Teachers' Union Apparently Resolved to Double Down on Militancy in the Coming Year

AP Photo/Seth Wenig,File
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A year ago at this time, most of us were celebrating the demise of 2021 and looking ahead to the new year confident things couldn’t get worse.


And maybe they didn’t, but it’s hard to see where they got much better.

For the most part, the COVID pandemic that defined the previous two years is behind us, but the policy failures and economic havoc wreaked by a chief executive more beholden to the radical fringe of his political base than to the population in general somehow managed to get even worse in 2022.

Today, Americans are poorer, weaker, and more divided than at any time in recent history — and not by accident.

Sadly, it seems to be the goal of those largely responsible for electing the current president to defile and degrade everything positive about this country in hopes of producing a citizenry permanently dependent on the government they alone are permitted to control.

And no group better personifies this toxic truth or exerts more influence over Joe Biden than the leaders of Big Labor in general and teachers’ unions in particular.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has found himself more than once sitting across the negotiating table from such despots as North Korea’s Chairman Kim and China’s Xi Jinping, last month unsparingly told an interviewer the greatest threat to our constitutional republic is American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten.

“And it’s not a close call,” he said.

As an individual, Weingarten’s shrill, attention-seeking outbursts seem almost clownish. Even the left-leaning media can’t entirely resist lampooning her antics. Meanwhile, the organization she leads — in concert with the even larger National Education Association (NEA) — no longer even pretends to be an advocate for teachers or, even more improbably, education.


Not only do these organizations ferociously resist any rule or regulation that might hold themselves accountable for achievement scores that had plummeted even before students spent the better part of the past two school years exiled to a union-demanded homeschool purgatory, but now they’re insisting they — not parents or even the teachers they claim to represent — be given sole authority over what our youngsters are taught.

We now have the lowest test scores in math and reading in 30 years.

But wait, there’s more.

Not surprisingly, the unions’ preferred curriculum gives short shrift to outdated subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, hard science or, heaven forbid, civics. In their place, Weingarten and her acolytes would substitute a witches’ brew that emphasizes racial scapegoating, environmental scaremongering, revisionist history, and unapologetic admiration for all things socialist.

But it gets even worse.

In addition to transforming taxpayer-supported public schools whose goal should be to turn out educated, productive, well-adjusted young adults into the sort of indoctrination center more commonly associated with a Soviet gulag, teachers’ unions have now added sexual deviance to their to-do list.

Case in point: An Ohio teachers’ union — with the apparent blessing of local school district authorities — not only permits but actively encourages educators to wear an “I’m Here” badge identifying themselves as someone with whom even the youngest of students can safely (translation: without the knowledge, let alone permission, of their parents) discuss highly sensitive questions of sexuality and gender identity.


The badge worn by participating teachers helpfully includes a QR code that, when scanned by a smartphone, directs the unwitting student to a variety of online resources, including several with step-by-step instructions for a laundry list of alternative sexual techniques and practices.

The only thing more jaw-dropping than the sheer hubris of making such obviously inappropriate programs available in the first place is the union leaders’ feeble attempts to cover their tracks by, a.) lying about it and, b.) demonizing anyone who dares expose their scheme.

Weingarten, who has been president of the AFT since 2008, told The Guardian she believes Pompeo was attacking her because she is “Jewish, gay, teacher and union.”

“It’s all of the above,” Weingarten said. “It’s an anti-public school strategy. The anti-Semitic tropes are there. The anti-gay tropes are there. It’s anti-union. It’s anti-teacher. It’s all of the above. But the effect is it really hurts what teachers are trying to do to help kids every single day.”

Ironically, Weingarten’s own anti-Semitic diatribes have been well-documented. She doesn’t speak for Jews or gays. Nor does she speak for teachers, as the growing wave of AFT and NEA members opting out of their union in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME proves conclusively.


Whether the sort of lessons she wants her members to teach “help kids every single day” is a matter to be decided by the very parents whose values she holds in such obvious contempt.

And the sooner that happens, the better for everyone concerned.


Jeff Rhodes is the vice president of news and information at the Freedom Foundation. www.FreedomFoundation.com


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