Roxanne Draughn is a mother of two from St. Paul. After a great pre-K experience, her son entered kindergarten eager to learn. However, after Roxanne lost her job and she and her son moved to a shelter, it became more difficult for him to find reliable transportation to school and to complete his schoolwork on time. Roxanne’s son’s teacher was aware of his difficult circumstances, but was unwilling to make accommodations, subjecting him to increasingly harsh disciplinary measures. The constant reprimands wore down Roxanne’s son, made him reluctant to go to school, and even gave him nightmares. When Roxanne asked whether changes could be made, she was told that her son’s teacher was protected by Minnesota’s tenure laws. This was the first time Roxanne heard about such protections.
Roxanne has since moved her child to a new school, but still worries that her son will be placed with another teacher that discourages his love for learning. She hopes that when her youngest son, who is only 17-months old, is ready for pre-K, he’ll enter a different kind of school, one filled with teachers who inspire and motivate students to succeed – quality teachers for all kids.