Mr. Phillip LeMarbre is a beloved Advanced Placement Biology teacher at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT) who was fired just 103 days prior to qualifying for full retirement benefits including health insurance. In the fall of 2016, Mr. Phillip LeMarbre was formally diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Shortly after his diagnosis, Mr. LeMarbre requested to return to teaching at BVT with accommodations but was denied by BVT officials. Mr. LeMarbre has been teaching at BVT for 9+ years but in the state of MA, a teacher must have taught for 10 years to receive a full pension. Since his termination, Mr. LeMarbre was only 103 days shy of meeting the state requirement.
Mr. LeMarbre is a well-respected educator and loving family man. Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, BVT superintendent, has declined to right this wrongdoing and grant Mr. LeMarbre the benefits he deserves and was requesting to work for. According to the ALS Association, “There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease.” We believe Mr. LeMarbre not only deserves his full benefits, but that Mr. Fitzpatrick and the school committee needs to lead by example to show the students at BVT that compassion takes precedence over policy.
Please sign this petition requesting that superintendent Fitzpatrick and the school committee at BVT reinstate Mr. LeMarbre’s full benefits and allow him to receive the medical care and retirement he rightfully deserves.