Former Nacogdoches teacher: 'It was the most toxic environment I - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Former Nacogdoches teacher: 'It was the most toxic environment I have ever worked in'

Three former Nacogdoches High School teachers publically talk about why they and so many other teachers have not renewed contracts with NISD. (Source: KTRE Staff) Three former Nacogdoches High School teachers publically talk about why they and so many other teachers have not renewed contracts with NISD. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Nicole Ferrell, a former Nacogdoches High School English teacher of 9 years, says the working conditions stir emotions brought by mental and physical stress. (Source: KTRE Staff) Nicole Ferrell, a former Nacogdoches High School English teacher of 9 years, says the working conditions stir emotions brought by mental and physical stress. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The continued turmoil within the Nacogdoches Independent School District.

Former Nacogdoches High School teachers spoke to East Texas News Friday about why they left NISD.

They said they're speaking out for those who fear they **can't...the teachers still employed at Nacogdoches High School.

The list is out. Highlighted in a yellow the more than 40 teachers and staff gone from Nacogdoches High School. 

"Ten years, nine years at Nacogdoches, 17 years at Nacogdoches,” said Michelle Adams, a former math teacher at NHS and two other teachers. “We're not mobile. We're vested there.”

 "And we were not going anywhere,” added Marla Christian, a former NHS history teacher with 17 years of experience.

The teachers claim the majority of those who left were pushed out. 

"It was the most toxic environment I have ever worked in,” Adams said. “It was very hostile. It was very retaliatory."

"There was an oppressive air of do it this way, or you're going to have to explain why,” Christian said.

The teachers spoke of mental and physical stress.

"You could walk into almost any classroom the entire year and we were all stressed,” said Nicole Ferrell, a former NHS English teacher with 9 years of experience with the district. “We were all walking on eggshells."

High school teachers are now required to write up familiar lesson plans in a new format. Teachers call it excessive, unnecessary paper work. 

"I have to tell the kids, 'I'm sorry, I can't help you,” Adams said. “I have to close my door so I can finish these lesson plans that are due by 4 o'clock this afternoon because if I don't have it in there I'll get written up."

Experienced teachers were offended when told how to run their classroom.

"You can't have your desks in rows, you have to put them in groups. And you have to stand here and there, and you have to walk around the room, and you can't stay in one place over 60 seconds,” Christian said.

The teachers say they're willing to accept constructive criticism, but tired of hearing the humiliation of ...
"You are easily replaceable,” Adams said.

In the room were two NISD staff members in support of what the group of three was saying, but too scared to say it themselves.

"I would have never sat here if I still had my job,” Adams said.

The former teachers say they're not vindictive, but they are speaking out to gain people's attention. 

“We're hoping people noticing all these people are no longer employed or moved or just struggling, that it will cause them to start asking questions,” Ferrell said.

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