Chelmsford teacher back on job after dispute with school administrators

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CHELMSFORD, Mass. - After a fiery conflict at the Chelmsford School Committee meeting Tuesday night, an elementary school teacher is back on the job after being put on leave over a dispute with school administrators.

Parents say this investigation into a third-grade teacher points to a larger problem about student safety in Chelmsford elementary schools. 

Less than 24 hours after parents and teachers were forced to leave a heated Chelmsford School Committee meeting by police, Harrington Elementary School teacher and union president Jennifer Salmon was back in her classroom.

Salmon was shut down after trying to read a letter to the board from her son upset his mom was put on paid leave the day before Thanksgiving. This came after an altercation with a field representative from the American Federation of Teachers and school administrators over a situation in a first-grade classroom at Harrington. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Chelmsford elementary teacher on leave after altercation with principal

Jane Marshall's daughter is in Salmon's class and showed her the video.

"I said that's your teacher and that's pretty amazing. She's in there to stand up for you guys as students, as well for the community," said Marshall.

The teacher's union has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the school committee, alleging they and Superintendent Jay Lang broke the law by placing Salmon on leave without cause.

In a letter, Superintendent Lang tells Boston 25 News reporter Crystal Haynes:

"It is important to recognize that this leave was not punitive; it was simply standard procedure during an investigation of this nature. Because this is a personnel matter, we will not comment on the results of the investigation."

>> Click here to read Superintendent Lang's full statement

But Salmon says this situation is not about her and that it never has been.

Union leadership says Chelmsford Elementary Schools are properly equipped to handle students' behavioral needs.

In the same letter, Lang says the district is aware of the issue and "we we will continue to review the situation to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate actions..."

"She stood up for a different classroom, a different kid for the protection of the child that was going through issues and also the classroom and I think that it's just so important that she was strong enough and stand up for the teachers that needed help and the kids that needed help," said Marshall.

Boston 25 News reached out to the union and Salmon and have not heard back.
Parents we spoke to say her students are thrilled to have her back.

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