MVRHS teacher resigns citing `divisive’ atmosphere

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Elaine Weintraub in the doorway of her classroom, Room 505. - Sam Moore

A beloved Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School history teacher has resigned calling the environment at the school “divisive” and saying she feels “bullied.”

Elaine Weintraub, who teaches courses in Brazilian and Irish history and culture, has informed the principal of her resignation, but declined to comment fully on her reasons until she sends a letter to the school committee.

“I took a medical leave and now it’s time to go back. I don’t want to go back,” Ms. Weintraub told The Times. “I feel like I’ve been bullied.”

Ms. Weintraub’s courses, which also include a global history course, are electives for juniors and seniors helping to meet her goal of bringing cultural studies to the high school. She also organized the One World Club, an organization at the school aimed at creating an inclusive climate for all nationalities. She has also chaperoned trips to New York and Ireland for students.

In 2010, she helped Brazilian students win the right to wear their country colors at graduation.

“I can’t do the things I’ve received recognition for,” Ms. Weintraub said. “Everything’s a problem… I don’t want to say too much because I haven’t sent my letter to the school committee about why I’m making this decision.”

Sara Dingledy, the high school principal, could not be immediately reached for comment.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Dont let that door hit you in your butt!! We have been bullied, called racist and every other offensive name because we have disagreed with YOU demanding that Illegal Brazilians deserve the same rights as native island children and island veterans children and that we must pay for them!
    You have made our island “divisive” thu your actions all these years!
    I am so glad there is a new no-nonsense president in our country and I am so glad you wont be on the active payroll anymore.
    It will be very interesting to see how you will bash our new president, us and blame him and us for your reason for leaving and abandoning your Brazilian community!

    • I don’t generally get involved in comment sections online, but this is a remarkable woman that deserves better than your disrespectful comment. This woman has stood up for a community that has many times been discriminated against by people such as yourself (a conclusion I draw from the tone of your comment). She stood up for marginalized groups of students at the high school that did not always feel as though they fit in or were treated fairly. Yes, she stood up for the Brazilian community within the high school because she chose to get to know those students as individuals instead of defining them by the choice that their parents made to bring them into this country. No matter their legal status those students were still human and children deserving of basic human respect just as any other child. She stood up for American students as well. Many times you would find within her classroom students that other teachers had but given up on, and yet there was Dr. Weintraub getting to know them as individuals and learning how to motivate them to continue pursuing their education. This woman has been a significant presence in the lives of countless students and taught many such as myself the importance of standing up for our beliefs even when it seemed like the odds were against us. This woman has gone against the establishment because she believed that what was in place was unjust and in doing so she improved the school experience of many children and created an environment in which students felt heard, supported, and empowered to grow as people and students.
      I will not go in depth with the current state of our country in regards to the new president, but if you really believe he is a “no-nonsense” kinda guy, I don’t think you’ve been keeping up with the news.

    • I’m sorry, but are you actually implying that Brazilian students don’t have the same rights as “native island students?” And yet you wonder why you get called, “racist and every other offensive name.” It’s ironic that you claim to have been bullied, when you seem to be the bully. On another note, if you’re bold enough to leave a comment like this, be bold enough to leave your name.

    • What a coward you are, you attack this wonderful woman but won’t sign your name. I guess you are just following the Facist game plan

      Terry Donahue

  2. Wow! First of all, in this country, we all have rights. THAT is what makes us great. To suggest otherwise is simply unAmerican and inhumane. These are children for Gods sake. Tisbury Native complains about being called a racist after that crazy anti-immigrant rant. That’s hilarious.

    • Their legal status does not make them any less deserving of basic respect. These children did not ask to be brought to this country And so long as they remain here they deserve an education just as every child does and often times they have to work twice as hard to prove themselves worthy to those that question their presence within school systems. What Dr.Weintraub did was encourage such students to continue their education despite the difficulties they faced and she did this for her American students as well.

    • The problem is people who think like TISBURY NATIVE, but they are not smart enough to know that.

      • Couldn’t have said it better.
        Tisbury Native (and people like him) is what’s wrong with this country.
        Hopefully the passing of time will bring change to this bigotted world.

  3. I have fond memories of Joel and Elaine Weintraub ever since I was one of Joel’s students at West Tisbury circa 1986-88. Without wading into the controversy here, I urge the Times to require real names for the comments section.

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