Irony defined

Published 6:40 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

One of the definitions of irony as told by Webster’s New World College Dictionary is “a combination of circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what is or might be expected or considered appropriate.”

Such is the case for Sacramento, Calif., schoolteacher Michelle Apperson, who has taught sixth grade for nine years in the city school system.

Apperson was laid off in June, like 399 other Sacramento City Unified teachers, all victims of severe budget cuts to California public education.

Unlike the other 399 teachers awarded the same pink slip, however, Apperson had recently been named Sacramento’s Teacher of the Year.

California bases its teacher layoffs on a “first-in, first-out” policy, in which teachers with more seniority are the last to be laid off.

An outstanding teacher with a passion for her work and the children she educates is laid off because of policy.

No doubt there was once a very good reason why the “first-in, first-out” policy was installed, but reasons can grow outdated. Times change and with them the ability to see that what was once a “help” has become a hindrance.

Across the board, across the nation, across our state, we need to learn to be smarter than outdated policy — especially when it comes to education.

Irony should be something school kids learn by reading literature, not by watching their favorite teacher get pink-slipped.