The Touch-Off

     It doesn’t take much to get the Left shrieking as if it were being castrated without anesthesia. But you may be sure that the screams and howls will erupt at maximum volume whenever any executive or legislator dares to “infringe” upon their “academic freedom.”

     Consider this spate of lunacies from Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers:

     American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten warned that legislation similar to Florida’s recent parental rights bill may have dire consequences.

     “This notion – we’ve been very lucky in America, and we in some ways live in a bubble for a long time,” Weingarten said. “This is propaganda. This is misinformation. This is the way in which wars start. This is the way in which hatred starts.”…

     “Educators welcome parent involvement in schools because our kids do best when teachers, parents and caregivers work together,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten in a statement to Fox News earlier this week. “We have a lot to do to help kids recover and thrive this year after two years of an unprecedented pandemic. So rather than help us help our kids socially, academically and emotionally, these vocal minorities want to marginalize LGBTQ kids, censor teachers and ban books.”

     The above was Weingarten’s emission about Florida’s recent bill, signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, that forbids lecturing children in grades K through 3 about “gender identity.”

     I have a question for Miss Weingarten: Do employers have a right to set standards for their employees’ performance of their jobs? As the state of Florida, along with local school boards, employs the teachers in its schools, would it not have that right?

     Don’t expect Miss Weingarten to answer that with a yes or a no. Clarity is not among her purposes. She’s a union boss – in essence, a politician. Her purposes are agitprop and fundraising. She is no more interested in the well-being of schoolchildren than she is in the Merovingian heresy. But challenging her on that score wouldn’t elicit clarity from her, either.


     The Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch are surely aware that American “public education” – yes, those are “sneer quotes” – no longer has any substantive connection to education as we older types understand it. Government-school “teachers” – they prefer to be called “educators,” which compounds the irony – no longer teach. They do a number of other things, some of them in a classroom setting, but the actual conveyance of knowledge to young minds has no place among them.

     The government-school “teacher’s” priority is imposing a particular mindset on those entrusted to his care. That mindset is prescribed by the political Left. It has no connection whatsoever with reality, much less with education.

     Florida’s attempt to restrict such indoctrination by forbidding it in state classrooms occupied by the youngest and most vulnerable children is a rearguard effort. It will almost certainly fail of its ostensible purpose, for a simple reason: it is de facto unenforceable. But then, laws that pertain to the Left’s bastions nearly always are unenforceable. You cannot expect your enemy to enforce your laws against himself.

     However, that law is a valuable stroke for another reason, which Weingarten’s spewings illuminate: It has laid bare the cleft between the “educators” and the parents of American children.

     Government-school teachers no longer regard themselves as employees with job descriptions and occupational standards to which they must adhere, but as wholly independent actors with unbounded latitude to say and do whatever they please to your children. They would never admit that under questioning, of course. In response to such inquiries, they would confuse the issue by ranting about “discrimination,” “prejudice,” “academic freedom,” and everything else under the Sun other than what they’ve been hired to do. Obfuscation, not candor, is the agenda.

     Consider the “educators’” resistance to standardized testing, the surest way to discover whether teachers are actually achieving the results we expect of them. The howls were audible nationwide. Expect us to do our jobs? Are you insane? they didn’t say. Rather, they ranted about all manner of irrelevancies. They also strained to throw doubt onto whether standardized tests for fundamental literacy and numeracy produce reliable results. And they have largely succeeded in averting the imposition of such tests upon them.

     It’s all of a piece. Stout resistance to objective measures of performance is characteristic of government employees of all kinds. Governments mostly let them get away with it. That’s as scathing a condemnation as I can come up with on only two cups of coffee.

     The foofaurauw over CRT and “gender identity” nostrums in the classroom has shone a bright light on this wound. If American parents don’t rise up over these things, they never will. But there are risings and risings. Merely to “demand change” in the government schools will produce only trivial and temporary gains. The entire government-run “education system” must be destroyed root and branch. It is not diseased; it is a disease, a cancer grown from a fundamental error in our premises. Only after it has been totally expunged can actual education resume.


    • George Mckay on April 24, 2022 at 7:30 AM

    All the kerfluffle over the “Don’t say gay” bill is just that, kerfluffle.  If anybody took the few minutes to read it they would realize it is strightforward and honest and NOTHING like what the left tells you.  The teaching of the gender manure line of the left has no place in children period.

    Ron Desantis, for his few failings is still the best thing the lovers of freedom this Republic has.  He is honest, fair and fearless.  Gee, does that sound like somebody else we know?  I am proud of not only him but the people who have elected him and support him.  Florida would appear to be the only state with a spine AND a heart.

    I would love to have him as President someday.  He would be a great one.

  1. The problem is that teachers and professors – EMPLOYEES – have taken it upon themselves to style themselves as ‘professionals’ (independent businesspersons that contract to represent you according to generally agreed upon standards of practice).

    Not the same. An employee is one that has to conform to their employer’s expectations of conduct, practice, and scope. In other words, the employer sets the expectations for behavior, demeanor, expected standards of professional dress, and limitations on the extent of their actions.

    And, to be fair, the governing organizations for teachers/professors are hopelessly in the hands of the Woke and Partisan. Only in a few states are educators under the oversight of relatively normal governing bodies. Most of those states are right to work states, not union strongholds.

    I’m jaundiced about unions – the ones that I’ve belonged to were generally worse than nothing (AFT, NEA, Bartenders, Waitresses, and Hotel Employees). They took my dues with little in return. The CTU – Cleveland Teachers Union – was OWNED, lock, stock, and barrel, by the Socialists (quite hard-core), and spent most of their time supporting fellow Leftists in gaining office for the purposes of Bringing About the Revolution, padding the union contract with perks for the union leadership, and, in the last years of the Union President’s term, trying (unsuccessfully) to secure a cushy buyout for the leadership that would let them retire early, and not have to return to the classroom.

    The few actions they undertook in the course of representation of members were generally for their buddies. My husband had a valid complaint about not being paid for work he had done, and the a$$holes just kept checking with the WRONG teacher (same name), who told them, no, he had no complaints, and marking it for File 13. For TEN years. His experience wasn’t uncommon.

    But, many teachers (who are mostly primary grades) are timid about standing up for themselves. That’s why, despite having a clause in the contract about an uninterrupted lunch period, elementary teachers are responsible for escorting their kids downstairs, getting them settled down (losing at least 10 minutes of their own lunch), and coming down early to supervise lunch cleanup, and escort them back to class (another 10 minutes). Oh, and once a month or so, for a week, they have to pull ‘lunch duty’ and eat standing up watching the kids.

    And, the union chairs never act on the complaints. Useless.

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