Archive for the ‘Blog Intro/Rules’ Category

We’re Baaack…

December 6, 2010

Hello again and welcome to the Kent Education Association Blog.  We’ve had some turnover and some change and as a result we dropped out of sight for awhile, but, as stated, we’re back.  We have some new focus and some new fire and we would very much like to invite you, the KEA members as well as the public at large, (but this is the KEA blog, after all) to speak and be heard.  This is a forum where you may speak your mind without fear of retribution or retaliation.  You may say what needs to be said here, although I do urge you to remember you are teachers and to keep the dialogue civil, even though you may need to vent.  We want people to hear our voices and we want them to pay attention to our words as they are the powerful statements that will get our messages across.  Your stories carry much more weight than any dozen retellings by KEA officials.  Let your voice be heard.  Visit often and say a few words or a few dozen and remember, this is a contract year and there are very serious discussions about to begin.  Again, let your voice be heard.


Spread the Word!

February 8, 2010

OK, folks, it is time to spread the word!  We are short of readers, despite the fact that some important and perhaps even enraging info has been presented on this blog in the past few weeks.  That’s why we’re asking you to spread the word to your colleagues, community members, etc. to check out the blog and comment when they see fit.  Ask your Building Rep to forward our blog address to the members in their buildings.  Remember, the blog can only be accessed from home computers.   Cut and paste our URL and send it to your friends! 

It is time we wake up the Kent community to the fact that the problems didn’t go away when the strike ended.


Strike So Far: KEA Blogger’s Reflection

August 31, 2009

As you might well imagine, KEA’s Blog has been extremely busy in the last few days .  The number of hits on the blog and comments each day have been absolutely overwhelming.  On the one hand, we love that because it means that the blog is one way for KEA to get its message out and for all interested parties to have a voice in this very important discussion about the future of education in Kent.  On the other hand, it also means that running this blog has become a much more difficult task. I thought this was a good time to stop and reflect on how things are going.

After talking to many community members and KEA members on the picket line, as well as after a lot of personal reflection while reading the comments by readers for us, against us, or somewhere in the middle, I have to tell you all that this Blog is going well, but I think it can be better.  In the last few days as the debate has become more fierce, the comments have become a bit too nasty and too personal.  I, too, have been prone to respond emotionally to some of the comments on this blog, especially the ones that are especially vitriolic, uninformed, or simply inflammatory.  Mea culpa, I’m only human.  So are all of you. 

As a result, please know that I plan to redouble my efforts to make this a place where KEA can share its point of view, and allow both its members and the larger community to discuss the key issues affecting the Kent School District.  We want to use the blog to spread facts and to squash misinformation, propaganda, and rumors.  We want people to express how they view the state of education in Kent, and how the strike is affecting them.   To do this, we need to be mindful of a few things:

First, we need to refrain from name calling and personal attacks as much as possible.   For example, if you believe someone is lying, point out what you believe to be the lie, and give proof  or facts if you can.  If you have no proof, raise questions.  While I cannot filter every comment to protect everyone, I will be deleting any comments that are blatantly profane or personal in nature.  It is appropriate to call into question the actions and decisions of those in positions of leadership and power on both sides, but try to keep your comments civil.  I cannot and will not promise to protect everyone’s feelings.  Get over it.

Second, I will try to butt out of conversations, except if someone’s facts or comments are blatantly wrong or if valid questions are raised that I can answer.   The readership has been doing a good job of monitoring each other’s facts and responding to claims that are erroneous. 

Finally, I will do my best to update the blog more often with topics of interest– especially in response to issues raised by members or issues raised by the readership.  Please know that while several people post to this blog, I am the one who ultimately runs it on a day-to-day basis.   There are only so many hours in the day, so I can’t promise the level or amount of writing of say, The Kent Distorter Reporter.  (See that, I’m already calling people names.)

I hope that you continue to read and (possibly) enjoy the blog.  It has been both wonderful and enfuriating to keep it going, but I think it is worthwhile.  I admire the passion that everyone has, and look forward to what you all will write next.



Your KEA Blogger

Blog Update: 3 May 2009

May 3, 2009

Greetings to all of you who have been gracious enough to visit our new blog!  So far, we’ve posted a plethora of articles on a variety of topics. 

Where have these articles come from, you may ask?  Well, the postings come from a variety of sources.  Some have been written by KEA elected officials such as KEA President Lisa Brackin-Johnson, KEA Vice President Connie Compton, and members of the KEA Executive Board.  Any postings by KEA officers will be signed, as a matter of policy, and as a show of solidarity with the members who elect us.  Others are documents created through the work of the Bargaining Support Team, which is made up of KEA members who volunteer their time to help gather information and distribute it to members, as well as to organize KEA activities.  (We encourage any interested KEA members to come be a part of BST meetings, which are held on Mondays from 4-6 PM at the KEA office.)  However, perhaps the most important postings you will find on this blog come from our members who have taken the time to write letters to express how they feel they are being treated, and how their jobs are impacted by the Kent School District’s actions.  Some of these letters are signed, while others are unsigned because the letter writers fear retaliation from KSD administrators for speaking their mind. 

As you scan the posts on this blog, we ask that you remember that the KEA is not made up of a monolithic group of automatons, but by a variety of education professionals with varying personalities, experiences, and viewpoints.  If what you see moves you, we encourage you to post a comment by clicking the “Comment” link at the end of an article.  (Don’t forget to read the Comment Posting Rules before you comment.)

Thanks to all who visit this blog and demonstrate their support of a quality education for all students in the Kent School District.



Thomas Larsen, KEA Blog Administrator

KEA Posting Rules

April 22, 2009

This forum is intended for thoughtful discussion of education policy and Association activities. Profanity, name calling and personal insults are inappropriate for this forum. By submitting your comments we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or delete your comments and portions of these Terms of Use at any time without further notice. We welcome all comments that follow these guidelines.

To protect our members’ anonymity, we recommend that all KEA members who post comments sign their comments with only a general description of their job, such as, “Middle School Counselor,” “Elementary Teacher,” or, “High School Librarian.”   

KEA Executive Board Members have committed to signing their names on all comments or posts that they create for this blog as a sign of solidarity with our members. 

If you have specific union-related questions, contact your KEA Building Rep, or the KEA office at 253-852-1350.

New Blog!

April 21, 2009

Well, folks, we had a nice blog going on, and then it suddenly disappeared.  Gone.  Poof!  We worked hard to figure out what had happened, and tried to recover the old info, but it disappeared. 

As a result, we decided to move the KEA’s blog to WordPress, which we hope will be a more stable platform for blogging about what’s happening with the KEA.  Since this blog is being created and updated by KEA members (many of whom have little to no blogging experience), we hope you will be understanding and patient as we get this up and running.  It’s all a little new and scary at first.

If you are a KEA member, and you have experience with blogs, or you want to help make this blog even better, please come to one of the upcoming Bargaining Support Team meetings, which are held at the KEA office on Mondays at 4 PM.