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CTA Members Speak Out Against Editorial Attacks

This weekend, the San Diego Union Tribune ran a hatchet piece against our union in its Opinion-Editorial section. Along with this, it ran an article by Reformer du Jour Michelle Rhee. At no point did the news outlet ask for our stance or offer a spot to rebut the obviously politically-motivated, unsubstantiated claims. We thank our fearless members who speak up against these attacks and help dispel the myths being pushed out to the pubic.

Below is a response from Sweetwater Education Association member Helen Farias:

As a 2013 SUHSD Teacher of the Year and nominee for San Diego County Teacher of the Year, as well as an active member of Sweetwater Education Association and California Teachers Association, I take strong offense to your portrayal of teachers and their unions. You bash unions for protecting bad teachers, but I know that my union allows exceptional teachers to advocate for their students. Because of union protections, there are teachers in Sweetwater who are challenging one of the most corrupt school boards in the nation. It is because of our union that teachers were able to demand indoor locking mechanisms for all classroom doors after Sandy Hook. It is because of our union that teachers were able to move forward with a vote of no confidence against an administrator who allowed student drug use on campus because it was simply a reality of 'pop culture.' It is because of our union that teachers were able to challenge a principal who decided to no longer allow students to learn US history in his school despite that class being mandated by the state of California.

Without the protection that due process provides for us, it would be impossible for us to fight for our students without fear of losing our jobs. This is my sixteenth year in the classroom, and I have never heard any teacher defend a colleague who does not exhibit the highest professional standards; however, I have heard scores of teachers give thanks for the due process rights that provide them the ability to truly stand up for their students.

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