But there’s one thing the union didn’t count on.
Community members, using alternative and social media, are doing an end-run around the mainstream media and the union spin.
Alternative media outlets like Strongsville Patch and the Strongsville Post are providing a forum for students, parents, and teachers. They are covering important details about the strike that the mainstream media conveniently avoid. Community members share information on Twitter and Facebook, including a Facebook page called “End the Strongsville Teachers Strike NOW.” The page moderator, referring to the thuggish union tactics, had this insightful comment on Thursday:
Why do those tactics work? Because they assume silence. They assume that nobody else will ever know. The victims will stay victims, and the bullies will have their way.
That was then. This is now.
Today, we have the Internet. We have social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. A person can now put a message on the Internet, and within hours, it has reached hundreds (or thousands) (or more) people who never would have seen it before that technology existed. Look at today: flyers were distributed this morning, saying that a teacher was a “scab.” By early afternoon, several pictures of the flyers had appeared on social media sites. By early evening, the action of distributing those flyers had been loudly (and correctly) criticized by loads of people, including some of the very people who received those flyers. The entire tactic, which once was an effective way to coerce, is now a very quick way to turn lots of people AGAINST your cause.
Parents have figured out that this strike is not “for the children.”
When teachers try to keep the children out of school by using thuggish, Saul Alinsky tactics, there can be no doubt that the teachers are more concerned about the contracts than the kids.
Though early on in the Strongsville strike negotiations community sentiment seemed to favor the teachers, as word of the unions’ extreme tactics spread throughout Strongsville via alternative media, a shift seemed to occur.
Unlike many strikes, where public opinion almost universally sympathizes with the teachers and against the mean, evil school board, this one seems different. People are angry about the bad behavior of the teachers and are probably more than a little frightened that these people will again be entrusted with the care of their children. Many resent the sense of entitlement from the teachers when they hear words like “deserve” and “fair share” as they see their own health care costs rising and their own pay stagnating while taxes increase. Thanks to Sunshine Laws, anyone with an internet connection can see the teacher salaries in the district and the $1 million+ guaranteed pension plans many of the teachers will enjoy upon retirement at age 55 (fully funded by the taxpayers).
In the past, the unions and the mainstream media controlled the narrative. Today, Americans have the tools to access the truth for themselves and can share this information with their neighbors. This, in the end, may prove to be the demise of the big-union stranglehold on public education.