Teachers Have a Choice: Kids or Picket Lines

By Friedrichs, Rebecca | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), January 6, 2019 | Go to article overview

Teachers Have a Choice: Kids or Picket Lines


Friedrichs, Rebecca, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Teachers in places like Washington, Arizona, Chicago and Los Angeles are exchanging classrooms for picket lines. You may think it’s all just one horrible coincidence, but I can assure you, it’s not. How do I know? Because the unions pushing teachers to abandon their students under the guise of saving public schools, made known their petulant plans several months ago in none other than the U.S. Supreme Court.

On June 27, 2018, Mark Janus won his SCOTUS case, Janus v AFSCME, which freed teachers like me from forced unionism. My case, Friedrichs v California Teachers’ Association, blazed the trail for Janus in 2016 but deadlocked 4-4 after the sudden death of Justice Scalia.

So, Janus became the hope of millions of teachers who’ve been bullied and used by state and national teachers’ unions for decades. Unions use our money, students and trusted profession to fund and push their divisive far-left agenda. In our name, “teachers” unions lead angry marches supporting sanctuary cities, Antifa, abolishing ICE and they even inspired and organized the “March for our Lives” movement in which children abandoned learning to march against guns — whether their parents agreed or not.

Desperate to keep their control over teachers and culture, union lawyers tried to manipulate the justices during both the Friedrichs and Janus oral arguments. They threatened that if employees were freed from forced unionism, unions would react with an “untold specter of labor unrest throughout the country,” because “Union security is the tradeoff for no strikes.”

So now you know why there are so many teachers’ strikes across the country.

You should also know that unions place their activist teachers in the front of the crowd, so Americans will believe all teachers agree with angry protests and putting kids last.

We don’t.

If you look carefully, you’ll see thousands of teachers who’ve been bullied into holding picket signs. They don’t dare object because teachers who abandon picketing to serve kids get squashed.

It happened to Dr. Joseph Ocol. In 2005, one of Joseph’s elementary-aged students was shot dead in the streets of Chicago. Shocked and full of unspeakable grief, Joseph sought for answers.

He discovered 90 percent of his students lived below the poverty line and were most vulnerable between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. So Joseph started an after-school chess club. Shortly after, the kids started winning state and national chess tournaments and blossoming under their newfound hope.

Joseph is one of dozens of great teachers whose story is in my new book “Standing Up to Goliath,” but sadly when I first read about him, I didn’t learn about his amazing chess program or the kids redeemed by it. Instead, I discovered Joseph was expelled from the Chicago Teachers Union for crossing their picket line. He’d promised the kids extra practice for their chess tournament.

He told union leaders, “I will join your strike if you will do something for the kids. If you put up a classroom in the picket line, I’m willing to teach the kids to play chess in the picket line. You have plenty of food for teachers, as long as there’s food for the kids, I’ll join you.”

Though the unions’ “Red for Ed” claims: “We’re raising our voices … to support every student,” union leaders showed no concern for the kids. …

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