Rise up parents! Force teacher unions to open the schools. Here's how

Haven't we had enough of these empty classrooms? (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

Haven't we had enough of these empty classrooms? (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

The teachers unions have declared war on out children and grandchildren by keeping them out of the classrooms. Now it's time to declare war on the unions.

The science is so clear that schools should be, must be, open that it can no longer be denied. Even the hopelessly partisan has to see it. Every day, another story or study reveals the high price that children are paying to satisfy the teachers union's craven demands.

Also beyond debate is how the teachers unions are the primary organized force against opening the schools to in-school instruction. Their acolytes are politicians captive of the unions by unabashedly dining on their generous campaign contributions.

Union leadership will try to justify their attack on the children by insisting that teachers must be protected from coronavirus infections. That no longer flies. The science unambiguously says that the teachers are  less endangered  than, say, grocery store clerks who daily risk their lives.

So, how do we get the schools open in the face of self-serving unions and cowardly politicians who won't do what's right for the children. Here's how:

By giving  the gutless teachers unions a taste of their own medicine.

The highest priority is to make teachers' strikes illegal, as they once were. Oh sure, getting fraidy-cat Illinois legislators and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to cut the cord is nearly impossible. But it's time to get the ball rolling, to make it a perennial issue that will gain steam over the years. Make the unions divert more of their  time, attention and money into fighting for their lives.

Direct action.Use Saul Alinsky tactics, so favored by the radical left and organized labor. I'm for picketing public officials in their homes, but if it comes to that, it must also be on the table. Teaxcher union officials deserve an ugly, in-your-face campaign.

Check out Alinsky's Rules for Radicalsthe bible of direct action. He refers to the other side as the "enemy" and it has come to the point that the teachers union leaders have become the enemy of our children.

Among Alinsky's rules:

  • Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  • Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
  • Keep the pressure on.
  • The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Target the union headquarters with noisy demonstrations. Research how the

Take a page from Saul Alinsky (Tribune archive)

Take a page from Saul Alinsky (Tribune archive)

teachers are benefiting--yes, benefitting--from the school closures. Are they still getting full salaries? What is their work load? Make friends in the media by giving them the kinds of stories they like, such as how the greedy are hurting the children, especially children in struggling and minority families.

Threaten to fight like crazy the next time a teacher contract comes up for renewal. Oppose pay, benefit and pension increases. Make yourself a force as powerful, if not more so, than organized labor.

Start recruiting candidates for school boards to challenge members who too easily cave into the union demands. Define the issue as one of independence and putting the children first.

Draw attention to the empty school rooms. Describe real life stories of the difficulty that parents and their children are experiencing.

The union leadership will go on the warpath, trying to cast parents who want their schools opened as heartless, cruel and spawn of satan. Turn that around on them: If anyone is cruel and heartless it is the union leader who demands complete loyalty from union members, whatever the cost to the students.

Parents, had enough yet?

Parents, had enough yet?

My teacher friends will hate me for saying all this and I regret that deeply. But just like Democrats blast Republicans for staying silent in the face of President Donald Trump's insanities, isn't it also time for rank-and-file teachers who truly love the children to stand up as unashamed advocates for those same children? Those who do will be castigated, but they will be real heroes,

Yes, the unions have the right to negotiate for higher pay, bigger pensions and munificent benefits, but shutting down the schools to feed their own self-interest cannot and must not be negotiable.

To paraphrase Karl Marx, parents of America, unite! You have nothing to lose but your children's chains.

Or paraphrase Howard Beale, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take this anymore!"

Related: A stacked deck.  Of all neighboring states,  Illinois alone gives government worker unions the power to strike.


Leave a comment
  • Respectfully, Dennis, isn't this rhetoric over the top, even for you? "Those who do [stand up] will be castigated, but they will be real heroes,"

  • I'm torn by the idea of insisting that children return to the propaganda mills of government schooling, but I've long been a devotee of Saul Alinsky, so I appreciate the idea of using the enemy's tactics against them. I especially get joy out of ridiculing progressives.

    You presented a good call to action, but I doubt that the cowed parents who are forced to send their kids to failing government schools have the will to act.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    May I ask, Richard, if you are a parent. and perhaps, a grandparent? I am both. I also taught for 35 years. So I know how difficult a job teaching can be.

    Perhaps, you have taught in a classroom yourself. If so, tell us.
    Where does your perspective on this issue derive from? Let's not be evasive, once more. Tell us.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    My comment was not directed at how HARD a job teaching is. It is about WHAT is taught. I have a handful of teachers that changed my life, and I had a lot of bad teachers. I'm sure you were an excellent teacher, though I wonder if you imposed your political ideas upon your classes.

  • So, Dennis, teachers are the enemy of the people? Sounds familiar.
    So Trumpian.

  • What's a teacher's workload, Dennis? You asked, but have you ever observed it? I observed my father, who taught in the same school from which my sister and I graduated, getting up at all hours to work on lab notebooks and exams that needed grading. He had five classes of about 30 kids each -- 150 times the homework I had. I shudder to think of trying to keep track of all of that on Zoom. The blackboard diagrams would have had to be written and broadcast somehow. THAT's a workload.

    By the way, I can think of times when all three of us (Dad, sister and me) would have the same cold or other bug. It was obvious to Mom that we got it at school and brought it home.

    I feel for the children, sure. They don't know how to get through this. But they are looking to their teachers for help and getting it.

  • I am a middle school teacher in Pennsylvania. And at the moment I am against the opening of schools. The educational process is also changing for the quarantine. And all teachers will receive new professional training from classroom learning to adaptive learning. Together with the committee, we are studying issues related to the difficulty of studying in quarantine. We are studying how this is handled in Europe. So, how the new educational process will take place, the curriculum itself will no longer be built around the classroom. But it will build around each student separately using new tools and services. For example, a student of several essays on different topics. He does not need to worry about grammar, and his task is to search for materials on different topics and send as references to his writer at https://edubirdie.com/pay-for-research-papers where they help him do the work. I witnessed how a sixth-grade student prepared 12 scientific papers in this way. And I understood the topic so deeply that the usual school curriculum does not provide for such a result. And all these methods are now being considered at the state level. Now I'm not sure what schools will open.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Visit my new website

    I'm a freelance writer, editor and author. I can help you with a wide variety of projects. Check out my new website at www.dennisbyrne.net

  • Subscribe to The Barbershop

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Dennis Byrne’s Facebook Fan Page

  • Like me on Facebook

  • Our National Debt

  • Twitter

  • Tags

  • Recent Comments

  • /Users/dennisby/Desktop/trailer.mp4
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: