Morning Awful: Fear for Teachers

Angry Black Lady cued me in on this horror-story from Michigan about Brooke Harris, a teacher who tried to help her students turn their outspoken concerns over the Trayvon Martin murder into a fundraiser — only to be fired by the school Superintendent, Jacqueline Cassell:

The Pontiac Academy for Excellence is a nonunionized charter school. According to Superintendent Cassell, Brooke’s contract makes no provisions for formal appeal, and Michigan is an “at will” employment state. What does this mean to Brooke? She has no right to an explanation of why she was fired. She just was.

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Stories like Brooke’s are outrageous in their own right, but even worse, they create an atmosphere of fear among teachers.

This fear is choking our educational system, but we can pry its fingers loose if we work together. In Brooke’s forced absence, her students held their own, unsanctioned hoodie day. They made their voices heard over the fear. So can you.

ALEC, the same right wing lobbying organization that gave us Florida’s “stand your ground law,” has been breaking teachers unions and pushing charter schools for a long time. In fact, right wing organizers have been attacking the foundations of public education since before the 1971 Powell Memo — and this is exactly why.

About Matt Osborne

Veteran blogging the culture wars from Alabama. Video journalist, mash-up artist, aspiring novelist, and metalhead. Expect bunnies, geekery, dark humor, and snarky empirical analysis to annoy idealists of all stripes. You can follow me on Twitter, but be ready 'cause it might get loud.
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