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Teacher, aide air grievance

June 12, 1997

A North Hagerstown High School teacher and instructional assistant who have been transferred against their will to other schools appeared before the Washington County Board of Education Tuesday night, airing their dissent publicly.

English teacher Austin Gisriel and special education instructional assistant Kurt Britner encouraged the public and school board members to remember and use their names when referring to the situation.

The two were joined by six community members who signed up to speak in their support.

Most of their opinions were silenced by school board President B. Marie Byers' attempt to adhere to a school board policy barring public statements about personnel.

"America is supposed to be about standing up ... speaking out," said Jason Myers, a North Hagerstown High School student, to the thunderous applause of about two-thirds of the audience who came in support of Britner and Gisriel.

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"But that's some fairy tale we hear about in middle school," he added. "America is really about sitting down ... shutting up."

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