Louisville Ohio~Editorial on the Pending Teachers strike
The time is drawing near to the deadline of the declared teacher’s strike. Many have taken “sides” some claim to be “for the teachers” or “for the unions” or “for the school board” or “for the kids” many are scared of the unions. Many are fed up with levies, broken promises and the ever changing principals of elected officials. The side that is never talked about is the right side! Why do we not talk about the right thing to do in this situation? Take all of the emotional connections away, what is the right thing to do? We can discuss how much money the board has, might have, could have and so on. Does that give unions and teachers the right to demand it? or is the board doing what they promised by working within their means and not going back to the taxpayer by keeping their promise? Is the school board treating the teachers and service employees unfair? Are they offering nothing we have not seen or treatment we have not dealt with for years in our employment world? Have we sheltered educators from what is really going on with the rest of us or the rest of the county and state?
I listen, I have listened, I keep listening, not just hearing but listening. What I listen to is “teachers are a major part of our community” I question are they? Then they have seen the pain of Hoover, Rubbermaid and many other jobs leave. They have seen the financial strain families have endured since 2008 with foreclosures, layoffs, and under-employment. They know that many county positions have had frozen pay scales for years with little to no cost of living adjustments. They know that homes are vacant right under our noses and downtown is falling apart. They know that list of free lunches and reduced lunches turned in every day. They know as it gets colder the kids without winter coats or coats three sizes too large. Then I stop and say do they? Are they truly a member of our community, a pillar of our community? Maybe just maybe it is all false.
You see what made me start to question all of this is my neighbor, he had been laid off for quite some time.. He finally was reemployed, he is an HVAC guy. He and I had a discussion just as the last levy was a HOT issue and he was dead against it. Months later, Our neighbor (a teacher) had a sign in his yard from an HVAC company outside of our county. He stopped me one day and said “see that’s what I am talking about right there! everyone wants me to support the levy but he didn’t even give me a shot at an estimate! Plus he then puts a sign in his yard I have to see every day! I know he knows me and I have my HVAC truck in the driveway every day! Yet he don’t even give me a chance! They are not part of our community! ”
Maybe teachers in Louisville have just become union community service workers and really are not functioning members of our community. I do know this, children have so many ways to communicate and XBOX rooms are full of our children, Louiisville students, talking about the pending strike and they get it! they really do! ”They don’t care about us, its all about money! If they cared why would they tell us not to come to school if they strike? Why would they tell us to do wrong if they really cared” What type of memories will the students have? How science came alive or how they lied and used me to get them more money?
The permanent damage may have already been done and it will take a generation to correct if ever.