American Society for Ethics in Education Banner

Meridian School District

Age Discrimination?

Name: [name redacted]
email: [redacted]
Anonymous: Yes
Post: Yes
State: Idaho
County: ADA
District: Meridian School District


I am the husband of a teacher with a Masters in Education with teaching credentials and endorsements in English, Reading, and Journalism. She also offers a variety of extracurricular talents. She has been a columnist and photojournalist for three newspapers. She has a strong music background in piano, voice and music instruction. She coached a championship girl’s softball team and is an avid golfer and tennis player. She is an avid volunteer and is a Speech Arts certified debate judge. Most of all, she is the mother of successful and happy high school and college age children.

For the past three years, she has attempted employment in the school district where we live, pay taxes and send our children to school. On October 28, 1998, she interviewed for a full time teaching position at Meridian High School. The job went to an unqualified young applicant. The unqualified teacher was awarded a “Consultant Specialist Certificate.” Upon asking why, the vice-principal (interviewer) informed my wife, “she (the teacher hired) knows how to disseminate information and relates well to know...first-year teachers can be just as good, if not better, than first-year teachers.” (In focusing upon my wife’s age, the vice-principal had forgotten...she was also a first-year teacher).

During the following three years, my wife worked diligently to improve upon her qualifications and experience. She dutifully kept her employment application file updated and regularly checked to ensure her file was “open” for employment consideration. She taught for a variety of institutions including college, but desperately wanted to teach in our children’s school district. On December 12, 2001, my wife was informed that because she hadn’t been hired during the previous three years, her records, including a strong perceiver, were to be destroyed.

My wife is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education, working as a Physio-Neuro Instructor for Learning Technics, Inc., and mentoring at-risk students. Ironically, she beat out a number of teachers for the Learning Technic job who desperately want out of the classroom. Unlike them, my wife would dearly love being a Language Arts, Reading and/or Journalism teacher while directing the school newspaper, music programs, debate, and/or coaching one of the many sports she loves. Those who know her know a gifted writer, musician, and teacher. They also know a person with great optimism, personal responsibility, professionalism, humor, and faith. Throughout the past four years, she has enthusiastically risen above this situation and moved on. I am quite proud of her. Through it’s own ignorant and stubborn discrimination, this small-minded school district has rob the students, taxpayers and itself the services of a fine teacher with high character.

What happened to my wife should not happen to any teacher. I believe her story is a solid example of the immense challenges confronting today’s teachers and lacking integrity in our education system. Not wanting to hurt my wife any more than she’d been hurt, I’ve remained silent, but the school district’s file destruction letter has prompted me to fight back. She may be an insignificant speck of dirt to them, she means far more than that to me. Though I battle a life threatening disease every day, I vow to step forward to the best of my ability on behalf of my wife and family...and oppressed teachers everywhere.