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John Simkin

International School Toulouse - Injustice

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Richard has been an inspirational teacher for many years at the International School and he is much loved by his current and former pupils and respected by the Parents. *

There a few points that I would like to bring into this forum.

The timing of events and reasoning behind the sackings are awful. The student’s interests were obviously not a priority, the school has been deprived of a great asset and the students penalised right in the middle of their exam preparations.

Following events at the school five years ago, the Parents were given an opportunity to become more involved with the school (there are now two Parents associations that support the school) but if there is no prior dialogue with Parents about concerns within the school it is unlikely that there can be any parental support for such apparently extreme and costly action.

The introduction of unjustified litigation with staff is unpleasant for everybody involved and creates a terrible working atmosphere for existing staff and students within the school. (See the student forum) This is undermining all the good work done at this school.

Over 40 Parents attended the meeting at the school on Tuesday pm, many more could not attend due to the very short notice given. This dissatisfaction will only grow the longer the situation remains.

I urge the board of the school and other Parents to try and resolve the situation urgently. Stop all litigation, reinstate the staff and get the students back focussed on their academic studies, not as unfortunate spectators in an appalling exhibition of staff management.

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Over 40 Parents attended the meeting at the school on Tuesday pm, many more could not attend due to the very short notice given. This dissatisfaction will only grow the longer the situation remains.

I urge the board of the school and other Parents to try and resolve the situation urgently. Stop all litigation, reinstate the staff and get the students back focussed on their academic studies, not as unfortunate spectators in an appalling exhibition of staff management.

Thank you for your efforts to get Richard reinstated. What do the parents plan to do next? I assume the IST management hope that the parents will gradually accept their decision. Do you think this will happen?

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As an history and geography teacher from France I have known Richard for four years. I met him twice at the IST, once for the E Help project. Everytime he received me as a special guest, very kindly and was always available. Thanks to him I improved my way of teaching in European Section (teaching H & Geography in English).

What a surprise for me hearing, thanks to John, that Richard was sacked from the IST. If a teacher has to be respected for his high sense of probity THIS IS HIM. I'm with him, and if he needs any help for action I Will be there.

More, I'm ever more surprise that Les did that. I remember his full confidence in what Richard did for the recognition of IST and the passion he puts into his teaching practice. Things changed apparently...

I hope that the board of directors will change its mind. If not by heart but by reason. For the students, the school, the european project best interests. And for a man who deserves it more than the entire people present in this forum.

Jean Philippe Raud Dugal

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I first met Richard in May 2006 when I was invited to hold a seminar in Toulouse and join as an Associate Member of E-Help. It struck me quickly that this is a man who has a real passion for History and someone who is willing to go out of his way to ensure that the project would endure and continue to be successful. The level of professionalism, organisation and enthusiasm that I experienced during those few days in May I shall never forget. A truly memorable and inspiring time.

Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.

- Einstein

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Knowledgeable, clever, passionate, but above all open, friendly and humane, I would have thought that Richard was one of IST's greatest assets. Meeting him and the other teachers on the E-Help project at Heerlen was a real inspiration for me.

I hope that the parents of students at the IST recognise the potential harm that this decision could do to their childrens' education and use their influence with the directors to reverse his dismissal.

I'm shocked that the management of a school would risk the educational welfare of its students in a move that seems to be more about kneejerk fears of unionisation under the excuse of a paltry breach of procedure.

Ed. Podesta

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I would like to add my support for Richard. I met him in May 2006 in Toulouse and found him to be a knowledgeable and inspirational teacher. My involvement with the E-Help project, of which he is such an important part, has been one the most beneficial of my career. I am deeply shocked by what I understand of his dismissal. The actions of IST management will undoubtedly damage their students' education and diminish the reputation of the institution across Europe.

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All my support to Richard.

I have never had the occasion to meet him, but through many mails, through his students' webpages, I am sure that he deserves full congratulations. We all hope this injustice will be repaired.

Daniel

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Parents action

The Parents are discussing this issue urgently and are trying to get a useful dialogue with the new board of Governors. (However this has been hampered by the schools quick jump to litigation)

We will endeavour to communicate with all Parents, gathering further support to reinstate Richard. We will be lobbying the board and the school owners (Airbus) until we succeed. The fantastic character references within the thread are testament to Richard’s commitment to the school. It will help to show all the new IST Parents what a valuable asset Richard is.

I don’t want to outline our thoughts publicly, but there is a tremendous feeling of injustice.We all want a quick resolution to this issue. Watch this space……. If anybody wants to write to the school directly here is the address

The International School of Toulouse

2 allée de l'Herbaudière

Route de Pibrac

31770 Colomiers

FRANCE

Tel: +33 (0)5.62.74.26.74

E-mail: ist@intst.net

For contacting the Parents please address letters to Parents association or email me at :- drblckhm@aol.com

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Hi Guys,

I would just like to add my shock and surprise for the dreadful way that Richard has been treated. Like Simon above, I met Richard for the first time at the international conference at IST in 2006. I have always found him to be a highly committed professional who cares passionately about his subject. Its a real shame that the board of governors at IST have taken this course of action. I would like to add my support for Richard and his family at this difficult time.

The truth will ultimately prevail and justice will be done!

Roy Huggins

Head of History

Mexborough School

England

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I cannot but agree with all the others - teachers, pupils and parents - who expressed their support to Richard Jones-Nerzic.

I met him at IST in Toulouse where I was invited to join one of the E-Help project conferences. I found him to be an excellent, experienced and enthusiastic history teacher who was also coordinating a very complex and successful European project with great professional skills.

IST school gave me a very good impression as the model school where every teacher would like to work and the perfect place for a teacher like Richard and a project like E-Help. I was very disappointed by the news of his dismissal.

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I am shocked and deeply disturbed by this development. Richard has been very helpful in the past and I trained with a former student of his. She now teaches History and Politics and has nothing but praise for him.

There appears to be no consideration for the well-being of the students nor for Richard as a professional.

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I met Richard Jones-Nerzic at the E-Help meeting in March, 2006. It was the first meeting I attended as new E-Help member representing my institution, CAP de Alcorcón. I was impressed by his professionalism as well as his knowledge of ICT and its applications to History teaching. I am sure he is the best representative for IST in the project as well as the best coordinator we could have, efficient and supportive. The meetings I’ve attended as well as the activities involved in the project have gone on smoothly thanks to his professional coordination. Working with him has been a great experience.I hope that IST will soon reinstate Richard.

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I worked with Richard from the very start of IST in August 1999 until July 2006 and I would like to add to the forum my impressions of him as a colleague over the years.

His students have supplied superlatives galore so far and that is no surprise to me. Watching the way Richard was able to make his passion for History so infectious for his students was fascinating and inspiring. Every IST teacher will have overheard corridor conversations - sometimes heated! - between students about the opening of the Eastern front or the treaty of Versailles. Richard has a gift for getting his subject under the students' skin.

Richard's contribution to the curriculum is not limited to History - he consistently pushes the envelope with technology and he is generous with his time not only with his students but with his colleagues. I have benefited from picking his brains on many occasions, be it on how to draw parallels between the way he teaches students to structure an essay and the needs of structure in Maths projects, or in how to edit digital videos. I recall in the first year of the school I asked Richard to help me with a cross-curricular project about population growth. The task was for his Geography class to predict the population of the world at a specific time. Richard was able to guide his class to do this using statistical software that I gave him at short notice and he typically achieved a result that added value to the mathematical objectives I had for the task. This was not the only time in the seven years I worked with Richard that he went out of his way to help so effectively.

I have consistently been amazed at not only the quality of Richard's ideas over the years but the sheer volume of school trips he has conceived and executed, the Extended Essays he has supervised, contribution to TOK, the Professional development he has given through E-Help and so on.

IST is still young and has evolved from a much smaller school than the one we know today. We opened in August 1999 with students in years 1 to 11 and only around 150 students - sorry I have forgotten the actual number! - this was before the IGCSE and IB classes were established.

Richard was the first teacher to put a class through IGCSE - in 2000 - for his subject and get a great set of results. At the very start of the school's existence, I remember thinking that we were always talking to parents in the future tense about what the school could offer. Richard has been prolific in turning potential into reality; instrumental in fulfilling the potential of his fledgling department and taking full advantage of the exciting opportunities that IST gives to all its teachers. He has always applied energy, passion, commitment and courageous innovation.

So, I 'd like to add to the comments of Hannah T and Grace B and their retrospectives of his contribution to IST and attest to the fact that his prolific work is recognised by his colleagues as well.

David Harris

Head of Maths IST 1999-2006

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I would very much like to add my voice in support of Richard. Anyone who has met him or seen his work cannot fail to be impressed by his passion for history and for teaching history. The positive comments from former pupils are an eloquent testimony to his qualities. Taking on the E-Help project ought to have been a source of prestige for the school as well as being a noble duty undertaken by Richard. Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding, perhaps other factors are at work. Whatever the background factors, if IST loses a quality individual like Richard the school will be a poorer place for it.

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