A Kansas school teacher stepped down from her post in dramatic fashion this week, citing dissatisfaction in contract negotiations by her school district.
When eighth-grade teacher Amanda Coffman appeared in front of the Shawnee Mission School District’s board of education on Monday, she immediately resigned from her position and took the room by surprise.
“Several years ago, a good friend decided to leave education and she said to me, ‘Teaching is like a bad marriage, you never get your needs met, but you stay in it for the kids,'” Coffman told board members during the taped meeting.
“I didn’t fully understand what she meant until this past month,” she continued.
Teachers in the district have been unsatisfied with their workload and salaries, according to KSHB, and have been in contract negotiations with the district for months.
“Just like a bad relationship, our communication has broken down,” Coffman, who taught at Indian Woods Middle School, told the board. “You aren’t listening.”
Representatives for the district did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment. Coffman’s comments can be heard around the 42-minute mark in the video below.
While a new contract was approved by the district last month — which includes a 1 percent raise for 2019 and 2020, followed by a 1.25 percent raise for 2021 and 1.5 percent raise in the last year of the contract — teachers said it did not satisfy other concerns, like working conditions, KSHB reported.
“Talking to the board or the administrators in this building is like shouting into the wind,” Coffman told the board. “I won’t waste my breath.”
The Monday meeting was the first since the board approved the contract, which was strongly opposed by the teachers union, according to the Shawnee Mission Post.
On Friday, a spokesperson told KSHB that the district believed teachers would feel the contract was “fair,” considering they would be getting 79 percent of the district’s new money over three years.
After the deal was announced, teachers were given 15 days to decide to accept it, work with the previous contract or resign, the spokesperson said.
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“Don’t worry about me. I’m a highly educated, very talented teacher,” Coffman told the board during her remarks. “They’re in high demand right now in other districts.”
While addressing her former students, Coffman said: “You are still my favorite humans and I will always be your biggest advocate.”
After her remarks, Coffman did not accept replies from board members.
“There will be no clarifying questions,” she said. “I don’t answer to you anymore.”