Students Matter–the billionaire-supported lawsuit to strip California teachers of tenure rights–produced a phony endorsement of their cause by Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and iconic civil rights leader. When Huerta learned that this anti-union group was twisting her words, she demanded that they remove her name and words from their advertising.
“Huerta expressed shock when she was told there was a Students Matter press release on its website claiming she had endorsed the lawsuit.
“I never said that,” she said regarding the quote in the release….
“This just goes to show you the extremes that the backers of this case will go to push their agenda,” said Claudia Briggs, a spokesperson for the California Teachers Association (CTA), one of Vergara‘s defendants….
“Huerta joined educators and community members for a news conference…and spoke of her opposition to the lawsuit, which she says is not focused on improving the educational system in the state. The only way to do that, she said, is to provide more support for teachers, adding that they deserve better salaries, fewer students in their classrooms and the support of their principals.
“The founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation also talked about the importance of teachers having a strong voice for students and described how Students Matter misrepresented details of the case in an attempt to get her support.
“In a CTA/CFT press release, she said: “I strongly believe in providing all children with equal access to a quality public education, and that starts with having educators who have the professional rights to stand up and speak out for the students in their classrooms. Students Matter is attempting to deceive the courts and public opinion in the same way they attempted to deceive me and it’s time to tell the truth.” Huerta’s cease-and-desist letter demanded that RALLY “cease the use of my name and image on your website, studentsmatter.org and all collateral digital platforms and materials.”
“In the letter, she added, “I am extremely disheartened and disappointed in the way you misrepresented the facts in order to get me to align with your organization and in particular the Vergara v. State of California lawsuit. I am now very much aware of your agenda and it is in direct conflict with my beliefs that every child deserves a quality teacher who understands our students’ issues while maintaining their job protections.”
“Having carefully reviewed the facts, I do NOT support the Vergara v. State of California lawsuit,” she wrote. “All my life I have worked to fight discrimination, uphold the rights of workers and improve social and economic conditions for our students and their families. I am not going to stop now by aligning myself with an organization that blatantly misrepresents the facts and pushes an agenda to strip workers of their rights for the financial gain of its backers.”