“It’s hard when you know you represent 700 teachers… and then people in the district office and council tell you over and over again that you have no value.”
Allicia Wiggins teaches Mathematics in Grades 7 and 8 through Gray Avenue Middle School in Yuba City and has been working in the district for five years.
Wiggins said she chose to publicly resign during the school board meeting that aired Tuesday night to let people know what she was saying.
“The school board likes to ignore us. They would be extremely happy if we just shut up and do our job. In fact, they would like to fire us and hire people who would, ”she said. “But the district needs to know. They need to know why the teachers are leaving. We can send them as many letters as we want. And they can fly over them. It’s much harder to ignore a professor with bright blue hair who tells you that you are breaking his heart and crushing his soul. “
ABC10 has contacted the Yuba City School District for comment on the claims and Wiggins’ resignation. Superintendent Doreen Osumi responded:
“We cannot comment on the personal information of employees, including their assignments or the reason for their resignation. Every time a valued teacher chooses to leave, it is a loss to their students and their school, as well as to our community.
Our entire community recognizes that this past year has been very difficult for teachers, as well as students, parents and everyone involved in the education of our children. We are proud of the work our teachers and staff have done to make this eventful year as peaceful and productive as possible for our students. Their work has been inspiring and it is deeply appreciated by our entire community.
Wiggins was first hired after a school strike and said she felt a bit sheltered at Gray Avenue Middle School at first.
“It was like Gray Avenue was that big family and you didn’t even notice the outside influences because we were just doing our thing,” Wiggins said. “But then I was asked to become a union site representative once I got established and it opened my eyes.”
Wiggins said it was the first time since her hiring by Yuba City Public Schools that she saw what the neighborhood looked like. However, she said it was only after being appointed to the union’s executive board – becoming chair of the political action organizing committee – that she said she took a closer look at the school district’s curtains.
“It’s hard when you know you represent 700 teachers… and then the people in the district office tell you that over and over, and the [school] advice, that you are not valuable. That you are not a priority. It’s starting to wear on you, ”Wiggins said.
Then she said things started to change at Gray Avenue. The “little dominoes,” as Wiggins described it, began to fall before the May 25 school board meeting. She said it started when the school had a new principal. Then she was moved from her classroom at the front of the main school building to what she described as a dirty, smelly, graffiti covered portable unit at the back of the school.
Eventually, Wiggins said her “math club” – which consisted of herself, two other math teachers, and a special education teacher – had been dismantled. According to Wiggins, a second-grade teacher was nearly exhausted from the profession and the special education teacher was reassigned without warning.
“So now they put me in a cell phone which is disgusting and makes my skin crawl.” They took my math teacher, my special education teacher, ”she said, fighting back tears. “My last straw was when they destroyed my team. I had finished.”
Even though she says she feels guilty for leaving, Wiggins says she is tired.
“I’m a happy, bubbly person and I don’t want to become someone with bitterness and anger all the time,” she said. “I hope things improve for Yuba City. I hope they will improve for the teachers, because when they are better for the teachers, it is better for the children.
ABC10 has also contacted the Yuba City Teachers Association for comment, but so far they have not responded.