This is a reposting of my weekly Da Tech Guy column: Protest and Educators
By A.P. Dillon
The last few months have been filled with protests in multiple states over the decisions in Ferguson and in the NYC case of Eric Garner. In my own state of North Carolina, protests have occurred as well, mainly in the Durham area.
What’s interesting to me about some of these protests are various educators and education related groups like Teach For America being involved. From police reports on these protests, anarchists and occupiers are also involved. In a protest that occurred on December 10th, one arrest included charges of ‘inciting a riot’. Those charges were attributed to one Robert Stephens. Stephens is the North Carolina executive director of alumni for Teach for America. Perhaps ironically, Durham Public Schools has recently broken off its contract with Teach for America.
One of the people waiting to bail out those arrested at the event on the 10th was Rachel Schankula. Schankula is a long-time employee of Teach For America. It should also be noted that the woman who runs Teach For America’s alum affairs is the wife of Eric Guckian, education adviser to Governor Pat McCrory. Eric Guckian is also a Teach for America Alum. So are the other advisers under Guckian.
This is not the first Teach for America tied person to such protests. In Missouri, Brittany Packnett was assigned to the Ferguson Commission by Governor Jay Nixon. Packnett had been organizing protests over the last few months according to the Huffington Post.
Then we have the report that a prominent Teacher’s Union figure was arrested at a protest:
fifty one hundred people have notified me in some way about Randi Weingarten getting arrested at a protest. So 2 things then you can stop.
— Jason (@jybuell) December 8, 2014
Don’t forget Eric Linsker, the CUNY professor arrested for attempting to incite a riot and carrying around a backpack full of hammers — as well as marijuana.
Shifting back to North Carolina, just this past week the school board of one of the largest school districts held one of its regularly scheduled meetings. At that meeting, board member Keith Sutton wore a shirt that had “#blacklivesmatter” printed on it and went on to give a little speech where he attempted to compare his own brush with police to that of Eric Garner in NYC. He went on to try to tie the achievement gap of minorities into that speech. Check out that contrived bit of hand-wringing for yourself.
Children in schools look up to their teachers a great deal. Teachers have been role models for many students in the past. In the current times we live in, it seems like political activism is on the rise in and around our schools. There is a noted glorification happening with being arrested at a protest. The actions and opinions of teachers inevitably end up filtering into the classroom. What impact those actions and opinions are having is becoming clear. Given the education related activism I’ve just chronicled, one has to see a bigger and arguably coordinated picture emerging. Now, more than ever, parents need to be engaged with what their kids are learning, seeing and doing.
If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!
A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.