The Santa Rosa Teachers Association has given Midrose High School teacher Tyler Ahlborn paid work days so the veteran teacher can attend court hearings for the boy who attacked him on campus Nov. 19.
Ahlborn was stabbed multiple times about the head and neck in an attack that prompted a schoolwide lockdown and hours-long manhunt just before the Thanksgiving break. Ahlborn has since made multiple appearances in juvenile court proceedings in support of his student.
Notable to the ongoing story was Ahlborn’s return to the classroom after just two days out, said Santa Rosa Teachers Association President Andy Brennan.
So it was that Ahlborn was set to be in work when the boy had his second appearance in court.
He asked district officials to free him from teaching duties for a second scheduled court appearance.
The district’s answer was no, he would have to use his personal necessity days, Brennan said.
“I find that reprehensible,” Brennan told board members at the regular school board meeting last week.
“I want to say what an amazing man he is,” Brennan said at the meeting.
“He could have easily gone out on workman’s comp for a long time,” he said.
“We are going to pay for those days so he can go and support the student who attacked him,” he said.
While the worry of precedent-setting is understandable, in this case that argument sends the wrong message, Brennan said.
“There are a lot of times when a teacher wants to take time off to support a kid in a variety of things,” he said Monday. “What the district was really worried about was making precedent. That is what they kept telling me over and over and what I kept saying was ‘Yes, but he was attacked.’ This was so far out of the norm that I don’t think we set precedent for this.”
The union granted Ahlborn days to cover any upcoming absences.
In addition, school board member Laura Gonzalez has vowed to give SRTA $100 – or whatever would cover Ahlborn’s substitute teacher for a day: http://socolaura.org/2013/12/12/doing-the-right-thing/
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