Friday, October 3, 2008

Virginia Education Association: Breach of Trust

Recently, the Virginia Education Association representing for than 60,000 teachers throughout the Commonwealth drove itself over the political cliff by instructing its membership to participate in "Obama Blue Day" by wearing a solid blue t-shirt of some sort in solidarity for support for Barack Obama.

If that were the end of it it certainly would be fine I guess, but it wasn't.

The association which is Virginia's teacher union instructed its membership to seek out those McCain supporters they may know either in their own ranks or parents of the children they teach and attempt to "sway them to become Obama supporters".

This directive was placed in an email dissimilated throughout the teacher union for the purposes of influencing not only a captive audience in our children but also a blatant attempt to use their authority of influence over our children for political gain.

By any stretch, the VEA engaged in partisan political activism.

Our schools are no place for such activism. Encouraging our young people to register to vote is one thing when they become of age, but introducing them or encouraging them to join a particular Party is astonishing and is a breach of trust between us as parents and the teachers union.

I have no doubt that the Union feels compelled to support the Democrats. That is completely fine, but not within our schools or during school hours.

Those that feel that this event was simply harmless or did not encourage children or influence them in any way forget that upon seeing all the teachers wearing "Blue"; would not the logical question be:

"So Mr/Mrs. Teacher why are all of you wearing BLUE shirts today? Whats up?"---the hook

The answer being "In support of Democrat Barack Obama for President" and so the conversation begins which is exactly what the VEA sought in its email sent out to its membership.

The goal here by the VEA was not one of "informing" but of "influencing" and there is a difference.

Would the Union permit or authorize a RED day for those teachers in its ranks that support the GOP have a day of their own? I seriously doubt it and that again speaks volumes.

There are things that I do not want the school system to be engaged in regarding my children and politics is one of them.

My children will certainly undertake social studies and civics, but that is a far cry from politics. It is exactly the folks at the VEA who have skewed the line of these studies to include such partisanship endeavors that I would prefer my children not be exposed to in such an atmosphere.

Here is a novel concept. If your going to enagage in such activities, how about endorsing a Red, White, and Blue Day to encourage a more patriotic position regarding voting rights and not the partisan measures undertaken with "Obama Blue Day".

Its funny, the VEA apparantly had no comment when the GOP rally for McCain/Palin had to be removed from Fairfax County school grounds on the very foundation by Fairfax Democrats and teachers that our children should not be exposed to a partisan rally and yet they authorize this "Obama Blue Day" on every school campus in the Commonwealth.

This is absolutely a breach in trust.


Anonymous said...

DO something about this!!! Flood the VEA with e-mails calling for a resignation of the person who sent the e-mail... Call them, e-mail them, and speak up!! There is NO room for politics in the school environment!! Here is conact information:

VEA's main office numbers are (800) 552-9554 toll-free or (804) 648-5801. Switchboard hours are 8:15 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Executive Office
Kitty Boitnott
VEA President

Robert Whitehead
Executive Director

Anonymous said...

Alter of Freedom,

I just found your blog and have perusuing great posts

NMM/Citizen Indy/Red Realist/

Finally gave up after having half a dozen other screen names eliminated from RK

Gail said...

I have sent the emails demanding action be taken.

Thank you Anonymous for the heads up.

This situation regardless of Party affiliation is unacceptable.

Alter of Freedom said...

I thank you for the email addresses regarding the VEA.

Luck Lane your points is heard loud and clear and I tend to agree.

I usually post, if you review the posts, alot concerning Chesterfield and our community in regards to the local Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, but lately there just has not been very much news coming out of this body as of late.

There is the Transportation Authority proposition that I am following endorsed by Midlothian Supervisor Dan Gecker which is behind the postponement regarding "impact fees".

One aspect you might want to consider Lucks Lane is that Matoaca Supervisor Marlene Durfee has been holding and still has some upcoming town halls scheduled regarding the new precinct issues before the election as well as other topics. I may not agree with her on every issue but at the very least she has become the most accessible to her consituents.

I make no bones about the fact that once the November polls close, posts will go full bore on local issues impacting all of us including the formation of the new Robious Road Community Coalition group.

Lucks Lane said...

I am glad to hear about the formation of a Robius Road Coalition and I wish you luck.

What geographic area will it encompass?

Looks like the County is going to have a large struggle with the next budget. The automatic rising value RE tax increase is gone for a L O N G time.

Alter of Freedom said...

The geographical area is to include the border of Rt. 60 in the East and follow Rt 711 to the Powhatan line.

It would include the schools districts of Greenfield, Robious, Robious Middle, Betty Weaver, James River High all bordering on Robious Road.

The Coalition will be open to all residents, not just homeowners like most neighborhood associations. Everyone has a vested interest in the community, especially if they are sending their children to schools in the area.

Though the focus will certainly be community based, it is intended to act as a liason between government and the community bringing the ongoings to the attention of the community so they can better become aware and participate in the process.

For example, did we ask the County to spend 15 million of our dollars for a new library on Robious Road? Why is just a location neccessary when Midlothian and Bon Air are never at full capacity in terms of parking and the internet continues to become a greater part of our lives? Would not this 15 million be spent wiser, like helping eliminate the need of trailers at some schools in the area. Since the library would certainly be geared to serve our area and not so much in reality other residents given they have libraries closer, would not our community like the opportunity to determine where we think the money should go if it is to benefit our area?

This is but one example of the involvement we are talking about. It is our hope that coalitions will be easily replicated and act as a source for information for people who cannot get down to Board meetings or follow the various ordinances up before the Planning Commission.

One such measure is the new Costco zoned to be built with Cranbeck Road being extended to Chesterfield Town Center. This proposal passed, but hundreds of residents in Greenfield, Settlers Landing, and Heritage Commons opposed such a measure but were too late to oppose it. This stuff happens alot. The one measure that alot of attention was brought to bear was by the folks in Charter Colony regarding Roseland. They got in the fight to shape the debate somewhat and thats a good thing, but it almost did not happen at all. We all have to fight against such things and the notification process is horrible in reality. The Board follows the State guidelines, but frankly hardly anyone ever gets the word in time regarding issues unless of course they make it into the Metro section of the RTD beforehand.

Any thoughts you may have Lucks Lane will always be appreciated. One of my personal goals to work for a new Bon Air Supervisor district as the County continues to grow so should our Board to reflect direct representation. Right now, as I see it Matoaca and Midlothian have way too many residents to be represented by just two Supervisors. Much will depend on the next census but hopefully it will happen.

Lucks Lane said...

Robious Road Community Coalition group - Have you considered handing out info at the polls on 11/4?

I think the individual associations have failed their neighborhoods. They ignored County issues for the sake pf flowers and trees. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

There are countless polling station laws and ordinances as well as feet standards with regard to election days but its a nice thought.

A better plan is the one expressed to leverage local PTA's at schools where the Coalition with work with those bodies for the benefit of the schools committees.

For example, a major push in 2009 for our elementary schools is to raise (fundraise) or assist those schools to get get Smart Boards for some classrooms. Working with business groups in the area as well to leverage involvement will also be a key aspect.

People need to ask themselves just what exactly are they getting from their homeowners fees and dues. Your point to flowers and trees is well taken.

Anonymous said...

You also have to realize that becuase of leadership like the prvious Board and Planning Commission in Chesterfield and leaders like Dan Gecker we have experienced tremondous commercial sprawl from the old Cloverleaf to Chesterfield Towne Center which has also resulted in the areas between Midlothian and Huguenot increase in rental units as compared to ten years ago and on the western side of Huguenot an increase in new homes two and three times the value of those flanking the area. Poor planning and vision isn't a recent thing and many of those involved are still around in one form or another.

Dan Gecker has been a major part of this in County politics for eight years now and people believed in his "change" ploy in 2006 when change was the trendy word of the day.

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