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Deep and Abiding Disrespect for Teachers


Deep and Abiding Disrespect for Teachers

Leo Gerard

When coal-mine bosses said mules were more precious than men because dead miners could be replaced for free, but not dead mules, it demonstrated disrespect. That contempt from the top provoked pitched gun battles between workers and mine-owner militias in West Virginia a little over a century ago.

Ill-paid, mistreated and insulted, what did the miners have to lose?


It appears that is what we need in order to fight back. Nothing left to lose.


The current Republican Party is hostile to everything public school teachers do in the course of their daily work, science of course and the logic of mathematics. Even the ability to write a standard essay is subversive from the Republican point of view, since self-contradiction and assertions without proof don’t earn an A. Education for Betsey DeVos consists of instilling in children obedience and parroting of approved religious/political jargon. Asking questions is equivalent to disrespect. And of course, civility and respect for other ethnicities and beliefs is the last thing that Republicans want to see in children - or in the teachers they think they are paying for.


The 1% and their GOP want a world that consists of 1% of the people owning everything while the other 99% are expendable labor…a neofeudal paradise for the 1%, a neofeudal hell for the 99%.

If trends apparent during the first 18 years of the 21st century are any indication, the 1%'s neofeudal paradise will easily be achieved during the 21st century.


Not sure a state pension plan can reduce Social Security benefits to zero but it sounds as if the state can reduce or eliminate the plan leaving intact its effect on the recipients SS?


Republican controlled states that don’t collect pertro-chem dollars suck as it relates to taking care of their citizens. They are merely one step ahead of those that do collect petro-chem money, for when those industries get hit, their teachers and other public service employees are the first to take the hit! When will we start respecting teachers?!!

Here’s a better question to start with: When will people start demanding we discuss the OTHER SIDE OF THE FUCKING EQUATION?!!!

It’s not all about reducing taxes, but rather getting tax dollars from where they will be missed the least to where they will be most useful. Rich folks who can’t possibly spend all they take every year are the perfect source for the necessary funding of the government for the benefit of us all. The kicker is, since they can’t possibly spend all they take in, they spend ridiculous amounts to put politicians in office who aspire to their level of financial splendor and who will make and pass laws to help themselves get there! To the detriment of us all, and typically starting with Teachers & public employees.

If folks would just wake up! A general strike would help. We must demand to start talking about adding another tax bracket! Simple as that. It will pay for teachers to start, and bridge & road repairs. I say it should be a 51% or greater tax on the portion of income over $1,000,000 a year. The prior $72K being taxed at only 28% by the fed isn’t cutting it.

As a result of the one-sided conversations on lowering taxes, the republicans are not just talking about doing away with Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare, but are close to implementing their repeal! That and the talk about going insolvent every 2-3 months instead of talking about raising the tax revenue to make good on our debts! That’s what we Americans want to do, pay our bills and be respected members of society. But our greedy, rich, spoiled-brat, silver-spoon oligarchs don’t know how to do that. We need to take the money while it’s there! The need has been proven


I’m sure the politicians in Oklahoma like to keep people really dumb, unquestioning so when they serve on juries they will never question the state and always bring the most harsh punishment including the death penalty. It is questionable if this state belongs in the classification of a civilized place. Their politicians kind of reflect the thinking of the people and it is very disturbing. Of course, they don’t want educated people and of course, they don’t give a damn about children unless it is to build more juvenile halls. I think Oklahoma is in a contest with other states like Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida to see which one can be the most backwards, ignorant, dumb place in the country. I know there are some good people in those states and it must be hard for them to live with the others.


Thanks Leo, I’ve been calling for this for weeks. All unions should be standing with these teachers. They are a investment in our future that benefits all of us.
All union members, get off you’re butts and stand with the teachers, they deserve it, we all do.


All of which is 100% true, but as a former high school science teacher I’d like to point out that there’s more to the story:

The current state of education is the result of a downward spiral that’s been going on for a hell of a lot longer than the first 18 years of the 21st century.  Lack of support for schools – including much more than just terrible salaries for teachers – has been the case for several decades now.  With many brilliant exceptions of course, the low salaries and lack of respect in our communities has led to teaching becoming the job of last resort for many of the less bright bulbs on the tree, so teachers become paid and respected even less, which means even fewer of our best & brightest are attracted to the profession, and so on and so on ad infinitum.  The de­liberate destruction of our public schools by dominionist DeVos and her fellow “christian” funny-dementalists has finally brought things to the point of crisis, but the problem has been building for a VERY long time.


Time for a serious re-reading of Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-intellectualism in American Life --1963, but remains a vital and important documentation of our nation’s on-again-off-again struggle with intelligence.


Who do you think the “founding fathers” were? The elites!


Listen, I am probably going to catch flack here , but there are more than enough people ( it would be interesting to actually see the data) who fall into the borderline intelligence or even below who actually have kids. The welfare system supports them, but they do not know how to take care of the kids , and in some cases have no clue about how the kids were 'formed." What does that have to do with it? Figure it out.


Job of last resort, and dim bulbs? Excuse me a teacher needs to have a Masters and a license. Shame on you- perhaps you need to look at your dim bulb. Teachers go into the profession not because “it’s a job of last resort,” but because they can make a difference. Sure , you’re just not a bigoted old soul who does not know what you are talking about? See, if a school will let you observe some time. A teacher is not just that- he or she is also a counselor, a negociator, a social worker, and often is also trained in basic medical treatments such as CPR. Crawl back into your high tech fantasy world.


Oh, and by the way- teachers also have to deal with parents- many of whom fall into that dim witted category you so fondly describe.


Once again, I am reminded that living to a very old age is not a good goal.


Many, perhaps even most.  Certainly not all.

A license, yes.  I didn’t have a master’s degree when I taught for several years, but do hold a California Lifetime Secondary Credential.

Probably true in some cases, certainly not all.

Why should I waste my time “observing” sometime?  As I should have noted in my original post, I taught math
& science in Southern California for several years, both in the “inner city” schools and later in a decidedly hoity-toity “upper class” community.*  The former was less difficult than the latter, especially at the Junior High level.
(See your own very accurate comment about parents, below.)

Some teachers perform non-teaching jobs, in other cases people who are not teachers are hired to fill those positions.  You are “confusing apples with oranges,” as they say.

What “high-tech fantasy world”?   Both my (hybrid) automobile and my television are well over ten years old, my cell phone barely handles text (no photos), and I avoid YouTube & Facebook like the plagues that they are.  I do confess to being a bigoted old neo-Luddite, a founding member of the ‘Fraternal Union of Curmudgeonly Geezers’ (Old FUCGers), firmly convinced by D’Uhmurikuh’s PresiDunce that “Only TWITS Twitter.”

Amen to that!!  And school administrators are even worse!

* The movie ‘Easy A’ was spot on in its depiction of a typical ‘upper class’ public high school.  ‘Ojai North’ high school really does exist.  Its real name is Nordhoff High, and it really is located in Ojai, California – the ground-squirrel capital of the world.  SFAIK, the actor who played the part of the school’s principal is still a resident of Ojai, although he would probably deny being one of the village’s many two-legged ground squirrels.


I also have worked in Education, and I can tell you that working with Sped and language/Speech delayed students is quite a challenge. I honestly have not met people who did not go into the field not wanting to try to make a difference, and no they were not dim bulbs. When I refer to non teaching duties, I think about hundreds spent in supplies, comforting and leading of students when school was not in session, spending hours after school and at home designing lesson plans, attending conferences often with no reimbursement etc. In other words teachers are not dim bulbs. If you met any of that category, then that was just your unfortunate experience. Also, hope you had "fun " correcting comma placements for someone who has three diagnosed eye conditions. Maybe your former students are better off without you with your personality. BTW, in my original field people have to hold a license and a certificate if one works in a public school. How did you get off topic anyway , and start picking on teachers?


What’s off topic about noting that the present sad state of education is the result of a decades-long downward spiral that has driven a huge number of talented people away due to lack of remuneration, respect, and decent working conditions?  A great many of those who remain do so out of desperation, not because they love being teachers — especially in the horrid conditions of the present day.  Many others who were undoubtedly good teachers at one time have been burned out by the system and are hanging on only 'til they can afford to retire.


A great many also love their jobs and would not trade them for sitting in a cubicle for instance. For example- a few years ago I met a woman who was an accountant. After at least a decade she left that for teaching , and was very glad she did. You are entitled to your opinion, and others are entitled to theirs. Is it easy? Of course not- but then a lot of “stuff” in life is not easy. Does it seem like there are more and more challenges especially with the way this administration operates? Yes indeedy. However, you seem to blame teachers and the "sad state of education " as if you are a total authority. Yes, you did teach, which gives you a leg up so to speak but you certainly do not know all teachers and their personal situations. How about a pre school teacher who has many autistic kids in a class and loves the job? You do not mention the parents or the economic conditions that teachers and their respective school districts deal with every day. The supposed sad state is also due to conditions of society and families such as those who send their kids to school without food and leave the school staff to scrounge up something for breakfast for the kids. I did that the other day when a child had not brought any food for lunch. We found something in the cafeteria for this little person to eat. So… teachers often do not just teach a subject in the classroom but deal with the other situations of life as well. So there- that is reality. How about not only the kids but the teachers at Parkland who returned to their school after that horrendous mass shooting? There are no words for how amazing and dedicated they are. Oh, by the way- a friend of a relative has been teaching for over 55 years and she sure is not holding on to retirement. She actually loves her job! That is where she finds a great deal of meaning in her life.

P.S.- Due to eye conditions I will be signing off now, but I expect the “grammar police” to send me a message.


I do agree that most teachers should get a significant raise – call it ‘hazardous duty pay’ if you wish (and I am referring to conditions within most Jr. High and High School classrooms, not to trespassing assailants).  With dominionist DeVos now in charge of the PePoopLicken/Funny-Dementalist program to totally destroy public education, I see things getting a LOT worse before they get ANY better . . .