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Over the past two years, in particular, we have learned a great deal about teachers and their unions, and the picture is a grim and tragic one. Teachers only care about exerting power and controlling the education environment, and the students be damned. School superintendents, administrators can only meekly go along with the unions’ demands, and politicians aren’t willing to sacrifice the political and financial power that the unions wield over them. Everyone has something to gain.
Except our children.
Where are we now, and how did we get to this point?
During the coronavirus pandemic, teachers dictated rules that no one dared to counter: they made demands about when schools would be open, whether students could attend in-person, who needed to wear masks, the role that vaccinations would play, whether teachers would teach remotely or in-person (or a combination). Meanwhile, the damages inflicted on the children seemed irrelevant to the unions:
Some states, like Texas, opened their doors in the fall. However, schools in many other states such as Virginia, New York, Kentucky, Oregon, California have remained shuttered or at least partially so. Forcing children to learn virtually has adversely affected their emotional and mental well-being. The CDC found that suicide and depression rates among children have skyrocketed. After an unusual uptick in suicide rates this last week, the Clark County School District — the nation’s fifth-largest school district that pulls students from Las Vegas, among other cities in Nevada — decided to reopen schools for in-person learning as soon as it could. There’s another point to make here: Virtual learning doesn’t work very well. NPR recently reported that 4 of 10 teenagers don’t even log on for virtual learning! Children at risk for abuse and neglect are even more so with their school buffers gone.
And many states appeared helpless to take action and save our kids from these union mandates.
Now the teachers are demanding, in spite of rising resistance from parents, that Critical Race Theory be taught in the schools. At one time, school boards and superintendents decided the schools’ curriculum, but in many districts they either don’t know what is being taught in their schools, don’t care what is taught, support CRT in spite of its racist goals, or are cowed by the teachers’ unions. And the unions continue to mandate that CRT be taught:
One of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions vowed Tuesday to go to court to allow the teaching of critical race theory.
Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, said in a speech that she considers teaching critical race theory to be teaching ‘the truth.’
‘Mark my words. Our union will defend any member who gets in trouble for teaching honest history. We have a legal defense fund ready to go. Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong. Distorting history and threatening educators for teaching the truth is what is truly radical and wrong,’ Ms. Weingarten said at the union’s virtual professional development conference.
The National Education Association agrees with this decision.
It has been over ten years since a country-wide effort was made to limit the power of the teachers’ unions through collective bargaining. It was a dismal failure, primarily because politicians are beholden to the unions. And they still are.
But my hope is that the power centers begin to shift. Citizens, particularly parents, need to tell their legislatures that they cannot, must not, cater to the teachers’ unions any longer. Voters need to tell those running for political positions that they must include changing the collective bargaining laws in their platforms, and must follow through when elected. They must be willing to sacrifice the perks they are given by the unions and transform the balance of power. They must refuse to acknowledge that teachers’ unions are special-interest groups worthy of recognition and compliance.
But the only way this can happen is for people to realize that the teachers’ unions have gone too far and must be stopped in this escalation of power. These unions are the source of the abuse of our educational institutions and the distortions of the history curriculum we are teaching our children. We are seeing parents protesting at the local and county levels; they are running for school boards and actively promoting their cause: the healthy and proper education of our children should be in the hands of citizens, not teachers and administrators.
It’s time to take back our education system, city by city, county by county, and state by state.
It’s time.Published in