Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's Ten Thirty On Thursday Morning, Do You Know Where Your Teacher Is?

Younger readers may not remember the TV ad of the 50's and 60's which asked a similar question to encourage parents to keep track of their kids. The ad was a reminder that 10:30 pm was the curfew time on a school night.

If you are a parent in Wisconsin, perhaps you think the ad should be revived with the above question instead. Particularly if you were wondering why your children's school was closed. It seems there was an illness that was widespread among teachers in Milwaukee, Madison and Janesville. So many called in sick that the schools were locked up. The epidemic was confined to those cities and thankfully the children didn't seem to have the same malady.

All kidding aside, there is a serious problem afoot in America's dairy land and many other states as well. And I have been asked to write about it, so I will. I try to avoid pontificating on these well covered stories in favor of letting the more well informed and more talented writers and commentators do it because... well because... Ok, I'll admit it, because I stink by comparison. But I promised so I will make two quick points instead of pontificating.

No matter what your opinion is on the issues there or which "side" you are on politically, there are points worth making in my opinion.

First, the lawmakers who have fled their state and are hiding like common criminals to avoid doing the job they were elected to do are cowards. They should be impeached, arrested (what they are doing may be a crime) or just plain unelected next time up no matter where people stand on the budget arguments. They were sent to represent their fellow citizens and they have abdicated. Cowards, all of them.

Second, the education employees who called in sick are cowards as well. They have a job to do. They promised to educate the kids but they broke that promise so they could flex their political muscle at the expense of the kids and in violation of their legal and moral commitment. Even if you agree with them on the budget issues, you should be mad as hell. They should be sued for breach of contract, disciplined or simply not rehired next time up, the same way as any employee of any private company should be. It takes no courage to do what they are doing.

So if I lived in Wisconsin I would have one question for each of them at the next town hall meeting or teacher conference. Where were you at 10:30 am on Thursday Feb. 17, 2011?

This article was cross-posted to WhatWeThinkAndWhy


By Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
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