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All Benton Harbor HS teachers get pink slips

April 20, 2013|By Denise Bohn, WSBT-TV Reporter

Every single teacher and staff member at Benton Harbor High School got a pink slip in the mail today.

The Superintendent announced the entire high school staff of about 90 people are being laid off as part of a "turnaround plan" to avoid state takeover.

The school is one of the lowest performing schools in the state, falling into the 5th percentile when it comes to graduation rates and academic performance.

Under the plan, which was approved by the state, the administration can re-hire half of their current staff, but must replace the other half with new teachers and faculty.

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"We feel like everyone feels like they have the answer,” said Shay Briggs, high school teacher…What's going to fix this?. We have to do better with the curriculum, or we have to fix truancy…but it's really hard to apply all of those things at the same time. And we're not getting any assistance from anywhere, really.”

Teacher Union officials say the plan to replace half the staff is legal, because two years ago teachers agreed to waive their contractual rights to also avoid a state takeover.

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