Some say the Governor has rushed to pass a budget that will strip unionized workers, including teachers, of their collective bargaining rights. The Governor says Wisconsin is broke, and he has no other recourse but to take away benefits and union bargaining rights from public workers.
And then this morning, an intelligent former student, an adult now with a child of her own, posted on Facebook in a respectful manner:
So I don't claim to be an expert about what's going on in Wisconsin. But I know teachers in Wisconsin, and I know children in general. I have to believe that what the students are learning is more powerful than any history lecture they may have had the opportunity to hear in the past.
I've taught the Civil War, I've taught the Civil Rights Movement including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's I Have a Dream Speech, and I've taught all about apartheid in South Africa. Although my students have always appeared somewhat interested, it has been apparent that they are so far removed from either the place or the time (or both) that they don't really grasp the meaning. Oh, I try to make these events relative. We stand in a circle and hold hands - Black, White, Hispanic alternating - and I tell them that when I was in elementary school, this type of activity would have been illegal in the South. They don't get it. They don't believe it. It feels like a story to them. Fiction.
"Everywhere we go-o-o-o,
people want to know-ow-ow
Who-o-o-o we ar-r-r-r-r-e,
a-a-a-a-nd we tell them,