Message to Teachers in Wisconsin: Leave the Governor's Kids Out of It!
Filed under: Opinions
On February 15th, more than a thousand protesters gathered outside of the Wauwatosa, Wis., home of Governor Scott Walker to protest his proposed state budget bill. But Scott Walker doesn't live there, and the teachers in that community know that.
Walker lives at the governor's residence in Madison. His Wauwautosa house is home to his wife, Tonette, who is living there while their teenage boys finish out the school year. Having your home surrounded by a thousand chanting protesters in the post-Gabby Giffords era is frightening. For high schoolers, it can also be, well, embarrassing!
Back in Madison, where the protests in the Captiol rotunda continue in full force, some protesters couldn't resist the urge to make it personal. In addition to signs depicting Governor Walker as Hitler and comparing him to deposed dictator Hosni Mubarkek, several teachers held up these homemade signs:
"Scott, your son is in my class. I teach him, I protect him, I inspire him."
"Scott, I taught your son algebra. My son just turned 5. Does he deserve a good education?"
Is this really necessary, or professional, for that matter? Can't these educators see the hypocrisy in claiming to "protect" a child that they're simultaneously using as a pawn for political gain? Surely I'm not the only parent appalled by this violation of trust in the student-teacher relationship.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of unions, collective bargaining rights, government spending or billion dollar deficits, we are all called to use our common sense and decency in our political expression. It shouldn't be hard for teachers to imagine that it's probably tough being the governor's teenage sons during these contentious times in Wisconsin. Teachers and their unions ought to publicly denounce these tactics that so clearly undermine their claims that these protests are all about "the kids."
Whether it's the Obama girls or the Walker boys, politicians' kids deserve to be off limits. It's a good civic rule of thumb -- one our public school teachers shouldn't need to be schooled on.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.