Is there a suicide prevention hot-line for teacher unions?
There oughta be.
“A half-century ago, teachers unions had a place in the American public. Now they have forgotten their place … going from protectors … to enablers of greed and malfeasance.”
Half of America now sees teacher unions in a negative light. And the unions won’t stop poisoning that well of public opinion. Their promise of more aggressive activism has energized lots of resistance … even among teachers themselves.
It’s a bizarre sort of kamikaze mission.
Like many issues today, public education is as edgy as it gets. Old guard unionists are now squeezed between radical activists and an exploding phalanx of fed-up parents and disillusioned teachers.
Teacher unions have always gotten their juice from the moms and dads they serve. They earned that favor with “their vision for improving public education: More arts classes and fewer standardized tests, more equitable funding and fewer school closures.” That was a winning strategy.
Then they threw it all away.
Today, too many Americans “see teachers’ unions as a negative influence on public schools.” What the hell happened? Where did all that good will go?
It’s hard to know where to begin.
They became political big-shots. They sold out to suspect reformers and protected seedy characters. They paid less and less attention to the classroom teachers … those important everyday professionals. Instead, they fell in with social justice hellions … answering to radical factions rather than to the parents who owned the schools … and paid the bills.
And they deserted children, too.
Unions listened more intently to social justice demagogues than to educational professionals whose expertise … and dedication … made American public education the great social equalizer. They swore off measured reforms and reprioritized the ambitions and intentions of public education.
And they didn’t bother to ask parents …
the moms and dads who had values and attitudes they didn’t want disturbed. Morals and behaviors they valued as indispensable.
Lots of bad genies got out of the bottle.
They kissed off important support groups and embraced controversy … advocating for itchy issues like LGBTQ curriculum inclusion, sanctuary campuses, and Black Lives Matter influence in schools.
They backed Dreamers, the transgender ideology, and graphic sex education programs that have gagged … and enraged … parents across the country.
They became mighty bullies.
Militant ideologues whose dogma became more important than their classroom pedagogy … or any child.
And then Goliath got thumped.
Parent-teacher Rebecca Friedrichs sued her union … the California Teachers Association … when she “witnessed union forces bully and intimidate teachers, parents, and children, and work overtime to create a culture of fear.”
Her lawsuit set the stage for the most important court ruling of the last fifty years … and her best-seller … Standing Up to Goliath … crystalized the national disenchantment with the new radicalism of teacher unions.
A subsequent Supreme Court decision struck down forced union membership. Teachers were no longer required to join any unions … or pay any dues … as a condition of employment.
And the suicidal strangeness of the teacher unions got scarier.
Both national unions … the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association … reaffirmed their commitment to radical activism. Defiant teachers insist that such activism is part of the job description they seemed to have designed for themselves.
Still forgetting who owns the schools.
They’ve stated publicly that … despite sagging memberships … they intend to double-down on their activist agenda because they know what public education should become … and parental opinions aren’t very necessary at all.
It’s a decision doomed to turn teacher unions into loathsome agitators.
Angered parents and neglected teachers are coalescing into a formidable opposition … willing to bump chests with those who’ve turned schools into cultural petri dishes.
They’ve had enough …
because they’ve had too much.
They want their children’s education to be free of bias and indoctrination. They want balance back in the classroom … and they want real-deal teachers … not social zealots.
The great union movement that did so much to improve the lot of teachers … and students … and America … has skidded into unprofessional darkness.
And they have only themselves to blame.
with Michelle Moore