Lehigh Valley

Zimmerman to vote against teacher cuts

A bullying incident with his son changed one director's mind.

Zimmerman to vote against teacher cuts

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A bullying incident at William Allen High school could have an impact on whether or not dozens of teachers get to keep their jobs.

In March, David Zimmerman had voted in favor to eliminate 100 positions throughout the school district including 74 teachers.

However, Zimmerman says he changed his mind when a bullying video surfaced on Facebook in late April.

In the video, three alleged bullies are seen picking on Zimmerman's son and two other students inside the cafeteria at William Allen High School.

"It's hard for me to believe for that incident to occur and when I found out that there were three teachers in there and a security guard...I just don't understand that," he said.

Zimmerman says the incident made him realize how serious bullying had become within the school district and fears less teachers means larger classroom sizes and less supervision; something he contributes to the enrollment in charter schools.

"One of the reasons they're going to charter schools is the class size is much smaller, the parents feel safer, there's a greater sense of community, individualized attention and when issues do occur they're easier to deal with in a short period of time," he said.

The district is currently facing a $10.6 million budget gap which already includes a 3.2 percent tax increase.

The proposed cuts could ultimately save the district $5 million.

"We're not like Parkland, we're not like Lower Saucon, we're not like Salisbury. We have unique issues and there are going to be some extreme measure that we're going to have to take maybe we'll have to stop some programs but I think we have to focus on education," said Zimmerman.

The final proposed budget will be voted on May 20th.

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