Leonie Haimson is a leading parent activist in New York City and a co-founder of Parents Across America, which keeps tabs on the depredations of the corporate reformers.
Here is Leonie’s take on l’affaire Campbell Brown. One would think that Michelle Rhee and her organization StudentsFirst would be wary of getting too deep in the weeds with the issue of sexual misconduct. Yet they seem to want to exploit it to the full in a fact-free fashion.
The text of Leonie’s commentary follows, in full:
Campbell Brown was the first witness chosen to testify at the Cuomo Commission hearings last week, all about how the UFT protects sex abusers. She repeated the same claims in the WSJ a few days later.
Bloomberg & Students1st NY (which essentially works for him, under the direction of Micah Lasher) are pushing a bill in the legislature, S.7497, that would allow him to fire any teacher accused of abuse, no matter what the arbitrator decided.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Brown’s husband Dan Senor, a senior Romney advisor, is also on the board of Students1st. There is more on this here and here – including about how Rhee’s own husband, Kevin Johnson has been accused of sexually molesting a minor under his supervision.
Here is the Students1st NY email blast sent out today:
We need your help, right now, to speak out against sexual misconduct in our school — and against sexism in the education debate.
On Monday, Emmy Award-winning journalist Campbell Brown — who previously served as White House Correspondent for NBC and as an anchor for CNN — wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how New York law, supported by the teacher’s union, keeps sexual predators in the classroom.
Last night, the union responded — by attacking Campbell’s husband (who, among other things, serves on our Board).
National teachers union president Randi Weingarten took to Twitter and started republishing comments about Campbell’s “hubby” and his political views — as if Campbell’s accomplishments and perspective on this issue didn’t count. This morning, many of Ms. Weingarten’s colleagues have pursued the same line of attack.
Will you help us send a message that sexual misconduct has no place in our schools, and that sexism has no place in this debate?
Click here to speak out on Twitter. Tell Ms. Weingarten that she should focus more on protecting kids and less on sexist spin. Please use #protectourkids.
Of course, the union is looking for anything to distract from the issue at hand: that the union fights tooth-and-nail against giving school districts the authority to terminate anyone who engages in sexual misconduct.
Hopefully, if enough people speak out, we can convince the teachers union to put down the poison pen (and keyboard) and join us in trying to do something about this issue.
Click here to make your voice heard. Urge the union to put students first.
Chandra M. Hayslett
Director of Communications