Scranton School District students, parents and taxpayers woke to bad news this morning: Saddled with $200 million in debt, the district may consider closing six buildings, including four elementary schools.
On the bright side, Former West Scranton High School baseball coach George “the Skip” Roskos is still on the teaching roster. He is also still gloating over his big win over the Mudville Nine. Rather than fight a losing arbitration battle and a federal civil rights suit, the school board voted this week to pay Roskos $40,000 to quit coaching for good. He gets to keep his $79,544-a-year job as a phys-ed teacher.
The district suspended Roskos over accusations of bullying and other misconduct, but neglected to follow due process. Roskos was not granted a hearing, which violated his contractual and constitutional rights. It’s easy to toss beanballs at the union for backstopping him, but it really had no choice. If the administration had played by the rules. Roskos likely would have lost the grievance and maybe his teaching job. The administration’s error all but assured Roskos couldn’t lose.
The circus Roskos has starred in since is on Scranton Federation of Teachers President Rosemary Boland. I am a former union president. If Roskos was in my unit, I would send him to the showers posthaste. “The Skip” is a walking, smack-talking crash course in why so many taxpayers hate public employee unions, and teachers unions in particular.
In a district struggling to navigate an ocean of financial icebergs, Roskos is dancing on the deck. It looks bad. The Skip is obviously too dense to see that. Boland and every other member of the union should know better. I’ll close with a video Roskos sent me Wednesday. It speaks for itself.
Boland and the Skips union brothers and sisters should watch it, then teach Roskos a remedial lesson in professionalism.