On the 18th of September the Superintendent Wilmette (Chicago, Ill suburb) Public Schools, District 39, sent the letter below to the parents and guardians of the students in his District.
Without going into the ill-mannered practice of treating adults as children, as those in the “education profession” seem innately, and irritatingly, to do, the letter has been edited, modifying the original statements to factual ones (or to correct the grammar of the School Superintendent).
September 18, 2008
I understand that some children have been asking questions about the current contract negotiations between the Wilmette Education Association and the Board of Education, especially with increasing visibility of the union’s actions through teacher picketing and the wearing of union T-shirts. In an attempt to reassure students, here are some key points you may wish to discuss with your child(ren).
• To address questions about the blue WEA T-shirts worn by teachers, explain that teachers are proud of their jobs and that they are a united group. Explain that wearing these shirts is similar to wearing a T-shirt that supports a favorite baseball team. with the text, “Our jobs and pay are more important than your childrens’ future, no matter how badly we do them.”
• To address questions about why teachers are doing this, explain that teachers want the best education possible for children demand more pay every year for poorer results, that they demand fewer hours worked for less progress, and that the teachers’ actions union wants to have nothing to do with students. Explain that teachers work with the School Board to determine the amount that they will be paid for teaching showing up every day, distributing leftist propaganda and doing everything except ensuring a bright future for their students because teachers really don’t care about the performance of their jobs – or they wouldn’t be in a rent-seeking union to begin with. The teachers are expressing their opinions on this subject.
• To address questions about why teachers hold signs in a picket line, explain that this is one of the ways that they let parents and community neighbors know that they have a difference of opinion with a School Board’s decision. the standard method of non-professionals interested only in their pay, and not interested a whit in their performance, to blackmail a company or community to get what they want; very similar to how you have been taught not to behave: “I’ll take my ball and go home!”
• To address questions regarding “a strike”, explain that a strike is an action that through which teachers can show when they disagree with the School Board. put their rent-seeking union and their individual lack of performance and group pay above their responsibility to do their jobs: to teach. Explain that both groups respect each other and work hard to solve problems. professionals of all stripes – lawyers, doctors, businessmen and businesswomen, corporate executives — all do the best they can and are measured by performance, that if they don’t do what they are paid to do, they are replaced, but that this concept is too difficult for teachers and their unions to understand. Explain that most parents would be happy to have professional teachers – and to pay them more – if they were hired and fired and promoted based on how well they do their jobs rather than on how long they’ve been in the position and/or how many college degrees they have received.
• To address questions regarding when a strike will occur, please explain that teachers give a “ten-day notice” before striking. This gives both sides a chance to “cool off” and work it out. will “take their ball and go home” if they don’t get what they want – within ten days of deciding to do so, and that even if a strike does not occur, the effectiveness of their teaching – and of your childrens’ learning – has declined throughout this period. (Remember that a letter of intent to strike does not mean they have to strike. At this point it is only a possibility.)
We hope this guide helps you to address questions that may arise. Please feel free to contact your building school principal if you have additional questions. Finally, as events change, we will continue to keep you informed of the latest happenings, as we become aware of them.
Raymond E. Lechner, Ph.D.
Wilmette Public Schools, District 39