Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pixie v. Arnold

CTA Director Pixie Hayward-Schickele once said, "When I became a teacher, I didn't realize I would have a big target on me, but that's how I feel now with this governor..." *

For some years now, we have noticed that bull's eyes have been turning up of the backs of teachers across the country. It turns out that the practice began long before Arnold began attacking teacher unions.

In fact, after interviewing some teachers with the bull's eyes pinned to their backs, we discovered that Pixie herself had attached several of the distinctive yellow targets to several teachers.

"That was different," Pixie explains. "Those were teachers who had gone off-message. Sometimes good teachers get in the way of CTA, and we must protect the group. The many are more important than the few. If you don't believe me, just ask Beverly Tucker and Carolyn Doggett."

This is the Pixie we love. Don't ever talk like a victim again, Pixie! Arnold is a fly-by-night politicitian. Ignore him. CTA kicks butt all over California. CTA rules! Own it!

* Reported by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, by Lindsey Gill, November 3, 2005

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hazing in Mountain Empire School District

Pat Judd, superintendent of Mountain Empire School District, has made it clear that hazing of students will not be tolerated. On October 30, 2006, twenty freshman football players were led into a locker room, and had their heads dunked into a toilet while it was flushing.

Eight perpetrators were suspended for three days, and placed on social probation for 30 days. This cost the school some athletic trophies and concession income from football games.

Judd was right. Schools do NOT have to win trophies, but they DO have to teach respect for other human beings. And they DO have to keep students safe.

So why does Judd cover up hazing of teachers by teachers? This type of abuse does tremendous harm to the education system. Abusive teachers rule the roost, and excellent teachers are forced out of schools. Kids see it, and learn from it. Judd was a leader in the cover-up of Castle Park Elementary School criminal hazing in 2001. He used hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to hire lawyers to cover up wrongdoing.

What's the difference between the two cases? Judd couldn't cover up the toilet dunking. He thought he could cover up the teacher hazing.

Congratulations to Fred Kamper!

California Teachers Association members are proud of local affiliate president Fred Kamper, who won a seat last month on the school board of Mountain Empire Unified School District in San Diego County, California.

We do not take kindly to false allegations against our presidents. We will spend all the teacher dues necessary to protect union leaders from the consequences of their actions. In Mr. Kamper's case, he was persecuted because his lips accidentally touched the arm of a student whose perfume he was smelling. He was demoted from principal to teacher.

Then, the district was sued for allowing Kamper to repeatedly sit a student on his lap and rub her thighs. The district apparently thought it had done enough for Kamper when it vehemently denied his guilt, and paid off the family of the girl for dropping the lawsuit.

We don't think that was enough.

They forced him to resign, and that made us mad.

We wanted Kamper back, and we got him. He is now on the school board. He is still being persecuted by parents, but the huge majority of teachers support him. The leaders in Burlingame can be counted on to back us up. Barbara Kerr, David Sanchez and Dean Vogel care about union leaders. They know we have to stick together and support our leaders when parents start moaning about their children. Can you believe that some parents in Mountain Empire Unified School District actually had tears of rage in their eyes when Kamper was seated at his first board meeting?

Parents seem to think that school politics and students are closely connected, but they are not. School government is on a completely separate level from the students. It actually has very little to do with the children and their classrooms. This separation makes it much easier for board members to make decisions that might impact negatively on the classroom.