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Group claims superintendent bullied teachers

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BATON ROUGE- An independent association that represents teachers sent emails to nearly 2,000 of them in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in hopes of making changes in the district.

Last week, it was discovered that teachers with the most seniority get the least amount of incentives if goals are met.  Guidelines show new teachers get $300 if teachers are labeled highly effective, where teachers who are highly effective with 11-40 years of experience only get $63.

The Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana hopes to get that changed. However, APEL told News 2 teachers who spoke out about the issue were allegedly intimidated by top school administrators.

"Teachers that speak out are met with retaliation, intimidation, bullying tactics from Dr. Bernard Taylor, including personal phone calls," APEL Director Keith Courville said. 

It's why Courville sent the email to at least 1,700 email addresses of teachers in the EBR System today, urging them to use their personal emails to report "issues" they've experienced in the district.

News 2 requested an interview with EBR Superintendent Bernard Taylor, but we were told through a spokesperson that he would not do an on-camera interview. Instead, we received a written statement from Keith Bromery, the Director of Communications: 

"As a former teacher and principal, Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor, Jr. highly values teachers and all school-based instructional staff for their hard work and dedication to our students. The school system is constantly reviewing and evaluating its teacher compensation and incentive programs and regularly implements changes and enhancements to these programs. It is unfortunate that the A+PEL representative, who the superintendent has spoken with in the past including just last week, feels justified in making unsubstantiated allegations regarding Dr. Taylor in an apparent attempt to generate additional members for his organization, when we should be working together for the benefit of those entrusted with providing a quality education for our students."

Courville said he's not interested in trying to add members, but standing up for what is right.

"That resistance and retaliation is from one individual," Courville said. "When someone is a bully, you shine a light on it and it stops. People only bully and intimidate because they think they won't be publicly called on it and that's what we're doing. These intimidation practices have to stop. They are getting in the way of the district being effective."

Courville said teachers will remain anonymous. 

Click here if you would like to read the email sent to 1,700 teachers today.

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