BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Teachers Federation issued a vote of no-confidence for Dr. Kriner Cash, the Buffalo Public Schools superintendent.
The vote of no-confidence, announced Thursday night, cited safety and an uptick in violence at city schools.
"Many calls for increased security and the increasing serious acts of violence, as delineated in the resolution, have been inadequately addressed and gotten worse," the statement from Philip Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, read in part.
"Ultimately, this is and was the responsibility of the Superintendent. Based upon what is contained in the 'No Confidence' resolution passed by the BTF Council of Delegates, representatives from all public schools, Buffalo teachers no longer have confidence that these dangerous and serious conditions will improve under Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash’s leadership."
In response, Dr. Cash released the following statement Friday morning:
"This is an unprecedented time in public education; Covid-related challenges, social-emotional issues, community violence, and traumatic experiences occurring throughout our community and nation.
"It is an especially professionally challenging environment for teachers, administrators, support staff, and superintendents, and I commend and empathize with the challenges our staff face each and every day.
"As Superintendent, I have dedicated my life and career to public education and to providing greater equity, access, opportunity, and quality to the thousands of students I was hired to serve.
"Over the course of my seven-year tenure in Buffalo, this District has turned around under my leadership and it’s service to children through the implementation of the New Education Bargain which includes establishing a strong relationship with our teachers and administrators. No performative tactics of the BTF or any other groups will deter my commitment to steering the Buffalo Public Schools through these challenging times."
The Buffalo Board of Education released its own statement Friday evening:
"Last night in response to security issues at McKinley High School the Buffalo Teachers Federation Council of Delegates issued a vote of no confidence in Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash. Our teachers are an invaluable and inextricable part of the educational process in the Buffalo Public Schools and we value their opinion. We also recognize the recent efforts that have been made to set McKinley back on the path to success. The Buffalo Board of Education is presently evaluating what this vote means for the district."
During a Board of Education meeting Wednesday at Waterfront Elementary, it was decided that in-person instruction for McKinley High students will resume on Monday, Feb. 28 for seniors, on Tuesday, March 1 for juniors, and Wednesday, March 2 for sophomores and freshmen.
Students switched to learning remotely after a student was stabbed and a security guard was shot outside, on the campus grounds, on Feb. 9.
The Buffalo Teachers Federation's executive committee last week passed a resolution Thursday night calling for a New York State and federal investigation into the safety of Buffalo Public Schools.
Rumore last week said teachers have reported problems at Buffalo Public Schools for years, including at McKinley High School.
The resolution states "despite continued correspondence, grievances and other legal actions directed to the Buffalo Public School District, our schools remain unsafe."
The resolution states the recent shooting at the high school came after more than two years of serious allegations of danger.
It also states specific incidents of school violence at McKinley High School dating back to 2019, including fights, threats and weapons possession.