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Teacher transfer uproar continues in Guilderland

Supporters of teachers Matt Nelligan and Ann-Marie McManus came back for round two of the fight to reverse their transfer from Guilderland High School to Farnsworth Middle School, at a school board meeting on Monday, July 7.

At the Monday meeting, during which the board convened and then quickly went into executive session, the board decided to reconvene in a public meeting on Monday, July 14, at 8 a.m. to discuss if they can, and will, overturn the superintendent's decision to transfer the teachers.

They also said a redacted version of the culture climate inquiry, the reason the two teachers are being moved, will be made available.

The teachers said in a written statement that action should have been taken at the July 7 meeting.

"[This] is a cynical delay tactic designed to ride out public outrage over the unjust retaliatory action against us. The delay is insulting to the thousands of Guilderland residents who have already demanded board action. There should be an up or down vote now from all board members on whether they support the transfer," said Nelligan and McManus in a joint statement.

They also criticized the report against them.

"The climate study has already been discredited. It was designed for cover to retaliate against two teachers with excellent credentials," they wrote.

The survey was conducted by Michele Paludi of Human Resources Management Solutions.

While the board was in executive session, supporters of the teachers continued to criticize them.

"I'm just disappointed that this is the second week in a row that we are talking to empty chairs," said Elijah Sharma, a student who has helped organize a Web site to support the two teachers.

Mark Grimm, who sits on the town board, was also critical of the board for not allowing any public comment during the Monday, July 7, meeting. The board did not entertain comments in executive session, as they did during the meeting when the matter was initially brought up.

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