In memo, Faculty Association claims reasons given for Bobo-Jones departure unjustified

Emma Trone, Editor-in-Chief

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In a memo written to faculty members and obtained by the Midway, Faculty Association President Jim Catlett said the Faculty Association has initiated a grievance procedure against the Laboratory Schools administration, claiming that the employment termination of biology teacher Daniel Bobo-Jones occurred without just cause and therefore violated the collective bargaining agreement between the faculty and the Laboratory Schools.

The memo was posted to a student Facebook group the afternoon of Jan. 12, before being taken down less than an hour later.

According to the memo, the primary reason that Director Charlie Abelmann and Barb Lindner, a consultant with the University of Chicago Employee/Labor Relations, gave for Mr. Bobo-Jones’s firing involved his handling of a student’s incomplete course work from spring quarter of the 2017-18 school year. The memo says the administration had begun an investigation into this incident in October 2018, and the investigation concluded over winter break.

Mr. Catlett said the Faculty Association believes Mr. Bobo-Jones had appropriately dealt with the incomplete course work and grading, and the administration’s reaction was unreasonable.

In an email to families, Dr. Abelmann reiterated what had been shared with students by administrators about in assemblies on Thursday and Friday about Mr. Bobo-Jones’s departure. The message echoed the administration’s concerns for confidentiality and encouraged the community to limit speculation.

To see the memo in its entirety, click here.