Proponents of women’s reproductive rights have long drawn on the irony that right-to-life types seem to be interested only in the safety of fetuses and zygotes, but as soon as there’s a helpless live baby to be protected, they suddenly become free-loading slackers that don’t deserve food assistance.
Well, now the far-right views public school teachers in the same way.
Michigan GOP lawmakers have engaged in an unrelenting battle against educators, saying all manner of awful things about teachers in the state, with House Education Committee Chair Rep. Lisa Posthumus-Lyons unabashedly likening them to swine in a heated debate over the legislatively mandated closure of Buena Vista and Inkster Schools. Teachers from those schools were denied priority in applying for work in the districts that took the transferred students. If nothing else, Lyons has made her feelings about experienced teachers and their employment prospects abundantly clear.
Not so student teachers apparently.
Indeed, Lyons claims to just love them. So much so, that she is outraged that the Washtenaw County Education Association, local member of the MEA, has called upon schools to not accept student teachers from Eastern Michigan University due to the university’s affiliation with Lyons controversial pet project, the Education Achievement Authority. Lyons is reported saying this of the WCEA action:
“It appears that these innocent student teachers are being used as tools in a political disagreement. If that is true, it is unbecoming of an education organization of any type.”
Heavens! One wouldn’t want to be professionally unbecoming. Gasp!
In another ironic twist of hypocrisy, the DeVos family funded Michigan Freedom Fund is similarly miffed that the union local would play politics with teachers. They have called upon Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-52) to lean on the union to backdown. The MFF was a strong advocate of Michigan’s new right-to-work law — a law that, if you recall, multiple state universities were able to skirt for the time-being by re-negotiating long-term contracts. And what was the legislative response to that manuever? They threatened to withhold state funds from any schools that were teacher-friendly. In the end, their bluff was called, and the lawmakers took their ball and went home.
And now we learn that MFF leader Greg McNeilly issued a statement decrying the WCEA, saying this:
“Local union presidents are using innocent student teachers as collateral damage in their attempt to strong arm university administrators into rescinding their support of the EAA.”
Sigh…let’s just let the irony settle-in and speak for itself.
Amy Kerr Hardin