Peoria Public Schools superintendent facing backlash, teachers say superintendent criticized them on Twitter

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Twitter post today is backfiring on Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.

Peoria Federation of Teachers Local 780 president, Jeff Atkins-Dutro, posted a video on Facebook responding to Dr. Kherat’s tweet.

I find it despicable that a superintendent would criticize her teachers like that publicly via Twitter. We’ve had teachers up for public like that.

Peoria Federation of Teachers Local 780 president, Jeff Atkins-Dutro

A spokesperson for Peoria Public Schools said Wednesday Dr. Kherat participated in a virtual superintendent conference. Superintendents nationwide respond to questions on Twitter using the hashtag “SuptChat.”

The question Dr. Kherat said she responded to on Twitter was, “How will teaching and learning look differently in 2021 based on what you have learned so far during the pandemic?”

Dr. Kherat sent WMBD a statement regarding her Twitter post.

As a system, I believe we need to continue to move forward focusing on the following strategies in providing students authentic reading, authentic writing, and problem-solving skills in our school buildings. My response reflected that belief and the need for me to go back and strategize with my team on ways to provide support to our district staff. In response to other questions in the chat, I gave many kudos to our staff for the exceptional work they’ve done in a time of great uncertainty due to the global pandemic.

Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat

Atkins-Dutro apologized to teachers on Facebook and encouraged them to do the best they can.

“…Hang in there you’re doing a good job, just keep on doing what you do,” he said.

Kherat said PPS staff is outstanding, but there is room for improvement district-wide.

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