The following letter was submitted to the regional high school committee on Monday.

I am writing this letter to announce my retirement from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School effective June 30, 2017. I write not out of concern for myself but to inform the committee of the ways in which it has become impossible to continue to teach in ways that honor the relationship between students and their community.

Since September 2016, I have been excluded and isolated, and my only interactions with the administration have been when the topic is concerned with ways to punish students. For example, I was approached and told that I must report the conversations that students had with me because it was known that students talk to me.

When I was asked to report the conversations that students have with me, I realized the most trusted and valued aspect of a teacher/student relationship was in jeopardy. As a mandated reporter, I am very cognizant of the need to report information that may be life threatening for a student, but I refer here to normal everyday conversations that students have with me when they seek me out The Massachusetts Department of Education speaks of the vital importance of students having a trusted adult with whom they can relate as being a key indicator for student safety. I was shocked by the request.

My educational program has been undermined in numerous and ever increasing ways. My collegial emails to the administration have received no response and my requests to join any committees were simply ignored.

a. My suggestion that a short film made by the Brazilian history and culture class might be shared with the faculty was dismissed.

b. My long established links with the community and collaborative relationships with the Island’s elementary schools have been undermined and interaction between my classes and the community forbidden. The vital partnership between students, their school and their community built over many years has been dismantled. I have attached a report to this letter detailing my concerns and experiences.

Elaine Cawley Weintraub
West Tisbury