Teachers stand up and fight


DALLAS -- The Dallas Independent School District board is cutting teachers' jobs and closing schools. They also added another 45 minutes of administrative work to every teacher's workday. The Dallas City Council, which has nothing to do with education, has decided to back a private company's plans to open more charter schools in the area.

The Dallas newspaper recently revealed a study showing that almost half the workers in North Texas are only a paycheck or two away from poverty. So it would not be surprising if the public school teachers felt intimidated.

But they aren't. They are crusading for teachers' rights with pickets, press conferences, and a new program to develop more community allies. Teachers with Alliance/AFT (American Federation of Teachers) of Dallas  picketed outside the administration office of the Dallas Independent School district before the board meeting on Feb. 23.

News reporters were all over the union officers and the picketers themselves. A group from Occupy Dallas joined in. People driving by in cars honked their approval.

The teachers recently won a battle to save a teacher's job. Joseph Drake was put on administrative leave in an attempt to intimidate the teachers. The excuse given to the reporters was that Drake had written an email to a school board member criticizing their decisions. "Nonsense!" said the teachers in an emergency press conference that got Drake's job back in just a few hours. Next day, Drake received an apology from the school board member.

Photo: Jim Lane/PW.


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  • I have had 25 yrs of teaching experience--primarily at the college level. I taught one year in public schools, during which time I was a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). After the principal told me he was not going to renew my contract, I called the union rep, expecting the union to go to bat for me in view of the fact that I had been paying dues all year. I was told that, because I was still on probation, there was nothing they could do. That is a sorry excuse for a union!

    Posted by Bob Uzzel, 03/04/2012 11:23am (3 years ago)

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