What an embarrassment for teachers who do justice to their profession when fellow educators display their disrespect for this country by donning red shirts that summon Chairman Mao as they take to the streets in displays of civil disobedience. Thankfully, the new Chicago teacher protests over school closings spared us the sea of communist red we witnessed during last fall’s teachers’ strike. The March weather was too cold for T-shirts and buying red coats for the mob of teachers and other protesters was probably too expensive for the Chicago Teachers Union.
Adults have the knowledge and experience to judge teacher protests for what they are: organized mob actions for union flunkies. What about our kids? Can they respect our education system after watching teachers who purport to be role models forming noisy mobs and chanting against whatever slight their handlers choose to protest? Will kids learn to value how things work in a democracy supported by taxpayers when civil disobedience and communist symbolism is the answer to problems on the job?
These are the lessons teachers serving unions in states like Illinois teach when they engage in angry protests over money:
Lesson 1: Mob action is how workers get what they want.
It doesn’t matter where you live. If you work in the U.S. and you want something, mob action is the answer. In Michigan the offense was a right-to-work law construed as anti-union. In California it was a State of Emergency protest over a failing education budget, replete with black and red placards. In Chicago it started by asking teachers to work longer hours for more pay (see: Why Teachers Crazed for Higher Pay are Still Better Than You). Now the problem is a plan to close schools that suck money from taxpayers and continue the city’s tradition of underperforming students.
Lesson 2: If America was communist, teachers would be treated fairly.
Teachers have outdone themselves by planting images of red-shirted workers in the minds of students. What a great choice for protest attire. Our kids can learn to draw the connection between America’s unfair system and the wonderful alternative teachers in those red shirts represent. With a little age and luck, wiser students might question why teachers so obsessed with pay and retirement benefits decided to endorse anti-wealth communist symbolism.
Lesson 3: Noisy civil disobedience is the answer.
The life lesson here is that if you are unhappy with your job you should stop working and start protesting. The best way to get what you want in life is to take to the streets and tell the media and anyone else who will listen that you are being cheated. This is a valuable lesson to teach children who are going to have a hard time navigating the job market in an economy being ruined by the same kind of self-interested idiocy that causes teachers and other public employees to deny us the services we pay for. If teachers are smart enough to be trusted with educating our kids, why haven’t they figured out that it was their decision to work in a system supported with a limited supply of public tax dollars?
Lesson 4: If you work in America, you are being cheated.
America is fundamentally unfair to workers so the only way to get what you deserve is to always demand more, unless you work in the private sector, where that approach usually leads to unemployment. In the public sector strikes and civil disobedience get you a pay raise. The lesson for students is that tax dollars are valueless and there is a ready supply for those taken advantage of by our unfair system.
Lesson 5: Republicans hate teachers.
There has been a lot of blame placed on conservatives for demonizing teachers who are not accountable for their actions because of their profession. Teachers want to be highly valued as leaders and role models, but what we see in cities like Chicago are mindless dupes reciting nonsense for unions. How do we protect our kids from the lessons these role models are preaching?