What exactly does this have to do with teaching?

Posted by: ST on July 25, 2006 at 8:34 am

? I normally take CNS News with a grain of salt, but this morning they are on the mark with their report that the American Federation of Teachers have adopted an official stance on …… the war in Iraq (among other non-school related positions). Mystifying. Here’s the story:

(CNSNews.com) – Just weeks after the National Education Association came under fire for adopting a controversial resolution that critics said didn’t apply to public education, another teachers union has adopted resolutions opposing the war in Iraq, supporting Israel in its struggle against Hizballah and opposing Wal-Mart.

At its biennial convention July 19-22, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) adopted an official position against the war in Iraq, calling on U.S. officials to “withdraw all troops, bases and military operations in a rapid and timely manner and to put a stop to the unending military presence that will waste lives and resources, undermine our nation’s security and weaken our military.”

They also approved a “special order of business” resolution condemning Hezbollah:

The 1.3 million-member union also approved a “special order of business” resolution that criticizes Hizballah for kidnapping two Israeli soldiers, an act that is blamed for inciting the Israeli shelling of Hizballah positions in southern Lebanon.

“[T]he American Federation of Teachers condemn the bombings, killings and kidnappings by Hezbollah and Hamas that precipitated this current crisis,” the resolution stated. It added that “the AFT recognize Israel’s right and responsibility to defend its borders and citizens from terrorist attacks and other threats to its sovereignty.”

The also took some other ‘official positions’ such as:

The union also approved a resolution vowing to “monitor the condition of human and trade union rights in China” and “demand that the Chinese government extend to all Chinese citizens their basic human rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion.”

Other resolutions encouraged members to boycott Wal-Mart because of the retail giant’s alleged anti-union efforts and reiterated the AFT’s longstanding support for abortion rights.

Ok. While it’s perfectly normally have personal opinions on all of the above issues – as we all do, can someone tell me what exactly does adopting ‘official positions’ on any of those issues have to do with educating our children … outside of laying the groundwork for indoctrinating them?

Jaime Zapata, a spokesman for the AFT, told Cybercast News Service that union members voted on these issues because “we believe that there is a direct connection between what happens here in the United States and what happens around the world.”

He said union members voice their opinions on issues outside the realm of education because “so many of our members are involved in other areas of civic life.”

Zapata said the issue of whether the AFT should address non-education related topics “didn’t come up at all” during debate on the resolutions. He added that the union has members “who work not just as teachers or school staff but as other professionals, public employees, higher education workers, health care workers, so our work … extends beyond the classroom in every sense.”

I see. By Zapata’s logic, if you work for a corporation and are involved in civics work outside of the office, and you’re having a quarterly meeting about matters related to company operations, it’s perfectly logical to push for official company resolutions on political issues in addition to advocating changes or tweaks in company operational procedures.

Makes sense.

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13 Responses to “What exactly does this have to do with teaching?”


  1. stackja says:

    ST “Makes sense.” to Left thinkers. They think differently in the Left World.

  2. Drewsmom says:

    I’m a sub teacher here in Alabama and I subbed for a history teacher one day. On her walls, all over the place, were political cartoon about Bush being incompetent, ect. and the students I talked to don’t like this. She has another teacher friend who teaches German who also hates Bush. Not all teachers agree with their points of views.
    I do not see how she can get away with posting crap in her classroom in high school for all the students to see. Her main job is to teach history and I am sure if I could be a fly on the wall in her class room I’d see a mini ward churchill or that other part-time visiting professor that Fox recently profiled.
    I wanted to go to the Principal but I was afraid I’d lose my job. THIS REALLY BURNS MY BUNS but I do try to engage students in rational conversations on war and history even though high school history books are way slanted.
    Whats a sub to do here gang?:-?

  3. forest hunter says:

    Drewsmom: Doomed and damned you will be, if you copy a single aspect of their hypocratic sloth. Too many are where they are and exist for approximately three reasons. (You set the standard, with a smile and a bark.)

    You brought one up in your last paragraph. Fear is a powerful tool, especially if you lack the control needed to be an effective example to those who too live in fear.

    Not all who teach have the gift, nor those who are gifted teach, for reasons as obvious.

    We…I can’t/don’t have the creds according to crap pasters bearing sheepskins, but I am a very effective teacher that spares little and will sacrifice the one in the name and hopefully betterment of the lot. Not a gamble if one has a, shall I say particular attitude.

    I need to see/hear no further than my short history to confirm successes by the majority, that were not before attainable/ed.

  4. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    This is why I and millions of other teachers don’t belong to unions.

  5. forest hunter says:

    ST: Would you expect something more from these pandering blights of teaching excrement at the “top”? Have you not seen the decline of wisdom, swapped for whine and division. Rhetorical, as you’ve already mentioned…..

    We border on a pinnacle of insanity versus inane and argue the fine points as though they have a meaningful impact. A bit like dying, by setting one’s self ablaze or freezing having jumped from a bridge, both, optional stupidity in favor of creation.

  6. Drewsmom says:

    Thanks for the response and I want and need to hear more. I may just have to take that walk to the principal’s office this year as I am sure she will be worse this year.

  7. G-Monster says:


    If the comics were in plain view for the students to see, you should have taken them down, torn them up and reported them to the principal. I’m sure there is some law against this. If you got fired for taking them down, I’m sure we could have gotten you a lwayer to sue the school and an appearance on O’Reilly or Hannity.

  8. Marshall Art says:

    I think the main point is the kids. Asking them what they feel about such postings is the starting point, I think. Encouraging their taking an interest enough to research on their own and helping them to disseminate between biased and unbiased sources to the best of your ability, or at least warning them against taking to heart the first thing they read. I think most kids are, by their natures, primed to become moonbats because it’s easier to feel than to think. Thinking kids see through the emotionally appealling rhetoric of the left. But kids, especially teens, are emotional creatures and can be swayed until they live life a little on their own. Critical and logical thinking should be encouraged and nurtured. How well such can be accomplished in the short time a sub has is the question.

    A quiet discussion with the principal to understand his/her policy on such matters of teachers posting such crap is a separate step and can be approached as a hypothetical situation. Then take it from there gently. Causing a ruckus could be dangerous for your employment situation more than the issue you’d be trying to address.

    As to the thread, I’m not sure I have a problem with a group or organization who makes these public statements if all members have a vote beforehand. It may not be related to their specific purpose, but everyone has a right (for lack of a better word) to affect how they are perceived by the world. Kind of a “this is what we do, this is who we are” sort of thing. As a member of the United Church of Christ, I am not in accord with recent resolutions, many of which have little to do with spreading the Gospel of Christ, but it’s who the UCC is. As Council Prez and Board of Elders Chairman, I’ve been working to have our congregation cobble together resolutions of our own to project to our community who WE are and what WE believe as WE spread God’s Word. I think this union is acting in this manner and as such I have no problem with it, even if I might not agree with their positions. As it pertains to the students, the parents need to stay involved with their particular schools and districts enough to keep them in check.

    Sorry I could not be more concise.

  9. Drewsmom says:

    Marshall Art — a most thougtful post and very good advice. The kids I did discuss this with did not think it should be plastered all over the classrooms.
    I live in Alabama but we do have democrats here that are against Bush and some of the kids in High School have very left leaning attitudes that I am sure come from there parents. The majority are just fun loving teens who just wait till the 3:00P bell rings so they can get out and have fun. I make it a habit not to argue with the left leaning kids cuz thats not what I am there for — I am there to teach them THEIR SUBJECT AS THEIR TEACHER LEFT IT.
    I will talk to the principal and get his take on it and if I am let go I will simply go to the Brd. of Ed. in Shelby Co. and if I am ignored by them, look for me on Hannnity and Colmes sitting by Sean as I would not want to get near Alan, the devil eyebrows, Colmes. :d:x:-w

  10. Big Bang Hunter says:

    – Schools should be a place of learning, and facts as well as you can discern and present them from unbiased published works and sources. Espousing a particular political view should be outlawed in schools. Period.

    – Unions should be put out of the political business by law. Period.

    – Companies proceed at their own peril when they venture into politics. Most companies nowadays have “been to school” on what happens when you take sides, and therefore avoid public political stances by their employee’s on behalf of the company, or the company itself. They’re pretty much self policing after seeing what can happen with firms like Target etc.

    – Bang **==

  11. Drewsmom says:

    Thanks Bang, another thoughful blog.
    Have a great day yall, I’m stopping now cuz I have a pain in my shoulder running down my left arm and it tingles — I’ve already had a herniated ruptered disk operated on 3 years ago — that time it was back, this time I guess its another C-something, I can’t seem to catch a break these days.:((

  12. benning says:

    The AFT is a Leftists organization. Their stance is not a surprise at all. Just sad that we all allow this to continue in the school sytems which we pay for!