Parent calls Monroe Co. teachers’ attendance guidelines unfair.

Tabitha Floyd filed a complaint with the state attorney general after discovering the superintendent’s teacher attendance guidelines.

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — Monroe County residents say teacher attendance guidelines are unfair.

The rules came from first-year Superintendent Jim Finch earlier this year, but Tabitha Floyd said the changes could impact teacher retention.

“I’m outraged,” Floyd said.

Floyd said she has lived in Monroe County for 12 years. She said she never looked at the state’s standards for teachers until late March, when she heard about new attendance guidelines.

“Where teachers are evaluated and based on how many sick/leave days they use during the year, it impacts their professionalism score,” Floyd said.

These guidelines were sent to all county directors by Superintendent Finch. But Floyd said they aren’t clear enough because principals don’t use them consistently.

“Some principals in our school district accepted doctor’s notes and other principals did not accept any doctor’s notes,” Floyd said.

Floyd said some teachers said they were docked because they were with their sick child in the hospital or had to go to an appointment with an obstetrician-gynecologist.

“They can be, you know, a great teacher, very professional and excellent, and also a great mom at the same time,” Floyd said.

Floyd filed a complaint with the state attorney general because she believes the school board violated the state’s open meetings law when it voted on Finch’s attendance guidelines.

“I think this should have been discussed at the public meeting because it is an employment policy that affects all employees, so it should not be a secret,” Floyd said.

Since last week, we have contacted the school board several times to hear from the superintendent or his office, but have not received a response.

Floyd said she recently met with Supt. She claims he understood her concerns.

“He’s just looking to move forward and make changes going forward. I would like to see teachers who have been negatively affected by this have their evaluations redone for this school year,” Floyd said.

The Georgia Department of Education allows teachers ten sick hours per month. Floyd said she was trying to get community support to bring the issue to the county school board. Their next meeting is scheduled for May 14.