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School-by-school layoff list taking toll on teachers' psyches

It’s the first day back from break, but Stephen Lazar’s mind isn’t on his global history students.

Instead, Lazar is worrying about which five teachers at his school, Bronx Lab School, are on the city’s school-by-school list of potential layoffs. He can count seven colleagues new enough to be on the chopping block.

In the GothamSchools Community section, Lazar writes in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg about the effect of layoff lists on teachers. He writes:

What you did this morning, Mr. Mayor, is crueler than anything I have ever seen a teacher do to her or his students (and I once had a teacher give me a zero on a test I missed for the funeral of one of my best friends, who was also in the teacher’s class). You want me arguing in the teacher’s lounge today about layoffs rather than talking about how we can best serve our students. You want me thinking about events in Albany, rather than thinking about how I can get the 34 students in each of my global history classes to think about the fact that events in Cairo should mean something to them.

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