KENOSHA – Apparently there’s no room for free thought or disagreement within the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
We suppose that’s not terribly surprising for a group that has to force its members to join.
Still, it’s troubling to hear that Kristi LaCroix, the courageous public school teacher who had the guts to film a television ad supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s reforms, is being harassed by union zealots to the point where she wants to change careers.
LaCroix, who teaches at Lakeview Technology Academy in the Kenosha school district, recently posted the following on her Facebook page, according a news story from WISN 1130:
“Going through and deleting my daily amount of hate mail that is sent to my work email. I have now been assured, by one of the emails (all of which I forward to my Principal) that there is an online movement called ‘Fire Kristi‘ where they are going to email, post and talk to everyone (telling) millions of stories to ruin my reputation, career and life.
“Kind of hard to keep my head up with stuff like this. I have said for a couple of years that I really need to leave teaching. I think that it is time for me to move on.”
Here’s a sample of an email that’s been sent to LaCroix:
“On Facebook there are lots of people willing to join the Fire Kristi movement. You are alone in a wilderness. Your financial help from the likes of the Koch brothers will dry up once your liabilities outweigh your assets, which will be very soon. Your best bet is to start a job search soon. Enjoy your isolation.”
Teachers unions and bullying
Now wait just a minute. We could have sworn we recently read something about teachers unions in various states working to curb school bullying.
Apparently they don’t practice what they preach.
Some moron who runs the website “Free Wisconsin” (myplayfulself.com) describes LaCroix and other teachers who have the courage to speak out as “a minuscule minority of teachers (mostly female and blond).” Are all male WEAC supporters (or members) this openly sexist?
He also identified the member of the Waukesha school board (Karen Rajnicek) who appeared in another Walker ad, and published her address and phone number, obviously to encourage prank calls and harassment.
The disgusting people attacking LaCroix and Rajnicek are probably the same folks who threatened business owners who refused to put anti-Walker signs in their windows, or who terrorized the Catholic elementary school in Milwaukee where Walker read to children earlier this year.
These are some of the same folks, by the way, who “teach” thousands of Wisconsin children every day.
If Big Labor is known for anything, it’s lowering itself to whatever disgusting level is necessary to get what it wants. In the world of collective bargaining and group think, the end always justified the means, regardless of how nasty the tactics might be.
We find it interesting that union members want to get LaCroix fired, yet scream bloody murder when anyone mentions the possibility of firing incompetent teachers. Union leaders and radical union teachers are all about self-preservation. They are not about quality education or the best interests of students.
We believe the people of Wisconsin are starting to figure that out, due largely to outrageous behavior like the constant harassment of a teacher who dares to disagree with the almighty WEAC.
A teacher with the courage to speak out
Teachers like LaCroix do not turn against their unions for the fun of it. They do so after years of watching a very political, power-hungry organization suck the life out of public schools and kill opportunities for students.
LaCroix is one of those teachers who just wants to teach, without the constant distraction of organized labor. Consider the following from her Facebook page:
“I have sat by for my 14 years and have been saddened by the amount of non-learning that is allowed to take place in our school. The unions are destroying public education and it makes me sick that these are the people who represent the teachers who are wonderful, do a good job and are a vital part of childrens’ lives.
“I just don’t fit in the education system. I would like to actively search for a new job where I can still work with kids and not have to work for public education. I just want a classroom, students and to be left alone to teach.”
You’re absolutely right, Ms. LaCroix. You do not fit into a public education system that in many cities has become little more than a financial grab bag for multi-million dollar teachers unions. You do not fit into a system that protects incompetent teachers and fails to reward excellent ones.
But you do sound like a dedicated educator who cares about kids. That means you would probably fit quite nicely into a charter or private school. And perhaps someday, when taxpayers reclaim their schools from the self-serving unions, you can go back and work in public schools that are focused solely on the single issue that should concern them – student learning.