Kelly Henderson is an English teacher at Newton South High School.
She’s also an active member of the Newton Teacher’s Association, which we blogged about in July after several teachers conspired to lie about their health on a survey in order to increase the chances that the schools wouldn’t reopen. They got their wish because the School Committee caved and allowed the high schools to do “remote learning,” which isn’t even close to an education.
On September 10 several high school kids held a protest to demand the school reopen, since they are being robbed of some of the most memorable years of their lives due to the existence of a virus that has a 0.00% chance of killing them. Normally this sort of youth activism would be something Kelly Henderson applauded, as she stood firmly behind the Parkland students calls for gun control in 2018. But since the kids were advocating for a cause she didn’t endorse she posted the son Facebook the next day.
I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that this woman is a teacher who thinks that fires in Oregon are a valid comparison to schools reopening in Massachusetts, or the fact that she’s telling parents and kids who pay her salary that they can “f*** right off” if they expect her to do the job they pay her to do. Even worse, she’s a white woman from Massachusetts who uses “y’all” and almost definitely uses “folks” and “BIPOC” regularly in conversation.
The fact that these entitled “professionals” are just poo-pooing kids not being able to go to school is so Marie Antoinette it hurts. She can’t understand their struggle because she’s not struggling. Instead she’s getting paid a full salary to do less work and her livelihood hasn’t been at all affected by the shutdown. She doesn’t have to watch a five year old cry in frustration while staring at a chrome book. My kid hasn’t even had an opportunity to make friends yet because you can’t do that on a Zoom call. Every day she asks when she gets to go school and I don’t know what to tell her, because the truth is we’re never going back if the teacher’s union gets their way. High school seniors in Newton might not ever see each other in person again because the selfish adults tasked with educating them have decided that their imaginary fear of a virus comes before the well being of their students.
Kelly Henderson was also recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association. Here she is next to failed Concord teacher and MTA President Merrie Najimy, who is leading the union to refuse to educate the children properly “until it’s safe,” which of course means never because you can’t hide from a virus.
In her bio Kelly says that she tells her students that “Teaching is an act of rebellion,” because putting your fist in the air and using the word “solidarity” at the end of every email makes you a revolutionary now.
She also says that, “I genuinely cannot remember a moment in my life when I haven’t been agitating or organizing in one capacity or another.” Which makes sense because she signed this Change.org petition last month to support students who wanted the school committee to get rid of the hybrid plan they agreed upon and go full remote learning.
These people always say they want to put children in charge because they all have the mentality of a child. What they really mean is they want to listen to kids who say exactly what they want to hear, so they can hide behind them and use them as props.
Of course they don’t really want to listen to all kids, especially the ones who want schools to open up or do anything the union disagrees with, which is why she told them to “f*** right off.”
She fears the virus so much that she fully endorsed and encouraged the BLM riots, and even participated in some protests of her own in May.
They don’t want cuts, benefit reductions, or layoffs, but they do expect to get mandatory step raises and full benefits while denying your children of an education.
Kelly was featured in a NPR article from 2016 where she whined about being unable to afford to live in Newton.
Kelly Henderson loves her job, teaching at Newton South High School in a suburb west of Boston. But she’s frustrated she can’t afford to live in the community where she teaches: It’s part of the 10th most expensive housing market in the nation.
“For people in the private sector, they’re probably saying ‘Oh poor you, you can’t live in the community where you work, what’s the big deal?’ ” says Henderson, 35. “And I guess part of the nature of public education and why it’s a different kind of job, is that it’s all-consuming — as it should be.”
Like a lot teachers, she wants to be a vital part of the community where she works. She says people in high-cost communities need to remember that a teacher’s job doesn’t end at 3:00.
“You want them to coach a team, you want them to teach all day, you want them to be a faculty adviser, you want them to be able to give your kid extra help before school, after school — whenever.”
And that leaves teachers with a dilemma: “We’re constantly forced to make that choice: Do I stay and watch my students in the school play, or do I go home and remember what my husband looks like once in a while?”
Boo hoo. I lived in a $150K house in Worcester and commuted to Dudley for 9 years because I couldn’t afford to buy a house there. Nothing requires you to live in the town you teach in. She could easily live in Framingham where it’s more affordable, but these people just really hate commutes which is why they’re refusing to work in the first place.
She must have NPR on speed dial because she was featured in their again in 2018 and ironically was railing against kids being assessed on computers.
“The idea is bananas, as far as I’m concerned,” says Kelly Henderson, an English teacher at Newton South High School just outside Boston. “An art form, a form of expression being evaluated by an algorithm is patently ridiculous.”
You know what else is ridiculous? Five year olds learning on Zoom. Or kids being denied some of the most precious years of their lives because the adults who are tasked with teaching them are afraid of a virus that has no chance of killing any kids, and a one in a million chance of killing any given teacher.
To share your respectfully worded concerns with Superintendent David Fleishman feel free to email him at David_Fleishman@newton.k12.ma.us.
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