Northwest Middle School Principal Roderick Goode, who is black, has a problem with girls wearing hoop earrings at his Salt Lake City school. The large hoop earrings present a safety concern because they can be so easily yanked by other students and cause injury to the student's ear lobe. So he started confiscating them; according to Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly, Goode has a large number of hoop earrings hanging from a spindle in his office as some sort of a "trophy display".
The problem is that hoop earrings are a favorite among Latino girls. Consequently, the majority of earrings confiscated are from Latino girls. And in today's diversity-obsessed society, any deviation from perfect racial balance is considered "evil racism" and warrants a "witch hunt". So the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has filed an official complaint against Goode with the Civil Rights Office of the U.S. Department of Education in Denver. A complaint also was filed with the Utah Professional Practices Action Committee of the State Office of Education. It's obvious they're out to screw this guy one way or another.
The union alleges that Goode, who is in his first year at the school, targets Latino girls for disciplinary action and is quick to suspend members of that minority group. Steve Asay, the former chair of the school's community council who left that position because of disagreements with Goode, says some of the Latino parents are afraid to complain because they are illegal immigrants.
However, the union is out on a limb all by itself on this issue. Salt Lake School District officials have met with parents, teachers and Goode and they stand by the principal, who has been invited back for the next school year. The school's student body is about 60 percent Latino, and the overall disciplinary numbers show the suspension rate for Latinos is about the same as the population percentage. Kathleen Christy, middle school coordinator for the district, says she speaks for Goode and adds that everyone is trying to acclimate to the school's new disciplinary policies, which she says the district supports.
And this is where the real motivation behind the AFT suit manifests itself. There's no discrimination going on. It's a simple power struggle between the union and the school, the school is winning, and the union is fighting back by filing a bogus civil rights suit.
Here's what really went down. Roderick Goode migrated from a job in the Granite School District, which permits principals to run their schools more autocratically, to the Salt Lake School District, which employs a more democratic model. Goode began reorganizing Northwest Middle School to promote greater educational efficiency. More than half the teachers were assigned to new classrooms, which generated concern because they worked in a system of pods, where the same students have teachers in the same area of the school, so they can work together on individual students' needs. In addition, Goode decided to segregate English learners and special needs students in a different area of the school to reduce bullying and keep them from disrupting the educational experience of normal students.
As expected, some of the pampered union slugs began whining and bitching about the changes. About half of the school's three dozen teachers have asked for a transfer to another school. So the AFT found a vulnerability and decided to run with it. They filed a bogus civil rights suit based upon a racially-disparate appearance in one single area of discipline. Fortunately, the administration and the community appear to be wise to the scam, but unfortunately now the principal will have to go through a couple of bureaucratic processes. And when you're targeted with a Federal civil rights complaint, presumption of innocence goes out the window; it is up to YOU to prove YOUR innocence.
This shows that one of the biggest problems with public education are the teacher's unions themselves. It is only now that I begin to realize how truly destructive their role is. They are sufficiently destructive that it is time to consider ways in which to eliminate unions from public education altogether. The teacher's unions have repeatedly proven that they care nothing about our kids, but merely use them as pawns to wage political warfare and feather the nests of their clients.
Here's an example of perfidy by another teacher's union, the National Education Association (NEA). During their June 2006 national conference, they overwhelmingly passed a resolution endorsing homosexual marriages and adoptions in states where they are already legal. The resolution was a watered-down version of an earlier one that would have endorsed same-sex marriages everywhere. However, the clear-cut intent is to mainstream homosexuality.
One of the recommendations was for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues to be required content for teacher credentialing. Teachers would be forced to undergo sensitivity training concerning homosexuality before they could be certified to teach. The resolution recommended that "NEA advocate for the inclusion of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues in the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) teacher education program review process." The NEA has already contacted NCATE about this.
NEA also voted to replace the word "tolerance" toward homosexuality with "acceptance and respect" in union policies. The rationale for the change was given by the resolution's author, Phil Rumore. His reasoning is classic political correctness: "Words not only describe reality and behavior, they shape it. 'Tolerance' implies 'putting up with' (a disapproval of others) and is wrong when used in relation to how we should relate to others. We should teach acceptance and respect not tolerance of those who are different from us wherever appropriate."
Since that time, the NEA has continued to aggressively promote the homosexual aganda, as pointed out by Grant Swank HERE, and WDCMedia tells us how they play the "safety" card HERE. Chalcedon reveals how teachers' union dues are being used to support gay rights groups HERE. And in Anchorage, Alaska's current battle over a proposed gay nondiscrimination ordinance, the Anchorage Education Association (an NEA affiliate) is lining up foursquare with the local homosexual lobby (although thanks to filibustering efforts by the local pro-family community, it looks like the proposed ordinance won't pass).
Yes, we really need to get the teacher's unions out of our public schools. They serve absolutely no socially redeeming purpose, and are parasites who suck the blood from the community.