Parent: Baker teachers vanishing from classes; substitutes in charge

Baker Middle School
Baker Middle School

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - A group of parents in Baker says teachers at the middle school are vanishing and substitutes are now in charge of various classes.  Not only that, they say the school is on it's third principal, this year.  One parent says when she started asking questions, a staff member told her, "Hopefully the state will take us over."

The mom, asked we keep her identity and her daughter's hidden, says she is regretting the decision to move to the Baker community.  She says that's based on her experience with the school system.

"None of the teachers are staying with the school system," she said.

Several of her teachers, she says, are not the ones she started the year with. 

"I just got a teacher for reading," the daughter said.  "I have no teacher for social studies."  The girl says instead, they have several substitute teachers in the classroom.  But she says they are not learning.

"We just chill, be on our phones," she added in some classes they do no work at all.  "They give us little coloring sheets, crossword puzzles."

That drew more concern from her mother.

Her mother says she went to the school and questioned school staff and was told they're hoping the state takes over to give them more teachers.  She says she also spoke with the principal, but the woman had only been on the job for three days. 

"We don't know what happened to the last principal.  The one that started the school year out or the one that came a week later."

She says she also tried to speak with the superintendent, but was told he was not available.

We caught up with Baker Schools Superintendent Ulysses Joseph, at Baker High School.  Joseph insists they don't have a majority of substitutes in the classroom, but could not give us exact numbers.  He did say some teachers are leaving because they are offered more pay from surrounding districts.  He added they are trying to come up with a plan to give teachers a bonus at the beginning of the year as well as something to keep them during the year.

But the student and mom we spoke with believe there's something more going on.

"I don't want to have to be held back because of this school system," the student said.

Several parents, who have children at the middle school, are planning to start a parent group to see if they can get the school and the school board to answer their questions.