Sunday, July 10, 2011

Confessions of a Unionized Thug: Why are Supporters of SB 5 so Angry?

Trust me, you don't want to get supporters of Senate Bill 5 mad.  If you do, and they run out of logical points to make, they start calling you names.

Recently, I posted a blog entry titled "Casey Anthony and the Hollow Promise of "School Reform."  I was trying to make a simple point:  that those who vilify public school teachers (and other public sector workers) overlook many important issues.

Todd Marion, apparently a fan of SB5, saw the title of my post (I don't think he read it) and responded on Facebook:  "Leave it to a lib to 'cash in' on a trajedy."

That wasn't quite what he wanted to get off his chest, so he posted again:  "Some nut goes on a shooting spree...ban guns. A devestating warming. An oil spill...stop drilling. Now this. What a scum bag!!!!"

A scum bag!  Ouch.

I don't think Todd quite got my point.  So let me try again.  My point is that A LOT of problems we see in schools relate to terrible parents, and the pipe dream belief that we can "test" our way out of the mess we're in is kind of...well...stupid.  Yes, I'm sorry to say this, Todd, but I think Kasich's plan to "fix" education in this state is stupid.

I think SB 5 is stupid.

Todd was still mad, and wasn't done.  It might be me, but it seems a lot of conservatives spend a lot of time stewing and angry, and spend a lot of the time when they're angry venting about public sector workers.  I mentioned to Todd that as a teacher I had probably done more to help real kids than he ever would.  That made an angry man angrier.  He responded: "Comparing the parent of a failing child to a murderer is absolutely ridiculous. However, I'm never surprised by how low you union thugs will go. Typical liberal rhetoric.....never let a good trajedy go to waste. You should be ashamed of yourself."

But I wasn't ashamed of myself.  I was only mystified by Todd's unreasoning fury.  So I looked up "thug" in my dictionary.  The first defnition was:  "a vicious or brutal gangster or ruffian."  The second choice was:  "a member of a religious organization of robbers and assassins in India."

I wondered:  was Todd, the fan of SB 5, insulting my religious views?  Or did he know something the cops (also unionized thugs) didn't know?  I don't think my teacher friends or I have brutally attacked anyone.  All I've seen happening is peaceful protests up in Columbus and some industrious gathering of 1.3 million signatures to overturn this foolish law.  I wondered again.  Was Todd against freedom of speech?  Was he against the right to assemble?  Did he want to take away the right of workers to petition?  Why was Todd so ANGRY?

Todd's next post was brief:  an apology for mis-typing "tragedy."  I let it go.  Typing isn't my forte, either.  Todd and I share that bond.

Michael -----, a second supporter of SB 5, jumped into the discussion and explained that he was halfway through my post.  From what he had read to that point he responded, "I'm reading this article now, and not to far into it, it says we need to get rid of the bad teachers as fast as we can........With SB5 in place, it will be a reality, not a pipe dream..........;)"

Now it was my turn to respond.  Todd seems to be stewing in bile, which seems true of a lot of people who attack unionized workers; but I would try.  I don't FEEL like a unionized thug.  I feel like a guy who's a good father.  I feel like a guy who was a dedicated teacher.  I feel like many of the right-wing attacks on working Americans are fueled by illogic. 

I told Todd that I believed standardized testing (a linch-pin of SB 5) was NEVER going to help kids who need help in our schools most:  kids whose parents are sick psychopaths, kids like Casey Anthony's daughter, who live with evil at home.  I told him I wanted to know how more vouchers were going to solve our biggest problems when Hamilton County, alone, had 8500 cases of child abuse and neglect in one year.  I wanted some angry conservative, Michael or Todd or Governor Kasich himself, to tell me how vouchers would help when the PARENTS don't really care.  I wanted someone to tell me how taking bargaining rights away from teachers would solve problems in Scioto County, where reports indicate that one out of ten babies born now has illegal prescription drugs in his or her blood.

I guess I just don't see how attacking public sector workers is going to help education or Ohio children.

So:  let me wish Todd and supporters of SB 5 well.  I hope they can get over some of that angry, because it's not good for the health.

Meanwhile, I'll be leaving Cincinnati on July 20 to bicycle my way to California.  Yep, this unionized thug is taking it on the road in an effort to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

I did a similar ride back in 2007; and with the help of great students and the Loveland, Ohio community, where I used to teach, we raised $13,500.

Now, I'm riding for the cause again and it makes me feel good about myself and my liberal views and my life-long commitment (similar to almost every teacher I ever met) to helping real kids.

Maybe Todd will donate.  It might make him feel better.

I started my ride at Acadia National Park and rode 1200 miles in June, back to Cincinnati.
Another 2800 miles to go and my ride will take me through Yosemite National Park
and down to the Pacific coast.
If you would like to donate to help find a cure for type-1 diabetes please click HERE

(This single click takes you to my fund-raising page.  There, click again on "donate to this event."  Then click "Biking and Painting for Diabetes."


  1. John: Unfortunately, us westerners don't know details of SB5, so I won't go there. But, as a director of a large CA food bank, I see, day in and day out, the evidence of today's broken families; single, part-time parents and a bunch of kids; or, guardians/grandparents raising kids - for half of today's kids, they have no father or mother figure and come to school with little or no social skills.
    We see, daily, our fifth generation of welfare families, many with an entitlement mentality and little respect for education or getting a job as a result.
    Of course, I have also find today's educational culture of tenured teachers to be of little help, as well; as in the private sector, bad employees (bad teachers) should be weeded out.
    But until we get back to a culture of parents with responsibility, and responsibly raising kids, I see little hope of raising our kid's overall performance, related to other developed countries. And, of course, Todd is an idiot! Tim V.

  2. Your points are valid. May I remind you that this whole dispute should not be politically evaluated, but looked at from the point of view of what is best for ALL of our children and grandchildren and beyond. Not what teachers and/or unions want or desire through their union leaders.

  3. blaming others means it is not your responsibility