By Steve Gunn
LAKE STEVENS, Wash. – How would you feel if you were a K-12 student and one of your teachers showed up at your house, protesting how your father performs his job?
That recently occurred in Lake Stevens, Washington, where more than 100 union teachers recently knocked on doors in the 44th state legislative district, handing out fliers protesting state Sen. Steve Hobbs’ support for a bill that would give school principals the power to veto teachers assigned to their schools.
At least a few of the union members stopped at Hobbs’ home, dropped off fliers and took pictures that were posted on the union’s Facebook page, according to the Everett Herald.
Hobbs, who was not home at the time, noticed in the photos that one of the union members who knocked on his door is one of his son’s teachers.
That discovery prompted an apology from the Washington Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.
“We did not know that one of the teachers of Sen. Hobbs’ children would be delivering a flier,” a union spokesman said. “We apologize for that.”
We assume Sen. Hobbs voted for the legislation giving school administrators more control over personnel decisions because he believes it’s the right thing for schools. That seems particularly true since Hobbs is a Democrat, and members of his party are frequently in lock-step with union positions.
Why can’t the teachers union respect Hobbs’ right to vote his conscience without blanketing his district with nasty political attack fliers? The union has also sponsored recent robo calls to district residents attacking Hobbs, and teachers have been seen carting around a full-size cardboard cutout of the senator.
The union members should know they probably aren’t fooling anybody.
Most reasonable people would agree that school administrators should have some level of authority to determine who teaches in their buildings. Principals are hired to run schools in the best interest of students. That responsibility should come with the flexibility to pick the best possible staff.
Citizens probably recognize the union’s protest of the legislation as a self-serving effort to preserve its power within the school district and protect the jobs of undeserving teachers.
Citizens probably also recognize the fact that the union is trying to bully and punish Hobbs (and probably other legislators) for supporting the bill. Bullying is wrong, whether it happens among children on a playground or among adults debating a political issue.
If these teachers spent less time on their selfish political activities, and more time working with students, Washington schools would probably be much better off.