LOS ANGELES – Parents, taxpayers and school children who don’t like the national Common Core education standards might want to avoid New York City teachers union boss Michael Mulgrew, unless they’re cruising for a bruising.
Mulgrew, who is notorious for his inflammatory rhetoric, sent a message to all who oppose Common Core at the American Federation of Teachers conference in Los Angeles last month: he wants to punch you in the face!
“If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it’s mine! You do not take what is mine!” the loudmouthed labor leader told convention attendees in a tirade posted online this week.
“I am going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” he said. “These are our tools and you sick people need to deal with us and the children we teach. Thank you very much!”
You’re not welcome.
Seriously, many of the teachers at the convention said Mulgrew’s childish rant was uncalled for.
“When Mulgrew gets up there and does his Hulk Hogan routine and says he’s going to punch people for taking away Common Core … it’s insulting,” Arthur Goldstein, head of the United Federation of Teachers union at Francis Lewis High School in Queens, told the New York Daily News.
“It was scary,” said another teacher at the conference who wouldn’t provide their name for fear of retribution from the UFT president. “People were saying he shouldn’t be around children.”
Mulgrew’s screed was part of an internal union debate over whether or not to continue to support Common Core despite the program’s dismal implementation and multitude of other problems in schools across the country.
According to the education blog Ed Notes Online, the debate was primarily between union leaders who want to cling to the miserable Common Core standards and classroom teachers who believe they’re worthless.
And Mulgrew pulled out all the stops, even resorting to taunting Common Core critics.
“I’ve heard the stories of how Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Joel Klein and a flying saucer full of Martians designed these things to brainwash us all,” he said, according to the Daily News.
The heated words are interesting in the context of Mulgrew’s love-hate relationship with Common Core.
He has repeatedly criticized how the nationalized learning standards were put in place in New York City, but remains an adamant supporter.
UFT officials offered no apologies for the UFT union boss’ belligerent diatribe when contacted by the Daily News.
“In the context of the resolution, the meaning is clear (as was the resulting applause),” spokesman Dick Riley wrote.
The AFT, of course, passed its resolution in support of Common Core.