There has been a raging Twitter debate about whether my post “Hero Teachers of Newtown” disrespected Teach for America (which was not mentioned in the post) and non-unionized teachers. Some claim that I “politicized” the tragedy by pointing out that all those who died were members of a teachers’ union and many had tenure. Let us not forget that the political attacks on teachers, on tenure, on public schools, and on unions have been intense these past three years. I think the post is self-evident and speaks for itself. But others have useful comments. Here is Katie Osgood:
What a ridiculous debate. Diane’s post was a beautiful reminder of the work that teachers REALLY do every day. It points out that the slander and misinformation regarding unions, tenure, testing, evaluation, and teacher quality of EdReformers everywhere is completely unfounded and cruel.
What the teachers at Sandy Hook did was indeed heroic. But I would also like to point out that those 20 precious children are not the only children dying from gun violence. Here in Chicago, we have lost literally hundreds of children’s lives due to violence in the past year alone: http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2012/12/the-children-are-dying/The teachers who work with these young people, who support the survivors after yet another tragedy strikes their streets, deserve our admiration and respect. Instead, teachers are constantly maligned in the media, called names by reformers and politicians, and accused of being stupid, lazy, and selfish. This bashing is wrong.
This tragedy simply points us back to how important and heroic our teachers are and how we MUST do a better job of protecting our children. So let’s talk about mental health, about gun control, about schools as safe spaces (not little no excuses prisons), and for god’s sake let’s talk about poverty, inequality, and racism. Afterall, why are we only shocked when the children who die are white and middle class? Parents weep every day here in Chicago.
And please, all you EdRefomers and TFAers, be quiet and show our nation’s teachers some respect for once. Shameful…