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When Teachers Act Like Thugs ‘for the Children!’

What would you do if your child's teacher behaved like these bullies?

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

March 11, 2013 - 8:20 am
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When the substitute teachers arrived at the Strongsville police station for background checks, striking teachers greeted the “SCABS” with aggressive screaming and taunting. The applicants had to be escorted into the building by police officers.

“Go home, SCAB!”
“Have some integrity!”
“Get an honest job!”

One union member said, “We’re trying to scare them off in hopes that something positive can come out of this.”

Something positive “for the children,” no doubt.

Several white men screamed at a black woman, with one shouting:“Don’t do it, honey; it’s not all about you,” and “Rosa Parks would be ashamed.”

No doubt there is an important history lesson “for the children” in this mob scene.

Strongsville, Ohio, a normally quiet suburb just south of Cleveland, recently became Ground Zero in the public-sector union war. Earlier this month, after months of failed negotiations, teachers voted to strike when the school board submitted their “last best offer” to the Strongsville Education Association (SEA). With the high-stakes Ohio Graduation Test looming the week of March 11th, the 6000-student district hired substitute teachers to fill in during the strike. Not surprisingly, this didn’t go over well with the union teachers, who decided to intimidate and harass anyone who crossed the picket line — “for the children.”

Laura Rowley, a parent with students in the district, described her experience registering to be a substitute teacher:

I can’t put into words how these EDUCATORS behaved in front of the police station. Blocking the entrance, screaming in my face, calling me a b**tch, pounding on the doors of the building, going on and on…every other word was mother f*cker, dumb piece of s**t—I swear I was walking thru [sic] death row. Really it made me sob—I’m embarrassed that these are the people that are teaching my children. We had to have police escorts to leave the building, is this [sic] beyond crazy. Honestly, I am afraid to send my kids to school tomorrow.

She added, “There were subs crying and hyperventilating, thought they were going to call an ambulance.”

One parent who drove by the scene that day told Bob Frantz on WTAM radio, “I heard the most foul language and I thought my car was going to be mobbed.”

Was that really “for the children”?

To emphasize the point that this strike was “for the children,” the Strongsville Education Association (SEA) posted pictures of the “SCABS” on their Facebook page with the title “Wall of Shame” and the caption “Here’s a visual of who the Board is hiring as replacements (SCABS) to educate OUR children!” Media Trackers Ohio captured screenshots of the pictures ; the caption “And the hiring of ‘teachers’ begins. … Looks HIGH-LY Qualified, but is he?” was next to one picture of a black substitute teacher.

One parent wrote: “Very scary. … I wouldn’t expose my children to this.”

A teacher wrote: “As a Cleveland teacher and a Strongsville resident you have my support 100%, however, I do think some of the captions under the pictures are inappropriate. I realize they are SCABS, but personally poking fun at them to a degree is bullying and we don’t want our kids to see our teachers doing that.”

Another comment: “I am a Strongsville resident and a Cleveland teacher and I fully support you but please review some of these captions, they could easily be viewed as racist and discriminatory and don’t paint the SEA in a good light.”

Eventually the SEA relented and removed the album.

Some teachers tried to frighten their students with the “Wall of Shame” pictures and captions. One mother told WTAM Radio that her daughter “was sent those pictures from her teacher to tell them ‘This was who was going to be teaching.’”

 

 

The negotiations are at a standstill over a variety of issues. The district projects a deficit of $10.8 million by 2016 if it cannot contain costs; currently, compensation packages consume nearly 90% of the district budget. The union says the district is not being truthful about the deficit. The most contentious issue is a freeze on automatic step-increases through the 2014-2015 school year. For the children, of course. Teachers are being asked to pay $200/month for the family medical plan instead of the $150 they currently pay and are being asked to pay their own share of the pension contribution — 9.3%. Currently the district is paying the teachers’ 9.3% share plus the district’s share — the 14% the state requires them to pay. Again, presumably for the children. The district even agreed to increase the teachers’ salaries so they would not see a change in their paychecks as a result of the pension adjustment.

The two sides are miles apart, and it’s understandable that tensions are high. But it’s doubtful that anyone in this all-American suburb expected the shocking behavior of the teachers. Media Trackers Ohio reported that Superintendent John Krupinski described the union’s tactics as coming out of Saul Alinsky’s playbook:

It’s like a playbook. It’s based on a book — a play-by-play replay of this book about how to strategize, and be successful in obtaining what you want. Rules for Radicals,” Krupinski said. “If you’ve read that book, that’s exactly the game plan that they’re pulling off. That’s the OEA playbook: Rules for Radicals.

Neighborhoods where the substitute teachers live were blanketed with bright pink flyers announcing, “Do you know a SCAB lives in your neighborhood?” The flyers give the names, addresses, and the phone numbers of the teachers and then rattle off a few SEA talking points, giving credence to the superintendent’s assertion that the union is using Alinsky tactics. Parents were stunned to see their friends and neighbors treated like this. “Who knows what this guy will go through?” said Dan Dubecky. “I don’t know him or his circumstances, but I’m sure he’s just a guy trying to work”

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.

In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review,. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third. She is also a member of the Wayne County Ohio Executive Committee.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I wouldn't be surprised if they imported them from Madison. Those WEA thugs have lots of experience.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First, they all use "Rules" tactics though usually they didn't learn them from "Rules" or even know of Alinsky or "Rules." They go, usually on paid time, to their union stewards training or if they're union paid staff they go to the AFL-CIO's Meany School or whatever training the National Extortion Association provides, but it is all the same. Since the late '80s you've had to know far more about communist political tactics than about collective bargaining to deal with public employee unions.

This union is being frantic because they must not own this school board as is the case with most school boards. The dirty little secret of teacher strikes is that if the teachers can either force an unwilling board or connive with a union owned board to shut down the schools, the teachers can strike until the public give in so they can get their babysitters back and the teachers won't lose a dime in pay for the strike. Since most states guarantee that Johnny will get his 180 days of school, the strike days are like snow days and they just get made up and the teachers aren't out a dime for all the trouble they caused the public. A school district management first should never let school start if they are at or near impasse with a teacher union. That way the citizens won't give up their summer daycare and other arrangements. Second, if the teachers strike at the beginning of the year and the school district can' or won't hire replacements, the strike has to be long enough that teachers start missing payments. Teachers, like almost all other public employees, rarely have any savings and even though most make good money, they're usually broke by payday. You need to be willing to have at least a six week strike. If you can hire replacements, then you need to by hook or crook keep the school open so that the days count towards Johnny's 180 and the teachers aren't essentially striking while on paid leave. You have to make it hurt them and they aren't used to getting hurt and will fold quickly once they feel some pain. Unions count on public management being unwilling to inflict any pain on the union.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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They should have been fired by now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I know exactly how to handle this. [http://1389blog.com/2012/12/18/only-one-way-to-eliminate-public-school-violence/] No violence whatsoever.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The biggest obstacles to good education remain the NEA and AFT. Even FDR recognized that public employee unions are like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

The irony is that if Ohio were to become a right to work state, I'd wager a month's pay that 80% or 90% of the teachers would quit the bloodsucking unions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ahem. Mr. President. When will you be calling a beer summit to deplore the intimidation tactics of these privileged government bureaucrats? By your silence you are condoning oppression and violence.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Death throes of a corrupt and bloated institution. Wonder how many of the students, when they grow up, will be willing to eat baloney while voting filet mignon wages and benefits for the next set of teachers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First, they all use "Rules" tactics though usually they didn't learn them from "Rules" or even know of Alinsky or "Rules." They go, usually on paid time, to their union stewards training or if they're union paid staff they go to the AFL-CIO's Meany School or whatever training the National Extortion Association provides, but it is all the same. Since the late '80s you've had to know far more about communist political tactics than about collective bargaining to deal with public employee unions.

This union is being frantic because they must not own this school board as is the case with most school boards. The dirty little secret of teacher strikes is that if the teachers can either force an unwilling board or connive with a union owned board to shut down the schools, the teachers can strike until the public give in so they can get their babysitters back and the teachers won't lose a dime in pay for the strike. Since most states guarantee that Johnny will get his 180 days of school, the strike days are like snow days and they just get made up and the teachers aren't out a dime for all the trouble they caused the public. A school district management first should never let school start if they are at or near impasse with a teacher union. That way the citizens won't give up their summer daycare and other arrangements. Second, if the teachers strike at the beginning of the year and the school district can' or won't hire replacements, the strike has to be long enough that teachers start missing payments. Teachers, like almost all other public employees, rarely have any savings and even though most make good money, they're usually broke by payday. You need to be willing to have at least a six week strike. If you can hire replacements, then you need to by hook or crook keep the school open so that the days count towards Johnny's 180 and the teachers aren't essentially striking while on paid leave. You have to make it hurt them and they aren't used to getting hurt and will fold quickly once they feel some pain. Unions count on public management being unwilling to inflict any pain on the union.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's been reported that a merry band of Alisnkyi agitators has been brought in from the Ohio Education Association to hold teach-ins [my word].
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wouldn't be surprised if they imported them from Madison. Those WEA thugs have lots of experience.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paula, do you know if any of these teachers can be fired based on their conduct?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's an interesting question. Article I of the SEA's offer includes a "no reprisal" clause that exempts "any and all actions and events" before, during and after the strike from disciplinary actions. However, the current contract in place does not include that section and the school boards "last best" offer makes no mention of it. http://bit.ly/XYYBWY

However, as one substitute teacher mentioned, the State Board of Education may have something to say about this, especially the two teachers who have been arrested:

(B) For any of the following reasons, the state board of education, in accordance with Chapter 119. and section 3319.311 of the Revised Code, may refuse to issue a license to an applicant; may limit a license it issues to an applicant; may suspend, revoke, or limit a license that has been issued to any person; or may revoke a license that has been issued to any person and has expired:
(1) Engaging in an immoral act, incompetence, negligence, or conduct that is unbecoming to the applicant’s or person’s position;




1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They can't be fired for participating in the strike. To some degree the speech, even offensive speech, is also a protected activity; where the line between protected and prohibited is depends on where an arbitrator, labor board, or the courts say it is. Picket line violence MAY get you fired but most tribunals would look at it the way they'd look at any workplace misconduct and it would depend on how egregious the misconduct was and the employee's tenure and record. Under the federal labor law, a picket line in front of the Police Station would be illegal because it isn't a workplace that employs teachers and the teachers aren't striking against the police department. I don't know Ohio law but few public sector laws have any of the provisions of the Taft-Hartley and Landrum-Griffin amendments to the National Labor Relations Act which regulate secondary boycots or other actions against non-struck employers. It might also turn on how integrated the SD and the city government are and if they're sufficiently integrated they might be considered all one employer.

State Board action would depend on who owns the State Board, and my money would be on the NEA.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Two teachers have already been arrested for unlawful actions. One was arrested for repeatedly (and unlawfully) blocking the driveway to the school, despite police orders to cease and desist.

A second teacher was arrested for reckless op. He drove his vehicle toward a van load of students to block them from entering the school parking lot.

The State Board has a conservative majority, including the president (though the liberals recently tried to oust her for posting a picture of Obama with a Hitler reference on her personal GB page).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Doubt either of those would get you fired and police cause all sorts of troubles because they usually don't know labor law and are all the time ordering pickets to do or not do stuff that falls into protected activities. Employers often have to fight off unfair labor practices over stuff the police did without the employer having done more than call the police to protect their property.

I'd be comfortable suspending a tenured, union teacher for either, as in suspension without pay of benefits for anywhere from ten to thirty days over either one. Generally, with unionized employees thirty days without pay means look at us sideways again and you're fired. I never had any trouble with firing a unionized public employee who had a thirty day suspension on their record and making it stick through arbitration and even court. In the unlikely event that either has to do time, the right move is to refuse to give them leave to go to jail and then fire them for not showing up at work. I've done quite a few jailhouse due process interviews that ended with the jailed employee being ordered to report to work for his next shift or be fired. 'Course, he was gonna be stayin' to the jail during his next shift so we'd fire him for insubordination. It's a dirty business.

The State Board could probably make a license suspension stick, but it depends on the Board and the courts. NEA doesn't lack for money or lawyers but they're not tough and they're not very skillful.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For what it's worth (and I think it's worth something significant), Strongsville has a strong and active Republican party and a strong Tea Party presence. The superintendent's familiarity with Saul Alinsky is telling. The last two levies failed, so he knew he probably had some political capital.

I've read in some comments that property values have dropped, despite the district's "Excellent with Distinction" rating (a scam that merely means very minimum standards have been met). People are waking up to the fact that teachers with million dollar pensions do unilaterally hold property values in their hands.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That should have read "do not" hold property values in their hands! :)

Also, I shoud add that very often, Republicans are not much better than the Dems in dealing with the "For the Children" propaganda. I was at a local GOP meeting a few years ago where a vote was taken to give a "vote of confidence" to support a school levy. Nearly every hand in the room went up with member after member rising to speak on behalf of the teachers. Not a single person defended the taxpayers. Because it's "For the Children," more money is always better, right? And as you said, Art, school boards are often dominated by union operatives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" And as you said, Art, school boards are often dominated by union operatives."
I think that's part of it but some parents are afraid of angering the teachers who teach their kids and others are afraid of angering neighbors who worry about property values. Other parents are just guilty of the 'throw money at it' solution to all of life's problems.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

"A second teacher was arrested for reckless op. He drove his vehicle toward a van load of students to block them from entering the school parking lot. "
I can't imagine this will be left unchallenged. Ohio's had more than its fair share of vehicular deaths in the past few days, as a parent I would personally see to it that this teacher was suspended. One good aspect of social media (as Paula pointed out) is the transparency it creates and the brainstorming it can foster in any community. I'm sure people in Strongsville are angry. Hopefully there are parents who are stepping forward into leadership positions. School boards ultimately answer to parents, but only when the parents demand it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
But this doesn't make major news although they hyperventilated for days about the supposed yelling of the "n" word at the Democrat who was going to vote for Obamacare ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
School board - or the taxpayers - need to go PATCO on the union.

Full disclosure: I oppose _all_ unions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unlike the PATCO situation, this appears to be a legal strike; you can replace them but you can't fire them and the union can legally insist that the replacement workers be fired as a condition of ending the strike.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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