Thursday, October 23, 2008


The California Teachers Association (union) is designed to offer protections to teachers' employment. They extract heafty dues from each paycheck with the promise of protections from such things as false accusations (providing legal representation) and the likes. As a teacher, I have no problem with having part of my paycheck used in a pool to protect employment rights of fellow teachers. However, when these funds are used for political purposes, especially ones that do not relate to teachers themselves, it is quite disturbing. The CTA has donated approximately 1.25 million dollars to the "No on Proposition 8" campaign and has allowed the "No on Prop 8" campaign to claim that teachers are opposed to the proposition. As a teacher and a member of the CTA I am appalled that my hard earned money is being used to promote a political agenda with which I do not agree and is saying that I support a "no" vote on proposition 8. All of their adds say that California teachers oppose the proposition. Well, I am a california teacher and I support a "YES" vote on proposition 8. What they should claim, if they are honest, is that the liberal teachers union, who is raiding teachers wallets, is opposed to the proposition, not the teachers themselves. I have no doubt that many teachers are lining up on both sides of this issue--let the teachers speak for themselves, not the union which we disagree with more often than not.
In response to the CTA's decision, many parents will be protesting by keeping their children home from school on Monday, October 27th. Here is the information that has circulated via email:

Parents throughout CA are keeping their kids out of school on 10/27/08 to counter the actions of the CA Teachers Union. CA schools are paid on average $33. per student per day for attendance. The goal of 100,000 kids missing school for one day erases the donation made by the Teachers Union and sends a message that parents will hit them where it hurts to protect our children. We're being asked to call the schools to let them know why our children will be absent on Monday. The "sit-out" will be announced at each of the YES ON 8 tour bus stops through the media. Please pass this along to every parent you know in CA."

In reallity, this action will not hurt the union financially (they make their money off of the teachers' set salaries), but it will send a message nevertheless. As for myself, I will be going to work on October 27th--it is my duty and responsibility to my profession and my students, but I must say, I would love to see a whole lot of empty desks (and if I had children of my own, I would keep them home that day in order to send a message of my own dissatisfaction with the CTA for supporting politics to which I am fundamentally opposed).


Knowledge is Power said...

I taught high school for five years and am now a stay at home mom. Being a brand new teacher, I frankly felt intimidated to join the union when I first started teaching. I too disagreed with their politics and which platforms they chose to support.

I just want to commend you on your stand and your honesty. I know that there are teachers out there who support Prop.8 and they too are mortified by what the CTA did.

I'm keeping my 2nd grader and kindergartener home on Monday. I hope that their teachers will be just as understanding as you.

It's not personal, it's principle.

Melissa Bloomer
Fontana, CA

Rachel said...

I was MAD when I heard about CTA donating all that money. I'm so glad you commented on it. Essentially forcing teachers to join a union then taking their money to promote a specific political agenda is unethical and should be illegal.

Karl said...

As a former CTA member, I am also interested in protesting their most recent action. I have five children in school, but am not sure the older kids won't be punished for missing school. I know my senior would not be willing to throw out her 8 year 100% attendance record. However, I do think I will send a message by keeping my elementary children home from school on that day. I firmly support Proposition 8. Man + Woman = children, and that's the way it's supposed to be. Though I have loved ones who choose to live another lifestyle, I do not think that lifestyle should be promoted in any way.

moonmama said...

This is SO disturbing.
By taking this action, you are insulting hard-working teachers, keeping necessary funds from our under-funded public school system, and sending a message of intolerance to children and their families.
Shame on you.
Teacher and Mother
Petaluma, CA

NO_on_Prop8 said...

I hope that the next time you are forced to pay for your own classroom supplies, the next time you complain that the schools don't get enough money to properly educate our children, you'll think about the $100,000+ you urged parents to take out of the hands of their children.

How hypocritical is it that you are hurting the same people you are professing to be protective of?

doulamom said...

Don't like it, then go complain to CTA! Causing more financial distress to already struggling schools DOES NOTHING BUT HURT ALL OUR CHILDREN!!!! You are supposed to be educated people. I'm disgusted!!

beachmom said...

Many of us were volunteering and raising funds out of our own pockets just last year to keep California teachers from receiving pink slips because of budget cuts, fighting for them to able to keep their jobs and happy to do so. Shame on the union for foolishly getting politically involved in this controversial issue. They could have donated that money into our struggling schools, or even paid to help keep their teachers jobs. My children will be sitting out on Monday. And I will gladly pay for my children's school supplies and then some, as I do each year.

Diane Ashby said...

I agree that the CTA should not be donating money to a controversial political issue, especially in times of economical crisis within our schools. And what kind of hypocrites would we be if we don't do something within our power to have our voices heard. Personally, I am not prejudice against homosexuals, but believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Gays and lesbians have legal rights, so why the fight for "equality". Two men or two women will never equal a man and a woman, no matter how you add it up. Marriage has always been between a man and a woman. It seems like this goes way beyond being treated fairly. I have a freshman and a junior in public high school and will be keeping them home. I have checked with two of my friend who are teachers, and they said it would not hurt them personally. This is not teaching kids intolerance, and it is a shame that some see it that way. It is standing up for what is right. Hard working teachers should be insulted that this is how their union decides to spend their hard earned money! At least let the teachers vote on how their money should be spent.

Merrie said...
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Merrie said...

Just as a follow-up, we were asked by our Stake Presidency today not to participate in Monday's sit-out. Therefore I highly recommend again that all the concerned teachers donate their intended CTA dues to a worthy, charitable organization.

cleancomedian said...

Thank you for your bold and brave stand!
We will keep our 3 young children out of school tomorrow. it is time to fight this brainwashing attempt by liberals and pro homosexual groups! We cant even allow prayer any more, even though a student would be allowed to opt out, yet they want to force their agenda and call it 'tolerance"?!?!?
Don't listen to these voices that are opposed to you...THEY are the intolerant ones. THEY are the hypocrites....
You have God, History, Every decent thinking Christian American, and even nature, on your side!

A said...

I think it's hilarious the big "reason" everyone is against gay marriage is because it will be taught in school. Well guess what, your "protest" and "sit out" just brought the children into it. If you want to hurt the CTA, fine, but stop being hipocritical, saying it's to "protect the children", and then include them. All this does is teach hate.

cleancomedian said...

The person above just helped prove my point....Amazing that the most hateful group on the planet, liberals, and most pro homosexual groups, who have shown raging hatred towards Christians and conservatives and anyone who calls their behavior unnatural, or sinful, will have the audacity to say that our motive is hateful. No, our motive is Love...for our children. But, just to be sure, a Godly "hatred" against perversion is indeed justifiable....and a Godly hatred to force anything on my children that is contrary to what the entire world has accepted as unnatural throughtout history, is, again, a good thing.But the fiery hatred that pro homosexual groups demonstrate towards anyone who dare disagree with them is nothing short of wickedness.....

Anonymous said...

I think you people need to grow up and open your minds. Keeping your children out of school sends a great message. (Sarcastic) However it does make sense that you would make an ill choice once again seeing how you choose to support prop 8. This is a civil rights case just as it was for women to earn the right to vote and for interacial couples the right to marry. If you have beliefs in something great!!! Live your life to how you see fit. Do not however impose your beliefs and lifestyles on to the lives of others. Do the research and stop getting brain washed, GAY MARRIAGE WILL NOT AFFECT YOU. The court order passed in May of this year, has your lives drastically changed?? NO. So what does not affect you should not concern you. Only God can judge us, and it is through God's golden rule where he teaches us to love others the way you would like to be treated. Are you willing to give up your right to marriage to stop gay marriage from happening?

cleancomedian said...

Once again, what hypocrites....heiffer says;
"Do not however impose your beliefs and lifestyles on to the lives of others."
FORCE their perverse belief on our young kids by making it a law to teach it in schools!
And yet, that is ALL we are asking. KEEP It TO YOURSELF....even God gives FREE CHOICE (But not choice of the consequences!)
But you want MORE than free want to FORCE it on eweryone...the exact thing you accuse those who oppose you of doing!
NOTE:Please stand up to these hypocrites, folks! They only keep pouncing when we dont defend ourselves!

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, please get your facts stright before you start preaching. Proposition 8 has nothing to do with what is being taught in the schools. Stop using a scare tactic to try to BRAIN WASH everyone to thinking that propsition 8 is regarding schools when it has nothing to do with schools!! This is the land of the free if you want to live in a place in which you are living under a dictatorship, move to the communist country.

Cleancomedian, why look at the spec in your neighbors eye as you have a plank in your own?

cleancomedian said...

Please notice how the last person just made an argument that is a lie, without one bit of proof to back it up...We KNOW that it has everything to do with schools, goofus....We SEE what happned in the east coast, and we SEE what it says on your own leaders website "Schools will be required to teach gay narriage as normAL AND ACCEPTABLE"
Then he quoted a scripture out of context, but they completely ignore they MYRIAd of scriptures condemning homosexuality! Corinthians 6:9, Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13, also Romans 1:24-27; I Timothy 1:10 and Jude 7
Thank you again for helping me prove my point....

Anonymous said...

One teacher reads a book to their class you act as though it is being put in the statewide curriculum. STOP MAKING THINGS UP!! GAY MARRIAGE IS NORMAL AND ACCECPTABLE. God help you if your own child ends up being gay. You obviously have not had any interaction with any gay people because guess what we are human and NORMAL. We deserve the same rights as you do. Homesexuality is not a disease. The bible states that pork, masturbation, and premarital sex is a sin. Have you had any bacon this weekend???? Why have we found it ok to disregard so many things in the bible but place such emphasis on certain things?

My lord is a loving God and would never condemn me for loving another human being.

cleancomedian said...

I'm sorry friend, that you misintrepet scripture to fit your sinful lifestyle....
In your last post you stated;

"The bible states that pork, masturbation, and premarital sex is a sin. Have you had any bacon this weekend???? Why have we found it ok to disregard so many things in the bible but place such emphasis on certain things?"

Neither do I have the time or space here to answer the same stock argument that so many like to bring out when confronted with the fact that homosexuality is clearly condemned in the bible.
But honestly, If someone can’t see the distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial Old Testament laws that God gave for a certain time and a certain people and situation ("The pig is also unclean;…. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses," Deut. 14:8) and laws that were clearly meant for ALL of mankind for all time (Thou shalt not murder) then, I don’t know what to say. It should be easy to understand that moral laws, according to this system of interpretation, are universal and timeless. They still apply as law to Christian believers today. Civil and ceremonial laws, on the other hand, applied only to ancient Israel. They do not apply at all to believers today.
If you want to live or believe in the gay lifestyle, it is indeed your choice, but as A Christian, I have a hard time keeping silent as many attempt to take their philosophy further and blatantly say that “It’s OK with God, and in fact, GOD blesses it”…..I take issue with that, as God of the bible clearly does not (1 Corinthians 6:9, Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13, also Romans 1:24-27; I Timothy 1:10 and Jude 7.
Besides the many scripture references, you may also want to consider what is NOT in scripture. There is never a GAY marriage even hinted in the bible, and whenever you hear about homosexuality, it is strongly condemned (Sodom and Gomorrah)
You may also ask, if God “Blesses” these unions, if God “made” them gay, then how come a loving God didn’t make a way for them to experience the most blessed things a married couple can do; have children?
I say this all, not to convince or change anyone’s mind, but to show that we don’t deserve the hateful title of “intolerant” to reject the gay lifestyle. That, in fact, we believe what we believe because we see very persuasive proofs in scripture and nature as well as history. Call Christians what you want, but we are no less tolerant than those who oppose us. I would even be as bold as to say that Christians, real Christians, are much more tolerant of them.

They also stated:
"My lord is a loving God and would never condemn me for loving another human being".

Sorry, but once again, that is a weak and false statement. Read the many scriptures I just gave...Homosexuals shall NOT inherit the kingdom of God...

it's not love my friend. It's lust. and of the kind God calls an abomination.

Anonymous said...

Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gays.

Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.” The Orange County Register, traditionally one of the most conservative newspapers in the state, says this claim is false. So do lawyers for the California Department of Education.

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it’s about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

Fiction: People can be sued over personal beliefs.

Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.

Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.

Fact: The university has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.

Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Regardless of how you feel about the issue, we should not eliminate fundamental rights for ANY Californians. Please vote NO on Prop 8.

Merrie said...
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loneranger said...

This is great; the liberal's on here are condemning the conservatives for protesting by having a sit out, can you say hypocrisy?

cleancomedian said...

yes, I admit I got a bit "agressive" towards my friend....obviously we are all passionate about this issue, one way or the other. Sorry to allow myself to get so far off track.

Heather said...

I would perfer to keep politics out of the classroom, however, this is not always possible. I may not always agree with CTA's position on issues, but as a Union Member I respect CTA and know that they have the best interest of ALL the teachers in mind. They do not pick and choose their battles to suit anyone else's political views.
As a teacher who believes and teaches equality for all human beings, I support CTA's position on proposition 8. How, as a society, do we expect to teach our children about the importance of growth and change in matters of human rights and equality when we are working so hard to actually place discrimination into our state constitution?

Merrie said...
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Merrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merrie said...

Merrie said...
I had originally suggested that teachers donate their dues to other organizations in protest of CTA using their contributions for political purposes. However in doing so, they would lose potential benefits from having a CTA membership. After further research, I discovered a way wherein teachers may still contribute to the CTA, maintain full benefits of membership (including the Standard Policy Protection Insurance) and at the same time protect their contributions from being allocated to CTA's political ideology. On my blog you can find a link to the CTA's General Fund Allocation Form which removes the portion of the member's dues that goes to political activities and redirects them to the CTA General Fund. Obviously it is too late for this election cycle, but it is an alternative we as teachers have.