Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Autism, Employment, Incompetence, Outrage, Unions, Sometimes Wisconsin and You

Every day we hear about viral videos that are viewed by thousands or millions of people. I ran across this one this morning. It has had nearly 1.5 million views. It is a little long, so if you don't have time to watch it, you can get the gist by reading the story. It is about the outrage a father feels when he sees his son with autism being mistreated (an understatement) by his teachers. If you can, I encourage you to watch this video, so you can hear the tone of voice of the teachers and aides in this public school.

I have to wonder if this dad has always had the opinion that he articulates in the video about unions and labor laws that protect incompetence. Did it take this devastating first-hand experience for him to realize it? I doubt it, since his statement that he is not interested in a lawsuit is not a typical liberal point of view. Most have dollar signs in their eyes and will sue at the drop of a hat. This father merely wants a public apology from the offending teachers and aides, and he calls for an end to the protection and perks that unions force school systems to give to undeserving teachers.

It was almost thirty years ago when I got my undergraduate degree in special education, trainable mentally handicapped (probably no longer politically correct terminology, but that was what my degree was called). I had only a couple of  practicums and a 6-week student teaching experience in a special ed classroom to prepare me for a year of actual teaching. I spent a semester each in two special ed schools in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Indeed, nothing can prepare you for such experiences, as no two classrooms are the same. I had taught for seven years in Catholic parochial schools before the special ed gigs. But it was that last year of teaching in public schools that confirmed for me that it was time to get out of teaching. There were so many constraints on what you could and could not do as a teacher, and there was so much paperwork that I could not put up with it any longer. There was no time to even teach the basics, like the vowels: A, E, I, O, U, sometimes W and Y.* I knew when it was time to go.

The teachers and aides in this video should make the same decision. They are not fit for the job. But, sadly, they are protected by a system that prefers to exchange for tenure, pensions, and other perks for votes. Unions are contributing to the ruin of America. Public sector employment is a privilege, not a right. This from a woman who grew up blue-collar and hard-working in a small, predominantly rural town of farmers and laborers. I believe that if you are a good worker, you do not need the bully tactics of entities like SEIU, AFSCME, NEA, and other mafia-like rackets.

I would love to see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie weigh in on this situation since it happened in a school in Cherry Hill, NJ.  I suspect he would have a few choice words for these teachers and aides, even more than what he said to the teacher who confronted him in this now-famous video almost two years ago.

Speaking of governors, they do have a tough job, especially with the tough economy that we are suffering now. The entitlement mentality runs rampant among state workers, just as it does in the federal government. This is why I have nothing but disdain for those people in Wisconsin who are trying to oust Governor Scott Walker in a recall election. They have been brainwashed into trying to protect a system that rewards failure and protects perks and goodies for public sector employees who are the mouthpieces and the symbiotic parasites of the union bullies who also feed off of them. Even the Catholic nuns--the same ones who just got reprimanded by the Vatican--are getting in on the ouster action. That's what many tax-exempt organizations are all about theses days -- promoting the liberal agenda while not paying taxes for the services that the rest of us taxpayers are required to support.

I lived for one year in the cheese state, in the mid-80s. Milwaukee is a nice place, full of hard-working people who love their brats and Packers. But after what I see the people doing up there in this recall, I would not want to live in Wisconsin again. I will be visiting the  Badger State on business next Tuesday, so I will bite my tongue when it comes to offering my opinion. But you can bet I will be telepathically transmitting my own version of sanity to all with whom I come into contact!

* Did you catch the vowel  references and relationship to the title of this blog post?


  1. Replies
    1. Hey, Barberick! Great to have you here. There is a lot of outrageous stuff happening in the country these days. That's why November is so important! Keep the comments coming!

  2. I agree with everyone - this was outrageous. I'm not so sure about unions being the cause of this situation. If any institution has led to this incident, it seems that the example that the governor has carefully nurtured by his extreme and headline-grabbing incivility may have trickled down to state employees.

  3. Awww, Gov. Christie is a big teddy bear -- reminds me of Glen W from CSC! He just speaks his mind. I don't think of that as incivility. He does grab headlines, though, because straight talk does not come naturally to most Conservatives! We tend to bite our tongues -- mine is about 1/2 an inch shorter than it was 20 years ago. I started to lisp, and that is why I started this blog!
    I do think that teachers unions protect incompetence -- I saw it when I was teaching, and I still see it in the local school systems where I live. Michelle Ree tried to clean things up in D.C. a few years back, but she only got so far when Fenty was defeated. She was not perfect, naturally, but she had guts!