Tag Archives: Teacher Union

How should parents respond to teachers pressuring children to transition?

Catholic teachers march in favor of gay rights and perverted sex education
Catholic teachers march in favor of gay rights and perverted sex education

My plan for marriage was to have 4 children with my wife, then homeschool them right through to doctoral degrees. But one thing I knew for sure, I was never going to put my kids into public schools. My impression of public school teachers is that they are the source of moral relativism and cultural relativism. They break down morality and patriotism in children and call it compassion.

Abigal Shrier has noticed that the teachers in public schools are pushing transgenderism pretty hard, because they don’t want anyone making judgments about what is right or wrong, wise or foolish.

The far-left UK Daily Mail reported:

‘I often get parents telling me they’re not able to take binders (a cloth which flattens breasts by the use of constrictive materials) away from their children, and I say to them, “Would you give your children cigarettes?”.

‘Because we know binders are really harmful, they can deform breast tissue, cause rib cracking and shortness of breath. They’re quite dangerous for your 14-year-old to be going around with.’

Sharing her experience of parents’ concerns, she said: ‘Parents often say to me “I don’t want to be seen as a transphobe”, and it’s very clear to me that sometimes these parents feel like they can’t speak the truth or go against their own children’s wishes.

[…]’I’ve never seen parents so beaten down and undermined. They send them to school in good faith and now schools are helping them fill out forms with new names as different sexes and hide it from their parents. They turn their kids against their parents.

‘Medicine has become so politicised that parents can’t even rely on honesty from medical professionals even when it comes to transition.’

You might remember that I blogged about a particularly scary case of this from socialist Canada, which doesn’t respect parents’ rights at all. There, the teachers, administrators, counsellors, doctors, layers and judges, all conspired to transition a child from female to male against the parents’ wishes. If you haven’t read that post from March of this year, you should definitely go read it, to find out where our own public schools are trying to go with students.

Anyway, in another article from The College Fix I found an excerpt of her new book, where she offers advice to parents. She talks about not giving them smartphones, not abdicating the leadership role, monitoring the schools for gender ideology, keeping family business private, being open to pulling the children out of their communities, etc.

And there is some pushback against the transgender agenda being promoted by teachers. Some people are regretting their transitions, and blaming the adults who affirmed them on their way to self-harm.

Here’s an article from Sky News:

A woman who was treated with hormone blockers to reassign her gender as a teenager is taking the NHS to court, saying she “should have been told to wait”.

Keira Bell said the care she received for gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity, steered her towards medical treatment.

Ms Bell, who used to identify as a boy, was 15 when she went to the Tavistock Centre in London. She said after “roughly three sessions” she started receiving hormone blockers.

Eight years later, and after undergoing surgery, Ms Bell is de-transitioning to return to a woman.

[…]She said: “I am angry about the whole situation because of how things have turned out for me based on the medical pathway that I was put on, but I’m now just trying to focus on changing the system for the better and making it better for minors and children.

“I should have been told to wait and not affirmed in my gender identity I was claiming to have and given intensive therapy basically to make sure that I was on the right track for things and investigate the feelings I was having to figure out how I got to that stage.”

Ms Bell said she felt “trapped and alone”, and the Tavistock Centre should have taken into account the “confusion” teenagers experience before offering her treatment.

What I’d like to see is conservative lawmakers craft legislation to allow victims like this to charge the teachers, administrators, doctors, lawyers and judges with criminal negligence. Because I really feel that it is criminal to lie to young people so that you will feel good, and people will like you. That’s all that this focus on feelings and compassion is. The secular leftist adults aren’t capable of moral reasoning. They don’t want to do good for the children, they want to feel good and be popular, even if it harms the children’s long-term well-being and happiness. The adults should be punished.

Are teacher unions conservative or liberal? Should Christians support unions?

Catholic teachers march in favor of unrestricted taxpayer-funded abortion
Catholic teachers march in favor of unrestricted taxpayer-funded abortion

I saw about how a couple of teacher unions are responding to the current pandemic. Did you know that teacher unions lobby in favor of abortion and gay rights? I also wanted to look at the political contributions, so we can figure out whether we should be in favor of teacher unions, or opposed to them.

Here’s a story about the unions from Daily Wire:

A teachers’ union in North Carolina is demanding sweeping benefits for illegal immigrants to lower COVID-19 cases and reopen schools.

In a recent statement denouncing the school district’s reopening plan, the Durham Association of Educators (DAE) called for universal healthcare, as well as guaranteed income regardless of a person’s immigration status.

Los Angeles:

Earlier this week, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) — a 35,000-member union in the Los Angeles Unified School District — stipulated that the district cannot reopen until charter schools are closed, the local police are defunded, the wealthy are taxed more, there is “Medicare-for-All,” and the district is bailed out by the federal government.

New Jersey:

In New Jersey, the state teachers’ union listed among their “acceptable standards for a return to in-person instruction” both weekly COVID-19 tests for all students and mandatory door-to-door mask wearing. “Consequences for refusal to wear the required mask shall be clearly delineated in board policy and in the student/parent handbook, and shall include consequences up to and including suspension,” the union said.

That’s very interesting, and it’s not just secular school teachers who are far-left. Catholic school teachers regularly march in favor of abortion and gay rights. Apparently, being Catholic now means agreeing with atheists on every policy, and then just slapping the word Catholic on top of it.

Catholic teachers march in favor of gay rights and perverted sex education
Catholic teachers march in favor of gay rights and perverted sex education

You might wonder what teacher unions do with all the money they get by lobbying the government and organizing strikes. Well, some of the money goes to abortion providers:

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) are among a handful of Unions that have donated to Planned Parenthood in the United States. For example, in 2012, the New York City chapter of AFT gave $125,000 to the abortion company. Then, in the wake of the organization’s scandal regarding selling aborted babies’ body parts, the New York City branch of AFT said they still support Planned Parenthood and urged “all members to support Planned Parenthood as members and contributors.”

The Washington Free Beacon reports that over the last five years Planned Parenthood has also received money from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, United Autoworkers Union, Service Employees International Union, and the United Food and Commercial Union.

And some of that money goes to the Democrat party directly:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

I think there’s enough here that people will understand that teacher unions – and pretty much every other kind of union – is not conservative.

Remember, unlike workers in the private sector, unionized workers DO NOT earn their money by exchanging products and services in voluntary trades. They DO NOT compete with other vendors to give the consumer lower prices and higher quality. Unions exist to protect their workers from performing poorly for customers. And they get raises only when they influence government to give them more money. They have no connection to pleasing customers whatsoever. And in fact they are threatened when customers are able to spend their own money on options that suit their needs, e.g. – homeschooling, private schools, charter schools.

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about parents and schools

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

This is a must-listen lecture from famous pastor Wayne Grudem.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Note: public schools = government-run schools.

Topics:

  • Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
  • Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
  • Should government promote bearing children?
  • What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
  • What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
  • Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
  • What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
  • Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
  • What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
  • What do school boards think of parents training children?
  • Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
  • Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
  • How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
  • How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
  • How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
  • How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
  • How is parental authority respected in the United States?
  • Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
  • What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
  • How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
  • Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
  • How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
  • Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
  • Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
  • How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
  • Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
  • What else should parents demand on education policy?
  • Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?

This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.

If Elizabeth Warren wins in 2020, expect her to end Christian private schools

Elizabeth Warren will says Christian schools are her enemy
Elizabeth Warren will says Christian schools are her enemy

It’s hard to see into the minds of the Democrat party candidates to know what they believe about God. But I think that support for infanticide and opposition to Christian churches, schools and other organizations is a pretty good sign of what they really believe. Elizabeth Warren for example is pretty clearly not a Christian, and has an obvious contempt for the Bible.

Here’s the story from Western Journal:

On Sunday Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared a HuffPost article on Twitter bashing private Christian schools for having “anti-LGBTQ+ policies.”

The article focused attention on a U.S. Supreme Court case attacking Montana private religious schools and attempting to take away tax credits to individuals who contributed to private schools because the money supports policies that “discriminate against LGBTQ staff and employees.”

Such policies include having bathrooms designated for people according to their biological gender and hiring faculty and staff who abide by Christian marriage values.

“States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones — especially ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies. We must ensure every kid–especially LGBTQ+ kids–can get a high-quality public education,” Warren tweeted.

The article explains that these Christians schools respect what the Bible teaches in various areas. Some schools expect teaches to be Christians. Others affirm a Biblical view of sexuality – sex allowed only within a heterosexual marriage. Some of them just don’t want men in women’s bathrooms. But none of this is OK with Elizabeth Warren, because she thinks that the hurt feelings of LGBT people are more important than the Constitutional rights of Christians.

Why might Warren be taking this position? Well, Democrats have traditionally enjoyed massive support from public schools. And public schools see private schools as threats to their monopoly. When private schools offer children a better education, public schools prefer to shut them down rather than work harder.

Take a look at these donations by the American Federation of Teachers:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

The article notes:

Public school groups have been vocal about their feelings towards the case, claiming that it “could have a devastating effect on education and play a major role in disintegrating the U.S. doctrine of the separation of church and state.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that this case could turn the American understanding of “separation of church and state” upside down, and that “it will basically change over 200 years of practice in the United States,” The Daily Wire reported.

Those in favor of public funding for private schools argue that school choice and voucher programs give lower income students the same opportunities as students from more well-to-do families.

Democrats like to talk about how they don’t take money from “big corporations”. But if you take a look at that graph above, you’ll see that some people have bought themselves a whole lot of influence with the Democrat party. Do these unionized public school teachers and administrators have YOUR interests at heart?

Will paying teachers more money improve student performance?

Public school teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia and Arizona are striking this spring, affecting hundreds of thousands of students. The teachers say that spending more money on education will help children learn more. There’s an excellent article by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist that looks at whether increasing spending raises student performance. (H/T Vanessa)

Oklahoma teachers want a $10,000 raise, and Arizona teachers want a 20% increase in base pay. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get anything near that for my annual raise.

Educational bureacracy

Will raising taxes on taxpayers in order to spend more on education improve student performance? Joy says we can look at the past in order to understand whether spending more money gets results.

She writes:

Research has also long and conclusively shown that school spending hikes usually don’t go to teachers, they go to administrators and other bloat outside classrooms. So the kids are just unions’ human shields on their way to raid the kids’ public bank accounts — again.

[…]As the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey has shown, U.S. public K-12 spending has skyrocketed over the past 50 years with no improvement in academic outcomes. Other researchers repeatedly find increasing spending doesn’t help students. That’s because, as noted above, schools typically don’t send more money to classrooms, they use it to increase bureaucracy and nonacademic programming.

Got that? When taxpayers throw money at public schools, the teachers don’t see very much of that money. It gets put into education administrators and indoctrinators – people whose sole job is to make sure that the children accept secular left values.

Check out this graph of education spending compared to test scores:

Federal spending has increased astronomically, but test scores are flat
Federal spending has increased astronomically, but test scores are flat

Spending more doesn’t produce the results that parents are looking for, for their children. Parents want children to learn what they need to find work and become financially independent. But teachers, adminsitrators, etc. have a very different goal: making little secular leftists. And that’s what they use increased funding for that. Numbers don’t lie.

Another way that public schools waste money is by promising massive gold-plated public sector pensions to teachers – pensions that no private sector  taxpayer would ever get themselves. And they use any increase in their budgets to pay the pensions of teachers who are retired, and not helping students to learn.

Teacher pensions

I saw a really nice map of the United States over at Daily Signal, with all the outstanding pensions liabilities, and the amount ranges from about $7600 in Tennessee (the best state in the union) to tens of thousands in the big blue socialist states.

Unfunded pension liabilities for public sector workers
Unfunded pension liabilities for public sector workers

Joy explains:

States promised such outsized retirement benefits to the last generation of public-school teachers that they’re paying off this promise with current revenues. A national average of $6,800 per year per teacher pays former teachers’ pensions that state and local governments failed to save up for while those teachers were working. That’s money that could have instead boosted current teachers’ salaries. The problem is only going to get worse as more baby boomers retire and legislatures continue to hide their heads in the sand.

It’s not just that states and districts failed to save up for pensions they knew would come due, it’s that they offered literally the cushiest pensions available to teachers, notes a 2016 study: “as a group, [teachers] have by far the highest retirement costs, even compared with other public-sector employees. While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour in retirement compensation.”

Like I said, I don’t have a pension funded by taxpayers. I’m having to saving for my own retirement, as well of the retirement of these wealthy government workers. Public sector benefits are paid by taxpayers in the private (free market) sector. We are the ones wh have to make products and services that consumers are actually willing to pay for in a free market. Unlike teachers, I can’t go on strike if I feel I’m not paid enough. If I go on strike, I’ll be fired. But they go on strike, holding children hostage to get more money. With no guarantee of improved student performance.

Joy also notes that teachers are actually vastly overpaid already, based on what their marketable skills:

[…][R]esearch finds teachers are overpaid by an average of 50 percent relative to their skills and mental abilities. The overage comes almost exclusively from their fat benefit packages.

The reason they complain about pay is because the majority of their pay is going into extravagant health care, paid time off, pension, paid training, etc. benefits. When you add back all those benefits, they’re being overpaid compared to an equivalent private sector worker.

Regulations

Another factor that lowers student performance is that the fact that teachers are highly regulated. Instead of spending their time teaching students, they are forced to waste time doing other non-teaching tasks.

Joy explains:

Education regulations are almost always decided by non-teachers, and the effects are about what you would guess from that fact. Rather than benefiting students, these regulations typically require or justify ever-expanding employment for the very bureaucrat types who come up with them. I’m talking about things like teacher licensing mandates, which researchers have long found do not improve teacher quality and traffic in disproven education fads (but do provide easy-access cash cows for state departments of education and teacher colleges since teachers are required to keep buying their products to maintain certification); ever-increasing testing and data-entry mandates; centralized curriculum mandates like Common Core; centralized teacher evaluation and ratings systems; and the massive data entry required to document things like student behavior problems and special education services.

More money being wasted that doesn’t help students to learn more at all.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to allow parents to choose who provides their children with an education, instead of having the money automatically taxed and spent by a massive secular left education bureaucracy. If teachers have their money in their hands, they will spend it where they can get the best quality for the best price – just like they do in every other area of their lives. That might be scary for teachers, administrators and indoctrinators, but in a free market, the parents should not be obligated to pay for something they don’t want. We should be concerned about the children first and foremost.