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For Teachers Unions, Parents and Children Come Last

Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2022
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by Outside Contributor
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Schools in the Rochester school district in Michigan include in their curriculum a course called “History of Ethnic and Gender Studies.”

If my child were attending school there, I would wonder why this is in the curriculum as part of K-12 education and what is taught.

One mother, Carol Beth Litkouhi, wondered enough that she went to the school and asked for details about what will be conveyed to her child in this program.

The response she got from the school amounted to “sorry, none of your business.”

Excuse me. A mother has no right to know what her child is being taught?

Litkouhi turned to the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, who filed a lawsuit against the school district. A request was made under the state’s Freedom of Information Act to release to this mother details about the program. But this request also went nowhere.

Now the Oakland County Circuit Court has ruled supporting the school district’s claim that because teachers belong to a teachers union, they are not public employees subject to the FOIA.

Mackinac will appeal this absurd ruling.

But let’s forget the legalities for a moment and just consider the outrageous reality being perpetrated against America’s parents and children by public school bureaucracies and teachers unions.

Look at the website of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second largest teachers union. It is an unapologetic megaphone for America’s left.

According to Investopedia, “A labor union is an organization formed by workers … for the purpose of improving pay, benefits, and working conditions.”

But teachers unions are much more than this. They exist to further an uncompromised left-wing agenda, targeting our children.

AFT issued a press release after the November elections headlined “American Voters Reject Extremism in Win for Democracy and Freedom.”

Can it really be that an organization that claims to value democracy and freedom opposes parents knowing what their children are taught in school?

That same press release talks about women’s “right to reproductive health.”

The teachers union believes women have a right to abort their child but parents have no right to know what their child is taught in school.

Other AFT press releases include praise for newly passed federal legislation codifying protections for same-sex marriage and praise for President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative.

What does this stuff have to do with “improving pay, benefits, and working conditions”?

The PAC political contributions of the AFT was 16th-highest in spending in the nation in the 2021-2022 cycle, making $2,150,500 in campaign contributions to candidates.

Percentage of contributions to Democrats? 100%. Percentage contributions to Republicans? 0%.

Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal reports, “AFT shaped the guidelines used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the full reopening of schools.”

The dividends for this show up now in the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress — the “nation’s report card.” Results show the largest declines in math scores for grades 4 and 8 since NAEP started testing in 1990 and also declines in reading scores.

Michigan, where the circuit court just ruled in favor of unions over parents, has among the biggest declines in scores in the country.

WalletHub ranks state school systems nationwide using rankings based on “quality” and “safety.”

Michigan stands 38th in the nation.

I hope that the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation succeeds in its appeal of the circuit court decision regarding application of Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.

But this still is not the answer.

Education should be freed from the diabolical control of bureaucrats and unions. We need a free market in education with power given to parents to choose where to send their child to school.

All businesses put their customers first. In a free, competitive school system, the customers — parents and their children — would come first.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM

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Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

Forced indoctrination has a proven track record. One stop processing for future generations. Almost every aspect of challenging the system legally has been well thought out. The take over is nearly complete.

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

Poorly educated people make for better sheep. We have all kinds of laws in this country, but we have few who are willing to enforce them. And “free” is a dirty word to the radical leftists.

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

I started my working life as a public school teacher. I discovered that the unionization of teachers is the foundation of what has gone wrong with public education. When I read that budgets need to be increased because we can’t retain teachers, I know that more money will not solve the problem.
Unions are holding the line on promoting the paychecks of teachers over the encouragement of sound teaching methods and the growth of students. One example is stuffing classrooms to overflow which is done so that the budget will be distributed over fewer teacher paychecks. The recent covid shutdowns have drawn attention to what is wrong, but until the schools no longer need teachers unions, there is not much hope.

Granny26
Granny26
1 year ago

This is the reason I hate most unions. Parents do have a right to know what is taught to their kids since it’s taxpayers that are paying the teachers wages. This is why more parents are home schooling their kids…the crap their teaching them in schools will not help them in life and doesn’t even include the basics anymore. It’s all liberal BS.

Rebecca
Rebecca
1 year ago

I left NEA in late 70s because they had decided Hershey did something they disagreed with. This wasn’t their PAC. This was the NEA. No one had ever asked me about it. I was disgusted and immediately left that organization. The NEA and AFT are not concerned about education of our youth. They want power. It’s all in the top tier of the organization. Teachers are not asked opinions. But teachers are, many times, just sheep. They do what they’re told to do or else! I’ve been a retired teacher for many years. I now endorse and suggest parents leave the public schools and check out charter schools, home schooling and any other means to educate their kids. As enrollment declines in public schools federal and state funding decreases. Money goes down teacher positions go down. No students no job. They’re digging their own hole. Very soon they’ll fall into it.

Frank Godek Jr
Frank Godek Jr
1 year ago

Is the school board in Rochester, Michigan elected or appointed? If they are elected, has this lady tried to approach the board members to see what their take is on this? Shouldn’t the school board be able to demand information on curriculum?

Texas Resister 64
Texas Resister 64
1 year ago

I announced my retirement at the beginning of the ’19-20 school year. I had stayed on that last year to help out because of the dearth of good chem teachers. At least I trained my replacement. In the last quarter I saw no students and my Zoom “classes” were not full. These were all honors classes. At my virtual retirement party, I saw a bunch of teachers who envied my retirement. At least I didn’t have to compromise my principles with CRT and ESG. I feel really sorry for students who were trapped in that system and could not afford private or parochial schools (which are booming, by the way).

Del
Del
1 year ago

In the ’70’s I was teaching in NYS and intimidated by all around me to join the AFT. From the get-go I disliked the union and was furious at being forced to contribute to it. AND in those times unions did not have the over-reach they now do, nor the ethical and moral confusion they now exhibit. If you are a public school teacher, you should resist joining a union with all you can. They do NOT work for better education (e.g supporting lifetime tenure for teachers is ludicrous and allows so many bad teachers to stay on the job) and they are a toxic influence on curricula that should by rights be determined by local educators and parents. The entire idea that teachers should be unionized is terrible and has basically destroyed the quality, not improved it, of our education K-12 nationally.

legally present
legally present
1 year ago

It won’t get better in Michigan because our Democrat Governor wants to do away with Michigan’s “right to work” law that was passed in I believe 2012. So in other words, they will take your “donations” to the teachers Union and pass it on the the now totally controlled state by Democrats. What does it say that 100% of their Union dues went to Democrats?? So if the teachers didn’t believe in what the Democrats were pushing, they were basically paying the Democrats with their dues. It won’t get better in Michigan, it will definately get much worse.

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Obviously the Judge who ruled teachers are not public sector employees, because they belong to a union needs a refresher course in basic law. By that logic, the vast majority of the at least 3 million employees of the federal government are not public sector employees and thus are NOT entitled to any protections afforded public sector employees under civil service rules, because they also belong to a public sector union. This is the quality of legal expertise we are depending on in this country to act as a back-stop to the insane policies being promoted by the left.

fpatriot
fpatriot
1 year ago

Good to know that teachers are not public employees. I guess they must be paid by the unions then. If that is the case, then I guess the public doesn’t need to pay taxes to fund the schools.
When I went to school teacher’s union did not exist. Teachers didn’t make a lot of money, but they were dedicated, loved to teach and were good at it.
Now teachers are overpaid for what they do and do as little as possible and that’s shown in every statistic. America is last in learning.

Gladys
Gladys
1 year ago

Sadly teachers have become such lefty liberals, our children don’t stand a chance of getting a good education, especially here in commiefornia. Along with promoting gender identity, crt, they are also pushing the drag queen groomer agenda. We need to get rid of all of them and lock them up for pedophilia perversion. The unions are destroying America.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

Public service employees which includes teachers should not be allowed to hold the public hostage They should not be allowed to strike Those who do not like it do not need to apply The negotiations between the membership and the employer = public are possible and doable but they have such unrealistic demands and inflated views of themselves it’s childish You can’t reason with a child Besides half of them are not much smarter than fifth graders

Bob Olden
Bob Olden
1 year ago

Unfortunately it seems that the institutions of our country have become so corrupted by the left that they cannot be reformed! We have to create new institutions and put the lefty ones out of business. Maybe we can put the abandoned school buildings to use for the new wave of educational institutions that actually do their job! Now the Universities might just have to become ghost towns when they have no students. Those massive buildings are too darned expensive! Maybe they can be used as homeless shelters. Thanks a lot you progressives! You have helped to solve the homeless problem! (Of course you are responsible for most of those ruined lives because you undermined the values that produce healthy families and a healthy society.)

Nancy
Nancy
1 year ago

Unions had a place at one point in our history, now they have become a beast controlling their own interests, not those who should benefit from them! It’s time to dismantle the monstrous education system, city by city, sate by state!

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
1 year ago

The purpose of a union is to negotiate the working conditions, pay and benefits for their members. From that standpoint, unions are not answerable to voters. Schools are publicly funded and should be answerable to the public and should surely be required to disclose what they are teaching. The problem with all of this is that in my state, New Jersey, the teachers’ unions are among the very largest contributors to our state elected officials. Our legislature has been under the control of the Democratic Party for years. While I know many public-school teachers who want to provide a great education for their students, the unions and the Democrat party are, in essence, two elements of a common agenda. The agenda appears to have little to do with math, science reading and history and a lot to do with excellence in all things woke.

The public always assumed that teachers and schools have a vested interest in education, as they did when we were students. That ship has sailed long ago. The only thing we can do to save public education is to attend the school board meetings, ask questions, complain when necessary and risk the FBI’s willingness to view concerned parents in the same category as terrorists.

Then there is the need to vote for state officials who will vote for vouchers and demand curricula that teach students the things they need to become competitive in the workplace and to make the United States competitive among nations.

Hats off to parents who are homeschooling. It is difficult and it shouldn’t be necessary. I know of parents who have pulled their children out of public schools which means they are paying for both the public system with taxes and the private school tuition for their children. It is a sad state of affairs.

Aaf Schafer
Aaf Schafer
1 year ago

Our justice system is paid by Soros to stretch all the lawsuits into never never land not to be heard of again and the indoctrination of the kids in meantime goes forward.
Now is the time to stand up against all this. Not wait till this is resolved. For there won’t be a fair law system by that time. Only mandates.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Jimmy the Peanut created the Department of Education as a reward to the NEA and AFT for their support. One might notice that there has been ZERO improvements in public education since then. Conservatives should print and announce the planks of the union platforms so people could learn exactly what teachers (not all) feel is important! Hint: It’s not the children or their true education!

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

FIRE ALL Teacher Union members.
They are Communists.

NewDay
NewDay
1 year ago

No kids in school, no worries right? WRONG, you better get out and vote in the school board elections, maybe even get yourself on the ballot, because these kids are someday going to decide the laws and standards that will affect your life every day.

Henry Thompson
Henry Thompson
1 year ago

I was a teacher of middle and high school students for 21 years before I left the profession. I probably would not survive as a teacher today due to left-wing politics and liberal insanity.

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
1 year ago

Many teachers today are not teaching,they are brainwashing our young and impressionable.They shove this liberal woke regressive”bull exhaust”down their throats and soon they begin to believe this”crap”.The parents,no matter how upstanding and AMERICA oriented they are don’t have a chance.These teachers that do this are 99% liberal democRATS and an honest person has no chance against their corruption.

Donald Christian
Donald Christian
1 year ago

“If my child were attending school there”; they would be out as soon as I heard about this garbage.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

This is disgusting. Parents must regain their parental rights and teachers must accept this are be fired, along with school boards!

edward
edward
1 year ago

Nothing new here. How do we get the “useful(useless) idiots” to understand and stop voting for communists?

Cookiepress
Cookiepress
1 year ago

Maybe we should start a parent’s union.The teachers union is about the union making money then taking care of the teachers. They do not have any interest in the parents or children unless it helps them make more money

Vinbo
Vinbo
1 year ago

I’d yank my child out of that school pronto and be attending school board meetings until all was exposed. Absolutely disgusting and evil is what it is. Wake up people your children are under attack!

Carol
Carol
1 year ago

If teachers are part of the union which isn’t a part of the FOIA then we as taxpayers should be able to hold our money and NOT pay them!!! I am all for school choice! The time has come for our money to follow the child to whatever school or homeschool the parents want to send their children! And for those of us who no longer have children in the home, let our tax dollars follow the grandkids, grandnieces or grandnephews or the school of our choice too! If public schools are so great, let the unions support them by themselves!!!! And for the sake of our constitutional republic (not democracy), clean out the teachers colleges of their Marxist indoctrination of our teachers!!!! This is where the real problems lie!!

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

Teachers are paid with public tax dollars; they are not union employees-therefore they are public employees.

Matilda
Matilda
1 year ago

Optional class for seniors and juniors!

Kirth Gersen
Kirth Gersen
1 year ago

I remember hearing a quote from a teachers’ union president (his name and the specific school district I don’t remember; it may have been New York City) where he said quite bluntly, “I’ll start representing the interests of school kids when they start paying us dues.” There you have it.

Michael
Michael
1 year ago

You can always pull your kids out of these schools

Smike
Smike
1 year ago

I’m not sure about your school district but in mine the union or the teacher do not have a vote in agenda, curriculum or what is taught in the classroom. You probably have a whole building full of PhD type of Administrators, Principles and “assistants”. These are the people who are requiring your teachers to present the material in the school’s agenda. And they probably got their marching order from the State. It’s not the Union or the teachers you need to be dealing with. Deal with the people who are in power to change the things you want to be changed. Or do like my wife and I did, suck it up and send your kids to a private Christian school. Very costly but we don’t regret it.

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