Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Great Debate over Unions Continues; Tenured Teachers Teach Bullying; April is National Sexual Abuse Awareness Month - Beware this article!

Following is my latest column in the Boyne City Gazette: 

My beliefs have been questioned in a recent Letter to the Editor by Mr. Reed, who is entitled to his own opinion, but is not entitled to speak for my beliefs.

Though I am a precinct delegate, the opinions I offer are mine alone, and in no way speak for the entire Republican party, with whom I never discuss positions or staregy.  Following 20 years of daily research, I have written my news service for over two years because it had become increasingly clear to me that mainstream media covers one perspective only, the liberal one.  A voice from the right should be allowed to be heard.

I do not hate union members.  Only 7.2% of private-sector workers were union members at the last count, the lowest percentage since 1900, demonstrating how well the free market system can work to retain good employeres.  Union membership grew to 37.4% among government workders whose salaries we pay, and total just 12% of all American workers.  Should 12% of America demand contract terms from the 88% who are not in a union?  This fight is about the overreaching poewer of union bosses and the dues they collect.

I do question the motives and methods of some union leaders, as I have been witness to written and circulated death threats to someone I know.  These methods, and what unions are fighting for, are becoming known to all Americans because of events in Wisconsin and many other states.  Wisconsin legislators received many death threats.  Wisconsin businesses were offered signs to put in their windows declaring "unity with workers' rights."  Owners were then threatened with boycotts if they failed to post the signs.

It is hard to accept that unions without Congressional approval were allowed to exist in order to "bring in more highly educated and competent teachers" when incompetent ones are rarely fired.  The National Education association's top lawyer, Bob Chanin, has stated; "It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.  NEA and its affiliates are effecicve advocates because we have power".

I believe public unions should be a right, and not a requisite in order to work. Dues automatically taken and/or given to any political party shouldn't be allowed.  Contrary to Reed's statement, I want more for good teachers, who should receive pay raises according to merit, not according to union schedules.  Tenure should not be a reason to retain bad teachers.  If larger raises go to great teachers, more talented students will seek education degrees, as the reward for diligence and excellence will be theirs.  Current policy rewards slackers and fails to encourage teachers to be all they can be, harming education outcomes.  The free market encourages excellence. 

Public unions have expected taxpayers to not only pay their members' salaries, but to provide free health care and guaranteed pensions for life, with taxpayers expected to make bankrupt pensions whole.  Where is their vaunted "fairness" in that?  Non-unionized Americans must fund their own programs, or they don't have one.  If the value of their retirement funds goes down, it is they who must suffer the consequences.  

Already sharing the pain of the budget are seniors, who have had no cost-of-living increase in two years, but must also pay an increase in Medicare premiums.  The "rich" pay Medicare taxes on every dollar earned, and pay income tax on up to 85% of their Medicare and SS benefits.  The "richest" 5% of Americans pay 50% of all income taxes.  Fully 41% of Americans pay no income taxes at all, and 30 million actually get paid by us because they didn't earn enough to pay taxes.  What percentage would he consider to be a "fair" portion of taxes from those who actully develop businesses, take risks and provide jobs?  Taxation has always been selective, and union are just the latest to be "targeted".

Unions are proving daily what they are willing to do to have their way, providing Americans with more information about unions than they have ever had.

WARNING!  The following stories are graphic and disturbing, but we have a need to be informed.
[I see several things about the following incidents in Illinois and Kentucky: tenure and protection from firing is not productive, and the actions below are actually teaching school children to bully.  Where is the President in condemning not only this bullying, but the active instruction and forced participation in bullying which is displayed?  I do wonder what "ousting" means - perhaps fully paid administrative leave?   We simply cannot be passive parents of our school children any longer.]
The St. Louis CBS reports: A southwestern Illinois special-education teacher has been ousted after allegedly ordering students to remove their underwear to determine which child soiled his pants. 
Knox News reports: A Roane County kindergarten teacher who reportedly told students to encircle a classmate, call him a pig and make pig noises because the boy is messy, received a one-day unpaid suspension and had a letter of reprimand placed in her file. The incident involved Debbie Hayes, an educator at Bowers Elementary School who has taught kindergarten in Roane County for 38 years.
Dr. Toni H. McGriff, director of Roane County Schools, called the March 16 incident "simply unbelievable."
The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the U.S.
I recall years ago being enraged over a case in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania wherein the school system forced 11 year old girls to undergo genital exams in the principals office to detect signs of sexual abuse.  This in itself was extreme sexual abuse in my view, and girls who tried to jump out the windows and cried that they wanted their mommies were actually held down for the exam.  I know you must think I am making this us, but here is the full story, as reported in the Washington Times in 1996:]     I am certain I would have ended up in jail if this had happened to my child.] 

As reported by Eagle Forum: On March 19, 59 6th-grade girls at J.T. Lambert Intermediate School received physicals that included genital examinations. On May 10, the Rutherford Institute filed suit on behalf of the family of one of the girls. Additional families are expected to join the lawsuit.
The Pennsylvania branch of the National Education Association (NEA) supports the actions of Dr. Vahanvaty, the supervising school nurses, and the requirement of an in-school genital exam. Teachers wore blue ribbons to demonstrate their support of the exam. The district and state police agreed with Dr. Vahanvaty's statement that she acted within professional and state guidelines.
The East Stroudsburg School Board approved of the examination. A motion to give children the right to refuse examinations below the waist was defeated 8 to 1.
Marshall Fritz, described as "classically liberal", investigated this incident and wrote:  Now wait, you say. Maybe the school district apologized and assured the parents it would never happen again! Not hardly. Teachers wore blue ribbons in support of the district. The local physicians and the paper stood behind the inspection. The state police and local district attorney investigations said no Pennsylvania law had been broken. Rather than hearing a mea culpa from the system, what the parents received was more like a spanking.  How many East Stroudsburgs must occur before parents realize that no government entitlement is worth the loss of self-respect that comes from powerlessness to protect their own children?
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ wrote in 2000: And in Tulsa, Oklahoma:  The strangers who entered the elementary schools were LPN nurses assigned to the schools to take blood samples and perform genital exams on behalf of the Head Start program that is associated with the schools. The great majority of the children were of African-American or Hispanic descent. Ostensibly, the nurses were looking for signs of child abuse or other health problems among the youngsters.

1 comment:

  1. As previously noted, a great insight about how the union leaders operate...