Went to the rally last night to support our local teachers in their negotiations with the school district. The local union feels that the district is not negotiating in good faith, which has been an issue for the past 7-8 years or so. It has gotten to the point where 1500+ teachers showed up last night, along with former teachers like myself, put on black and walked to the district office for the board meeting.
It goes without saying (so I’ll say it here) that I support the teachers in this situation, having worked with them and been around good and bad bargaining for many years. These are people that I trust and know that it takes an awful lot to get them motivated to show up after work and have a protest. Even the elementary teachers were on hand, which is never a good sign for the district if they are upset.
I’m a big believer in the Constitution and our rights to assemble, speak, etc. So I took my kids to the rally also, so that they could see what sometimes needs to be done in order to make a point. Some might feel that it’s a waste of time and that the board/superintendent will not move on their positions. But you never know until you try. Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement in the US might be the best example of that but there are so many others in history. When I was a youngster, my parents had to go on strike as teachers and while I wasn’t sure of what was going on, there is a great old picture of me and my brother somewhere from the local newspaper, holding a sign supporting teachers. I’m glad my parents took me along for that and while the specific event may not have affected me later on, the general principles do. From what I understand, that strike lead to many years of good relationships between the teachers and district, because of both sides learning and trusting each other. That ended with a superintendent change and it appears that a similar progression is occuring locally now.
It makes me smile to think about all of those teachers last night, coming together, some who may not totally agree with the situation but still showing up to support the larger group. That can only mean good things for the local educators in the future, it brings them together and makes them more powerful. Ahhh, unintended consequences are fun.
This is a great country and it can only survive if we are allowed to protest, demonstrate, peaceably assemble, speak, etc.