Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Teachers can be awesome when they want to be

In all of our railings against public employee unions and the harm they visit on taxpayers and businesses, it's important that we recognize that the anti-freedom actions taken by these unions are directed by the union leadership (who very often are full-time employees of the union itself and are not individual teachers, cops, and firemen). The OC Register had a great story today about a retiring junior high school history teacher whose passion for U.S. History has made lasting impacts on his students, most notably with trips to Washington, D.C., enabling young students to touch and experience our nation's heritage in a tangible way that most will never find in textbooks. I remember vividly my trip to Washington, D.C. in eighth grade, and I very much look forward to making it back to the original 13 colonies as often as possible during my self-directed journey through the founding of our country, as well as taking my son Riley to see it for himself.

I don't know Craig Wallace's political leanings, but since I'd respect what he's done in the classroom no matter what they are, I want him and teachers like him to be able to make their own decisions to back the actions of the union leadership with their union dues or plausibly distance themselves from those actions. California's "paycheck protection" initiative has been qualified for the ballot on the next election, whenever that happens (hopefully this Fall), and hopefully the governor will get behind it and help the freedom-loving members of the unions extricate themselves from the yoke of the union leadership. I'm very curious to see what spin the unions are going to put on this initiative, what words they'll use to oppose it. It's not about pay or tenure or benefits or hiring/firing quotas or anything like that. The initiative is based on a very simple notion that union members should have a choice whether their union dues go to support causes they may vehemently disagree with. Anything the big unions will be able to say against it will sound like they're forcing individual teachers, cops, and firemen to go along with everything the leadership says - hardly a pro-freedom stance.


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