Thanks to a reader who sent this story in his comment about an earlier post.
When students falsely accused a teacher in Portland, Oregon, of inappropriately touching them, the teacher decided not to remain silent. That was in 2000.
He sued the students and their families. He won a $70,000 judgment and apologies.
Of course, his reputation was dragged through the mud. And his life appeared to be ruined.
But he didn’t take it. He didn’t keep his mouth shut.
He fought back and won.
I have been thinking a lot about this question of why teachers have become targets of so much abuse.
In part, it is because the attackers proclaim how much they love teachers, how much they respect teachers, and don’t we all want “great” teachers? It is a deliberate, calculated ploy to mislead. And they use it to attack collective bargaining, seniority, tenure, experience, credentialing and the very profession of teaching.
The attackers know that teachers can’t fight back, won’t fight back, and are easy targets.
Teachers are law-abiding by definition; teachers tell children to behave, so they too “behave,” and let others smear them.
Learn from ACT-UP. Learn from Occupy Wall Street.
Don’t be silent. Silent=complicity.