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No Name-Calling an Ambitious Goal for Teachers’ Union
Evergreen Freedom Foundation ^ | 1-28-05 | Mike Reitz

Posted on 01/29/2005 8:44:18 AM PST by truth49

The Washington Education Association (WEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) recently announced their participation in this week’s national No Name-Calling Week in hopes of reducing verbal bullying.

Since we at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) have born the brunt of the WEA’s most vicious verbal attacks, we applaud the union’s plans to usher in a new era of civility when dealing with ideological opponents. The prospect of being free of union name-calling comes as a relief, even if only for one week.

The teachers union spokespersons have branded EFF with such appellations as “lying dirtbags,” “hate group,” “evil band of zealots,” and “trolls.”

When not residing under bridges, EFF staff members advocate for the First Amendment rights of teachers to opt out of mandatory union membership and coerced dues. Our litigation has exposed the union’s practice of illegally using teachers’ dues for politics without their permission, resulting in hundreds of dollars in fines and penalties for the union.

In response to EFF’s litigation on behalf of teachers, the WEA launched an attack against EFF in 2002, releasing two radio spots and two full-page advertisements in state newspapers.

The text of one radio ad referred to EFF’s president as “Bob ‘Big Think’ Williams,” and called him a “failed politician.” One of the newspaper advertisements—titled “Dumb Ideas!”—featured a slouched, forlorn-looking man wearing a dunce cap. The same ad called EFF a “right-wing extremist think tank,” and referred to Bob Williams as “washed up and out of work.”

During the 2003 Marysville teacher strikes, EFF published commentaries on how the teachers’ union pursues its own agenda to the detriment of students, and co-hosted a public town hall event to discuss the issues raised by union-organized teacher strikes. One WEA supporter cast an especially creative hex on EFF:

I curse the outside agitators, including the entire Evergreen ‘Freedom’ Foundation, a group of lying dirtbags if any ever existed. Those scum are lower than sewer water, and smell less pleasant. ... A thousand times my previous curses I heap upon these vile creatures, and I curse them with vile lives to match their vile souls. I hope they never find joy in anything ever again.

In March 2004, a local WEA president advised the union’s Central Kitsap members that EFF is part of the “lunatic fringe movement.”

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation is not the only target of creative union monikers. Ignoring the diversity of religious and political views within its membership, the National Education Association is outspoken in its disdain of religious and conservative groups. The NEA’s Resolution C-17 (2000) condemns “extremist groups,” which the NEA defines in other publications as “groups or parents with a conservative religious affiliation who criticize the public schools for one reason or another.”

The NEA disparages what it calls “the radical right” as “a wide range of groups including free-market conservatives, anti-government and anti-union ideologues, and religious fundamentalists with a political agenda.” The NEA’s newsletter In Brief defines the “right wing” as “religious zealots and blatantly racist hate groups.”

Nor does the teachers’ union limit its name-calling to ideological opponents. Teachers themselves are lampooned by the self-proclaimed “representative” of their best interests and are subjected to heavy-handed tactics for even questioning mandatory union membership and coerced dues.

In March 1997, WEA officials threatened to sue a teacher named Jeff for working to stop the union’s illegal mandatory political deductions. The WEA sued two teachers, Barb and Cindy, in February 1998 for publishing a newsletter called “WEA Challenger Network” to inform colleagues of their rights.

Robert Chanin, general counsel for the National Education Association, once said in U.S. District Court, “It is well-recognized that if you take away the mechanism of payroll deduction, you won’t collect a penny from these people, and it has nothing to do with voluntary or involuntary. I think it has to do with the nature of the beast, and the beasts who are our teachers.... [They] simply don’t come up with the money regardless of the purpose.”

Washington law requires school districts to get permission from Washington teachers before collecting dues that will be spent for political purposes. According to Bob Chanin, this is “a royal pain in the ass!”

The union’s participation in national No Name-Calling Week, however well intentioned, smacks of hypocrisy. Some things, as the saying goes, are better caught than taught.

Michael Reitz is a legal analyst for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a non-partisan, public policy watchdog organization, focused on advancing individual liberty, a free-market economy, and limited and responsible government.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: bullying; campusbias; culturewars; discrimination; diversity; education; educrats; intolerance; nea; pc; politicalcorrectness; pspl; publicschools; schoolbias; schools; speechcodes; tolerance; wea

1 posted on 01/29/2005 8:44:19 AM PST by truth49
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To: truth49

Let's not forget to mention teachers calling students names - happens all the time with some teachers.

2 posted on 01/29/2005 8:46:23 AM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: truth49

"Intolerant" is my favorite.

3 posted on 01/29/2005 8:48:16 AM PST by Drango (To Serve Man.....IT'S A COOKBOOK!)
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To: truth49
... a wide range of groups including free-market conservatives, anti-government and anti-union ideologues, and religious fundamentalists with a political agenda ...

Yeah, I'm all of those. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

4 posted on 01/29/2005 8:52:16 AM PST by Tax-chick (Some people say that Life is the thing, but I prefer reading.)
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To: truth49

When I read the headline, I thought it meant the teacher's union was going to stop calling republicans nazis. Alas . . .

5 posted on 01/29/2005 8:54:43 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: truth49


6 posted on 01/29/2005 8:55:03 AM PST by SouthernFreebird
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To: truth49

What a lofty goal, anything except actually teaching students!

7 posted on 01/29/2005 9:12:16 AM PST by ops33 (Retired USAF Senior Master Sergeant)
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To: Born Conservative


8 posted on 01/29/2005 10:52:14 AM PST by EdReform (Free Republic - helping to keep our country a free republic. Thank you for your financial support!)
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To: kenth; CatoRenasci; Marie; PureSolace; Congressman Billybob; P.O.E.; cupcakes; Amelia; Diana; ...

9 posted on 01/30/2005 10:27:54 AM PST by Born Conservative (Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself." - Richard Nixon)
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To: Drango

Homophobe is the one they used on my son.(Did not sport a ribbon on some Homosexual normalacy day.)

We should all realize that the schools and teachers can and should stop direct bullying. But they turn a blind eye to it because it would require effort on their part. (Report writing, hall duty, ETC.)

Besides, no name calling fits in with other agendas, since being labled is a first step in promoting any political agenda, (We call them leftists, collectivists, liberals, all these terms would be considered "hate speech" in their grand plan for a take over.)

10 posted on 01/30/2005 11:32:13 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: ModelBreaker

When I read the headline, I thought it meant the teacher's union was going to stop calling republicans nazis. Alas .

Actually, I think it happens on both sides. I have seen pretty bad attacks from both sides. However, I think the ed-libs are attacking the teachers ever more visciously, especially in states where they have power.

There are many good teachers out there. I hope that we take the time to recognize them, rather than lump everyone together in negative propagandist attacks. Let's look for the postive amid the negative. After all, that's what conservatives do. Liberals such as the anti-war protestors are those who look for the bad in all things or blame society's problems on one entity.

11 posted on 01/31/2005 2:48:24 PM PST by moog
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