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Archive: June, 2012

POSTED: Monday, June 11, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Lisa Begley of Langhore sports a "Strike-Free Education" T-shirt that she wore to Harrisburg. (Bil Reed/Staff)

Abouty 20 parents and students of the Neshaminy School District met at the Neshaminy Mall this morning to carpool to Harrisburg for a "Putting Students First" rally.

They were meeting other residents who were driving to the state capital on their own, for the rally and the reading of House Bill 1369, which would prohibit teachers strikes. The rally was organized by state Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks, a Neshaminy graduate, who also has arranged for the residents to tour the Capitol after the rally.

"I'm going to show support for the bill," said Colleen Rilling of Langhorne, with her son Chris, an 8th-grader at Carl Sandberg Middle School in the car. "Teachers' strikes are just wrong. Kids need to be in school. This is  the second strike thus year. The kids are deeply affected."

Bill Reed @ 11:47 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 11, 2012, 11:05 AM
Bill Reed @ 11:05 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 11, 2012, 3:13 PM

The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers called off its six-day strike today "as an act of good faith," a union spokesman said.

The move came as representatives of the union and the school district participated in a hearing before Bucks County Court Judge Robert O. Baldi.

The union offered to return to work Tuesday, but the district's lawyer said classes could not resume until Wednesday, the NFT spokesman said.

Bill Reed @ 3:13 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 8, 2012, 4:04 PM
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Maria Zeigler (center) gets her yearbook signed by sociology teacher Richard Greenberg during Neshaminy's Senior Picnic on Friday. (Bill Reed/Staff)

Neshaminy High School seniors tossed footballs, bounced on inflatables and ate ice cream Friday at the annual Senior Picnic, as teachers continued picketing on Day 5 of their strike against the district.

Some students took time out from the festivities to have teachers sign their yearbooks, and teachers happily took a break from demonstrating at the entrance to the Langhorne campus.

“I want to see all my teachers – they’re my role models,” Maria Zeigler said as sociology teacher Richard Greenberg signed her yearbook.

Bill Reed @ 4:04 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 12:10 PM

A county group formed to help voters deal with Pennsylvania’s controversial photo ID law will conduct its first meeting at 2 p.m., Thursday,  at the Bucks County Planning Commission’s offices in Doylestown.

The meeting of the Bucks County Voter ID Educational Advisory Group will be open to the public in the 4th floor Barney Grunmeier conference room, at 1260 Almshouse Rd.

The county commissioners formed the group of 11 volunteers to gather information and make recommendations on ways to educate the public about the new law. Starting with the November elections, voters will be required to present a valid photo ID at all polling places, or they will be turned away.

Bill Reed @ 12:10 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 5:01 PM

Striking Neshaminy teachers must return to work by June 15, and they face losing several days’ pay if they stay out till then, district officials said Wednesday.

“The main point is, we want school to start,” district lawyer Charles Sweet said, as members of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers picketed outside schools for the third day.

Resuming classes by the state-ordered deadline will provide the district’s 7,000 students with the required 180 school days by June 29, Sweet said.

Bill Reed @ 5:01 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 12:09 PM

On Day 2 of the Neshaminy teachers strike, union members cut back their picketing of district schools and canceled their usual demonstration before school board meetings tonight, a union spokesman said.

After picketing all 12 schools Monday, the union shortened the schedule to six schools for Tuesday and Wednesday, the spokesman said – Neshaminy High School, Maple Point Middle School, and Oliver Heckman, Walter Miller, Herbert Hoover, and Lower Southampton elementary schools.

The union also told teachers to “stand down” and not demonstrate at Maple Point’s two driveways before the school board’s 7 p.m. public work session, the spokesman said. There were several incidents of eggs and fruit being thrown at picketing teachers Monday, and the union wants to avoid possible fights or confrontations before the meeting, the spokesman said.

Bill Reed @ 12:09 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 5:26 PM

The striking Neshaminy teachers’ union has reported a death threat to one of its members and physical and verbal attacks on others as they picket outside schools, leaders said Tuesday.

The death threat was posted by a student on Facebook over the weekend, union President Louise Boyd said in a written statement. “Screen shots” of the threat have been given to police and the school district, she said.

A secondary school teacher reported the death threat to Superintendent Louis Muenker on Sunday, and requested anonymity, school board President Ritchie Webb said. The teacher’s email was forwarded to the district’s attorneys, he said.

Bill Reed @ 5:26 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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