TAMPA, Fla. - Dozens of Hillsborough County teachers Monday were still processing an email they received from the district at the end of last week informing them they're being laid off.
Friday afternoon, the district's human resources department sent out the same email to 107 teachers that read, "at this time, we are unable to offer you an instructional position for the upcoming school year."
"I called my mom, I broke down, I had to have another teacher come to watch my kids because I didn't want them to see me crying," said Cece Gaddy, a physical education teacher at Sumner High School, who is among those who received the email. "I take my job very seriously and I just couldn't go through the day. I had to cancel the Zoom I had for the last period of the day. I couldn't even think."
Just one week earlier, some of the same teachers were told by their principal their position was safe for the next school year, even receiving room assignments.
Stacie Emory was among those teachers and was blindsided by to find out she was being let go.
"I was so excited to get to be back next year because this whole year with the cuts has been up and down," Emory said. "Seven days later, to be told, 'Nah just kidding, you don’t have a job next year.' It was devastating.'"
Emory said her husband also received the email, but he, along with at least 14 other teachers who were told they were going to be terminated, have since learned they can try to transfer to a new school or position.
"I was like, what are we going to do? We both just lost our jobs. What are we going to do next year?" Emory said.
The district is facing a $140-million budget deficit and Superintendent Addison Davis has announced about 1,000 positions were going to be trimmed from the workforce. A spokesperson said the number is now down to 800, the majority of whom should be able to transfer to another school.
"It’s the last resort a superintendent ever wants to do is to talk about cuts in the educational sector," Davis told FOX 13 earlier this month.
The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, which represents the district's educators, believes these layoffs violate the union's employment contract.
Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins, the organization's executive director, said workers were supposed to be told by April 9 if their positions would still be there in August.
"This scenario and how it happened to people and the lack of timeliness, the poor treatment of individuals, we feel it really sends a startling message to the entire organization," said Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins, HCTA Executive Director.
School board member Jessica Vaughn was said Davis did now give board members advance notice of the email sent Friday. She told FOX 13 she believes the board to re-evaluate whether Davis is the right person to lead the district.
The superintendent was not available for comment Monday.