter to Sun Publisher Michael J. Davies.

She called the article "the straw that broke the camel's back" in a year when teachers have been demoralized by pay cuts, budget uncertainties and other job pressures.

Titled "When Teachers Fail To Teach," the June 10 article was the fourth in a seven-part series highlighting educational necessities in short supply at many Baltimore schools.

It outlined the bureaucratic roadblocks that often prevent the school administration from taking action against incompetent teachers, while acknowledging that such teachers are in the minority.

The boycott was approved Wednesday afternoon at a meeting of more than 200 teachers' union representatives. Teachers plan to boycott the newspaper from June 22 to June 27, a BTU spokeswoman said.

Responding to the BTU's letter and boycott, Sun Editor John S. Carroll stated.

"We intended no slur on the profession. Indeed, other parts of the series portrayed teachers as dedicated and concerned."

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