Library Aide Fired After Standing Up For Student

by Yesha Callahan
reading-club-01-jpg

JASON MCKIBBEN/THE POST-STAR

A Hudson Falls, NY library aide was fired this week  for doing the unthinkable.

Standing up for a child who liked to read.

Lita Casey worked as an aide at the Hudson Falls Free Library for 28 years and ran the library’s summer reading contest. Her boss, library director Marie Gandron, didn’t feel it was fair that Tyler Weaver, a 9-year-old, has won the contest since he was in kindergarten. Grandon wanted to change the rules to end the child’s winning streak. Gandron reportedly said the boy “hogs” the contest and should “step aside.” So instead of a contest, Grandon wanted to pull the winner’s name out of a hat. But Casey wasn’t having it.

“My feeling is you work, you get it. That’s just the way it is in anything. My granddaughter started working on track in grade school and ended up being a national champ. Should she have backed off and said, ‘No, somebody else should win?’ I told her (Gandron), but she said it’s not a contest, it’s the reading club and everybody should get a chance,” Casey told the Post Star in an Aug. 15 article.

Unfortunately the  library’s board of trustees thought instead of remedying the issue of the contest, it would be better to fire Casey and Gandron.

“I asked why I was being terminated, and I was told the board would not give a reason. I asked if I could come down and talk to the board. He went away for a minute, came back and said no.

“I worked there for 28 years without a complaint,” said Casey, who also taught nursery school for 42 years. “I have to believe it was related to the whole reading controversy.”

Who knew reading could be so controversial.

So now you have two unemployed library professionals, and a little boy who missed out of possibly winning the contest after he read 63 books this summer. Way to go Hudson Falls.

 

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  • http://gravatar.com/kmnelson1976 KMN

    LMAO is this for real? THIS is why our kids are mediocre in a ‘power’ nation…giving everyone everything because of fairness or whatever these officials want to call it.

    That child did the work and should’ve won fair and square…why punish him for doing the work? Instead of cheating him out of his award, they should’ve used his success as a bar for other children to reach and surpass…

    If my child reads 62 books…then she’s just in second place, will be congratulated on a job well done and I would turn this into a life lessong of working hard and working harder NEXT time to make that goal.

    People irritate me…I think I’m going to quit life for the rest of the fall because this is just too much lol

    KMN

  • JS

    Agree 100%

    Too many kids spend time indoors playing video games and watching TV. This little boy likes to read, so why is he being punished for others mediocrity?

    You get what you earn. We need to teach our children you don’t get a gold star or ahead in life by just being average. No one is going to hand you anything, you need to work for it. That kind of work ethic starts young.

  • Dee

    It’s terrible that she lost her job over something so petty. It was just a reading contest, it’s not like she deliberately hurt a child or sabotaged the program. All of these pedophiles and bad teachers floating around the school system and they fire someone who was encouraging the love of reading. The school should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Wes

    62 books in 2 months at his personal reading level? Sounds like the child may have been rushing through shorter books to win a prize. I remember children doing that when I was in elementary school in order to go to a pizza party or some jazz.

    Does reading books really need to be a contest? The library’s trustees should’ve considered that point before firing two librarians.

  • chnyere

    We no longer live in a world where hard workers get rewards, we have to be fair to the lazy and sensitive kids. Give the lady her job back!!

  • MommieDearest

    This is ridiculous. They REALLY couldn’t come up with another solution to this dilemma?

    Something tells me that something else was behind the firing of the 2 librarians. They used this contest as a convenient excuse. Maybe it was budget cuts or something, but this whole situation doesn’t smell right.

  • http://gravatar.com/designdiva40 paintgurl40

    I hope this doesn’t discourage his passion for reading. I may not read books like War and Peace or Pride and Prejudice, but I love to read!

  • Sultry Clue

    The picture up there speaks volumes. We have Tyler, who won 4 (!!!) years in a row previously and probably figured he had this one tied up too. Then we have the other kids behind him looking around with expressions ranging from indifference to discouragement because they figured they didn’t have a chance.

    I actually side with the former director on this one. It has nothing to do with discouraging this arrogant little twit (yes, I called him that because that is what he comes across in his comments). Fine, he loves to read, I’m happy to hear it. Too many kids spend their time playing video games, blah blah blah. I hope he never loses his love of reading.

    But this is what happens when it becomes more about winning than participating. This shouldn’t be a contest to get a tshirt, it should be a program to encourage reading. When it becomes a contest, and only one person is recognized for a long period of time, the fun gets lost. It’s suddenly about nothing more than winning.

    Why does Tyler read all those books? Because he truly loves reading, or because he just wants to show off?

  • Sunny

    I agree. So this boy read an average of a book a day? And he is the only winner for the past 4 years (since kindergarten?). Something does not add up here. This boy probably read books way below his level so his numbers would go up. That’s what kids do. What the adults should have done was change the rules at the end of the last contest so other kids could also be celebrated for their reading achievements. They handled this poorly.

  • Belle

    Tyler put in the work and won the contest end of story. If the other kids want to step up their game and beat him they should read more books.

    If the library feels that other students are trying and being discouraged they could give everybody a participation prize, but I’m not going to knock a kid as an “arrogant twit” because he likes to read.

  • Deb

    Dang you really drank the kool aid of “everyone who participate is a winner” doctrine that has almost crippled some in our generation with feelings of entitlement. I bet you have a whole row of participation trophies from elementary school.

    He works hard for something that is meant to encourage reading and participation and wins while the rest of the students probably sit back. He’s an arrogant little twit for trying and excelling.

    PC mentality is going too far man.

  • surleyqbear

    wow. what is wrong with you? sigh. nevermind. i don’t even wanna know.

  • The RealKay

    You know, when I was kid, I was a voracious reader (and yes, sometimes I read tons of books in one week) and often excelled in many other academic subjects. Other kids complained of favoritism when I’d get perfect scores on tests. I even remember one year, three students claimed I’d cheated and should get a bad grade because we got a new book, had a quiz, but I still knew all the answers. Sometimes the teachers and administrators sided with the students and I’d be forced to relinquish awards, items and the like. They’d tell me to “give others a chance.” I wanted to be accepted and didn’t want to cause a scene so I would do it, but inside I’d be like “But I worked for this!” For awhile it taught me to not do as well as others and there were times I’d intentionally get answers wrong so I’d look like a team player.

    I think that everyone should get a fair shot sure, but then we teach children who are overachievers to achieve, but not too much. We teach them to hide their talents. I think instead, the administrators should make it so that the rules reflect the efforts of more than one child and not put the onus on the child to step down.

  • JN

    It really is just a contest…did someone had to lose a job over it? smh

  • Anthony

    @ Sultry Clue, you remind me of a “friend” of mine who got mad at me for using “big words.” I told him we took the same English classes, I just remembered my vocabulary lessons. Hating someone who has achieved reeks of insecurity.

  • MommieDearest

    @TheRealKey

    OMG.

    That was TERRIBLE. I’m sorry you had to experience that, especially at the hands of adults (TEACHERS, no less) who should know better.

    I’m glad you were resilient, and that the ignorant acts of a few didn’t hinder your life journey or your success. There are too many adults who suffer from a myriad of issues due to incidents that happened in their childhood that they couldn’t quite recover from.

    Good for you. :-)

  • Tash

    Listen!! 63 books over the summer?! 1 Summer = 3 months of kid(s) in the house too dag long. 63 books/3 months = average of 21 books per month. 21 books per month + occupied kid(s) = peace. Solution: Everyone is happy!

    I have a love for kids that are voracious readers. As long as Tyler keeps reading then that’s all that matters. Kudos to Ms. Casey

  • Annoyed

    The negative comments here exemplify a lot of what’s wrong with American values and the kind of damage we inflict on our children. I hope this boy continues to read and isn’t damaged for being an overachiever. I would bet real money that this happened because the parent of some slacker lodged a complaint.

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