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If Teachers Wonít Teach, Follow Ronald Reaganís Example and Fire Them
Townhall.com ^ | August 5, 2020 | Bob Barr

Posted on 08/05/2020 10:17:41 AM PDT by Kaslin

When 13,000 air traffic controllers walked off the job in August 1981, President Ronald Reagan had this to say: “Tell them when the strike’s over, they don’t have any jobs.” The media, not yet fully familiar with the seriousness with which Reagan intended to govern, scoffed at the president’s threat. But it was not a bluff. Two days later, when more than 11,000 controllers refused to come back, Reagan fired them all. It was a powerful move, and demonstrated to the entire country that essential public employees serve the public, not union bosses. America’s public school teachers should be reminded of this fact.

With thousands of teachers across the country currently protesting a return to the classroom because of COVID fears, Reagan’s example is particularly relevant. Like air traffic controllers, teachers sign employment contracts. While air traffic controllers contract with the federal government and teachers with local school districts, the principle is the same: perform the duties for which you were hired, or be fired.

Teachers who refuse to teach in the setting for which they were hired – the classroom – need to stop acting like scared bunnies and grow up. If they truly are “essential” workers, as they remind us repeatedly, then they need to start behaving like other essential employees and get back to work.

Many businesses, unfortunately, have been forced by the government to shut down wholly or in part in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, and this is having a devastating effect on our national economy. Amidst this devastation, public schools in virtually every jurisdiction across the country ended the school year early after COVID hit our shores in March.

Unlike commercial businesses, however, the prolonged closure of schools has ramifications far beyond the economic. Moreover, educating children is a process that cannot be switched on and off like a production line; the damage to young minds that are allowed to lie fallow month after month, or which are presented with “virtual” learning in place of human-to-human interface, creates learning voids not easily replenished.

“Teaching” means, if anything, working with students as well as encouraging students to work with other students in a social setting for the purpose of learning essential skills and acquiring essential knowledge. “Virtual” teaching is not teaching at all; it is cinematography – nothing more than an adult (the “teacher”) speaking to a camera, with an audience of one (the “student”) at the end of the electronic transmission watching a screen. Raw information may be thus transmitted, but not true knowledge.

What many public school teachers and their union bosses at the National Education Association appear to be setting as the price for them to return to the classroom, is a guarantee that the environment will be 100% percent COVID-free at all times. Such a condition is, of course, impossible to meet and essentially allows the teachers to avoid a return to their job site for the foreseeable future.

Moreover, demanding a zero-risk premise for classroom teaching sends the message to students (and everyone else for that matter) that risk-avoidance is the highest and most desirable goal for society. This further erodes the principle on which America’s greatness heretofore has been premised – that society advances not by avoiding challenges, but by meeting and overcoming them.

There might perhaps be somewhat more compassion for the our-way-or-the-highway posture being taken by these public school teachers had they and their union not spent decades working to ensure that public education remained the only practical option for millions of families across America. Unionized teachers continue to vilify homeschooling and oppose providing taxpaying parents any meaningful ability to choose where to send their children to be educated.

No teacher should be forced to go into the classroom against their will. However, if local government leaders properly equip them with personal protective equipment and mandate reasonable protocols within the schools to minimize the risk of COVID, and if teachers and their unions then still refuse to teach in school, it is time to “pull a Reagan” and fire them. The money saved from thinning educational bloat of protesting teachers and useless district administrators with nothing to do, can be returned to parents who are struggling to pay for alternatives to ensure their children actually have a productive school year.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: coronavirus; school
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1 posted on 08/05/2020 10:17:41 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Oh, he didn’t fire them ... they quit.


2 posted on 08/05/2020 10:18:17 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham ("God is a spirit, and man His means of walking on the earth.")
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To: Kaslin

My local teachers do fine.

This is another area where people want to nationalize education. I disagree. If we were to nationalize education, my town’s superior schools would be dragged down to the mean. That would kills my home’s value.

Why is it everyone is interested in nationalizing everything. Schools opening or not is up to the State or Local Board. The government has NO say.

Did ANYONE take 4th grade civics?


3 posted on 08/05/2020 10:20:36 AM PDT by Vermont Lt
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To: Kaslin

Save America!

Defund the Education System!


4 posted on 08/05/2020 10:21:17 AM PDT by SaxxonWoods (Prediction: G. Maxwell will surprise everyone by not dying anytime soon.)
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To: SaxxonWoods

Fire anyone who won’t come to work.


5 posted on 08/05/2020 10:22:06 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp???)
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To: Kaslin

I agree, teach or resign.


6 posted on 08/05/2020 10:23:18 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (#openupstateny)
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To: Kaslin

There is a fallacy in the reasoning.

Teachers are local and not subject to Federal jurisdiction. Teachers are employed by local school boards that are owned by the teachers unions.

The function of educational funding is to line the pockets of educators


7 posted on 08/05/2020 10:24:06 AM PDT by bert ( (KE. NP. N.C. +12) Progressives are existential American enemies)
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To: Kaslin

I don’t think they should be fired. Some of them may be old or have conditions. I don’t blame them for not wanting to work. But just let them take the year off if that’s the case. Find someone else to do it instead. They shouldn’t keep the schools closed because some of them don’t want to work.


8 posted on 08/05/2020 10:24:27 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Kaslin

I so agree!

And yes, he fired them!


9 posted on 08/05/2020 10:24:53 AM PDT by Guenevere (Press On!)
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To: SaxxonWoods

About half my property taxes go toward schools where the buildings are closed and teachers aren’t teaching.

When do we get rebates - where is this $$ going?


10 posted on 08/05/2020 10:27:20 AM PDT by Breyean
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To: Kaslin

Agreed! This virus scare is ridiculous. ( maybe if a particular teacher Is elderly with a serious medical condition — the group that has risk— let her/him choose If they’re still nervous ——— everyone else gets back to work and we can try to study how we let our politicians scare an entire country into Submission and unemployment


11 posted on 08/05/2020 10:27:42 AM PDT by faithhopecharity (Politicians are not born, they’re excreted. Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 to 43 BCE))
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To: Vermont Lt

Did ANYONE take 4th grade civics?


Certainly. The teachers unions taught them all of this.... /s


12 posted on 08/05/2020 10:28:01 AM PDT by volunbeer (Find the truth and accept it - anything else is delusional)
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To: Kaslin

Look at Portland and Seattle. We’ve seen what kids are taught in school. Shut down all government schools, fire the commie teachers, and start from scratch. Why would anyone send their kids to that sh1t show? Just to get them out of the house? Home school or private school. Do what you have to do. The government schools are destroying our nation on purpose.


13 posted on 08/05/2020 10:28:07 AM PDT by bk1000 (Banned from Breitbart)
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To: Breyean
About half my property taxes go toward schools where the buildings are closed and teachers aren’t teaching. When do we get rebates - where is this $$ going?

I've been asking this for months.

14 posted on 08/05/2020 10:28:11 AM PDT by 1Old Pro (#openupstateny)
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To: Kaslin

Trump could benefit by tweeting less, and reading the comments on FreeRepublic more.


15 posted on 08/05/2020 10:28:46 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Kaslin
You can do better Bob Barr.

Who in a blue state is going to fire a union teacher for not going to work?

16 posted on 08/05/2020 10:29:21 AM PDT by JonPreston (Covid19 is communist Chinese bioweapon)
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To: Brilliant
I don’t blame them for not wanting to work. But just let them take the year off if that’s the case. Find someone else to do it instead.

That creates its own problems--the one year temps are going to feel that they have some rights when the virus scare is over.

17 posted on 08/05/2020 10:30:19 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: SpaceBar

You are very wrong and ignorant.

He knows what he is doing and has sound reasons for not following the foolish advice of the Free Republic peanut gallery

Let him be


18 posted on 08/05/2020 10:32:07 AM PDT by bert ( (KE. NP. N.C. +12) Progressives are existential American enemies)
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To: Kaslin

L A teachers fire them all. Offer them a job doing freeway trash cleanup in the center divider


19 posted on 08/05/2020 10:33:03 AM PDT by BigEdLB (BigedLB, Russian BOT, At your service)
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To: All

It’s not safe to be in a room with 30 kids but it’s OK to march with 100,000 of Sharpton’s a-holes in DC.


20 posted on 08/05/2020 10:33:09 AM PDT by gibsonguy
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