(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
It seems every other week, another teachers’ union or school district reveals its true narcissistic nature and willingness to hold children and parents hostage to their political and personal preferences.
The Freedom Foundation has exposed numerous examples from coast to coast of teachers’ unions trying to delay a return to normalcy from New York City, to Chicago, to Los Angeles.
Already this year, emergency orders have been filed by parents in federal court to prevent public schools from attempts to switch back to remote learning in Michigan and New Jersey, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot kept hammering the Chicago Teachers Union until they found an excuse to come back to the bargaining table and return to the classroom while other demands are worked out.
Just this past weekend, within hours of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s swearing in and executive order banning school mask mandates and returning the choice of masking children where it belongs (with the parents), the leftist D.C. suburbs of Arlington County, Fairfax County and Alexandria City public schools released statements announcing their mask mandates would remain in place, regardless of the Commonwealth’s new leadership.
Where did these school districts and teachers’ unions get such hubris?
Who or what gave them the idea they could decide and dictate policy that impacts untold numbers of lives?
The unelected bureaucrats and technocrats who formulate national policy, unfortunately.
We all know by now that the Centers for Disease Control took its marching orders on school reopening from Randi Weingarten and the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second-largest teachers’ union.
Just last week, we learned that the infamous letter from the National School Boards Association asking the FBI for help against what it deemed the “dangerous threat” of angry parents at school board meetings originated from Joe Biden’s Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona.
Only hours later, Americans discovered that Big Tech had been summoned to stifle parental voices critical of, well, Critical Race Theory. This time, the directive came from the National Education Association.
But one event last week perhaps showcased better than most what fuels this extreme arrogance on the part of teachers’ union leaders and their activist minions in the public school system, and that was a disgusting, groveling speech U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy gave to teachers and representatives during an American Federation of Teachers webinar.
Read as much as you can of this transcript, or watch the video here, beginning 21 minutes into the presentation:
(Murthy to Randi Weingarten)
“You’ve done so much for our country over the last couple of years, really helping us understand how to take care of our kids during this difficult time. So, I appreciate your leadership, your friendship, your partnership and for everything you’re doing for our children.”
(Murthy to the AFT webinar attendees)
“And to everyone who’s listening today, I just want to thank each of you for being with us and for everything you have done to protect our kids and make sure that they are learning over the last two years.
“There’s something I’ve always felt that both medicine and education have in common, and that is that both professions are truly a calling, and what sets a calling apart in the professional landscape is that whenever we are called, especially when it’s scary, or hard, or unprecedented, we answer that call, and that’s exactly what you’ve done everyday in the classroom through your work with children.
“You’ve been extraordinary leaders and partners in ensuring that our kids have a safe and supportive learning environment.
“You and your peers answered the call during this pandemic, there’s no doubt about that. And that made an already difficult job much harder. I know that and I so appreciate you for it.”
The Surgeon General of the United States addressed the president of a teachers’ union as though she were a head of state — and the AFT members as though they had the Midas touch.
It got worse:
“We will not forget your service, your bravery and your sacrifice, and when we do make it through the other side of this pandemic, we will continue to have your back as you recover and heal.
“So, thank you again, and really looking forward to the conversation that Randi and I are going to have.”
As you (teachers) recover and heal?
Never mind that children in school districts run by these teachers’ unions have been set back years in academic potential, or that we’re in the midst of a mental health crisis among children as young as elementary school, and substance abuse and suicide attempts are on the rise in numbers we’ve never before seen.
The teachers’ union activists have the praise, admiration and obedience of the country’s highest-ranking leaders. And it goes without saying that when enough people in positions of power defer to you on decision-making and execution, you’ll begin to act like you’re in charge.
That’s why we’ve begun referring to her as President Randi Weingarten.