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the industrial union thugs 100 years ago, and now we have educational union thugs:

parents whose children are stuck in failing public schools. If more than 50% sign a petition, they can force a school closed, shake up its administration, or turn it into a charter

The first parent trigger was pulled in December 2010 at Compton’s McKinley Elementary School. Immediately, McKinley teachers began leaning on parents to rescind their signatures—first at a PTA meeting, then by pressuring their kids during school. Soon the school district insisted that parents validate their signatures by appearing at McKinley with official photo identification—naked intimidation of those who were undocumented immigrants and a violation of the First Amendment, said Los Angeles Superior Court. Yet the district persisted, soon rejecting every parent’s signature on technicalities that are still tied up in court a year later.

Holding aside the thuggery here, can someone please remind me if am seeing things? I just finished reading a series of articles, from the progressives I like to read, that are arguing that efforts by states to institute voter ID laws are undemocratic and intimidating among other things suppress voter turnout. Fine. Sure. I buy that. So what would these same folks say about the foregoing incident? Crickets … crickets … crickets.

Moving on, check out some of the other tactics here, I look forward to the urban education version of the Wire …

At a public meeting, the Adelanto school board announced that, upon review, the trigger petition represented only 48% of parents—not the 70% that petitioners claimed when they filed last month. The loss of nearly 100 signatures, it turns out, was the result of a systematic and legally questionable pressure campaign waged against parents.

“About two weeks ago, the California Teachers Association flew in a cadre of paid operatives from Sacramento,” says Ben Austin of Parent Revolution, the liberal activist group that conceived of parent trigger and has supported the campaigns in Compton and Adelanto. “Suddenly parents were accosted in the parking lot by CTA operatives blocking cars from moving until the driver agreed to take a flier plastered with lies.” Operatives also went door-to-door across Adelanto.

Mr. Austin says many parents were told that if they didn’t rescind their signatures, Desert Trails would be closed within days. Others heard that all the teachers would be fired, and still others had their picture taken for refusing to rescind. One parent on Thursday told Parent Revolution’s lawyers that she withdrew her signature after being told that if she didn’t, other parents “were going to pocket all the money once they took over.”

In almost all cases, those spreading such misinformation refused to identify themselves. That was the experience of Desert Trail parent Jeffrey Hancock at his front door last weekend.

In early 2010, Spanish-language fliers surfaced in several L.A. neighborhoods warning parents that if they voted to convert a public school into a charter, they “might be deported.”

Win or lose, the Adelanto experience holds several lessons for parent trigger. First, some quarters of the education establishment will oppose parent power no matter its packaging. In contrast to the Compton effort, the Adelanto trigger drive was announced publicly in advance, and parents sought to negotiate terms with district officials rather than bring in an outside charter to take over the school. This soft approach evidently meant nothing to the union.

3 Responses to “More Public Teachers’ Unions Thuggery”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    This stuff is infuriating. And you nailed every point …

    On topic, I spent half of my day off yesterday at the County Clerk and DMV offices trying to get a passport. I had my birth certificate, but apparently it wasn’t the correct type. So I have to apply to the county for another copy ($30) and wait God knows how many weeks. Then spend another $130 for the passport.

    I find it ironic that I need a super-special birth certificate to get a passport. But not to vote? And I will restrain myself from commenting the presidential birth certificate relate. Sweet, sweet, irony.

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