Monday, May 18, 2009

Racine Teachers Using Children in Political Fight

The Racine teachers union (aka Racine Education Association or REA) is now using elementary students to help fight their political battles. The REA and their child allies rallied at a RUSD Board meeting yesterday "in hopes that Unified will use federal stimulus money to bring more librarians to the district's elementary schools" according to the front page article intoday's Journal Times.

From the article:

"Speakers included Racine Public Library Director Jessica MacPhail, parents, a school librarian, Racine Education Association (REA) President Peter Knotek, a Unified alum and three elementary school children.

“We love to read,” said Maddy Bragulla and Sophia Formolo, both 11-year-old students at Schulte. The two spoke together at the meeting, asking board members to think of children before money.

Children also were outside before the meeting. Sam LaGuardia, a 9-year-old student at Schulte, held a sign reading, “We can’t access our school library without a librarian!”

“It’s confusing to all the other kids because they’re like, ‘is the library open or not?’” Sam said. “I’d like to go the library more often because we can check out more books and learn more interesting things.”

The rally was organized by the REA through flyers and word of mouth, Levie said."

I suppose that we are to believe that Sam and Maddy and Sophia were not coaxed by Unified teachers. Every nine year old I know just loves to scour the agendas of public meetings, looking for those issues that will prompt him to demand mom or dad to drive him to the meeting so he can hold up his hand made sign.

Does the REA have no shame? Stop using our children as political props. Fight your own battles.


Urban Pioneer said...

I read some of the commentary on JTimes pages. Let me see if I understand something. We live in Racine, the HIGHEST unemployment City in Wisconsin...couldn't some of these "unemployed" people "Volunteer" to help these little chillun's so they can read, and check out some books?

If I remember back in the "Stone Age" when I went to school, each class had a turn in the Library (You'll notice I didn't spell Lieberry!), and a Librarian was there as needed, but NOT always. We checked out books, and we took them HOME to read them. Other than encyclopedias, which are obsolete now anyway. I don't think it is necessary in a City with a Public Library; or even better, nearly every kid has access to the internet, for basic learning, and study. Often times in the classroom.

Now if the purpose is pleasure reading..Hey Mom, your kid downtown to the public library, or go buy or share books with friends. Maddy B can have my copy of War and Peace! And Sam L. can have Catcher in the Rye. I'd rather have his parents explain it to him than a REA Librarian. Just saying!

While we're at it, I'm sure the new Mayor is going to announce his ten year plan tonight,(remember the 10 year thing it was only 2 weeks ago), and I'm sure there will lots of projects, lets hope volunteerism is running High! Otherwise BOHICA!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow - you people are now keeping children from reading?

BTW, the union librarian would blame the isolation of Holden Caulfield on Bush and NCLB . . .

Anonymous said...

I would love to have your copy of War and Peace. Seems like a very good book, but I haven't read it yet. Yeah. It's Maddy B. I love to read. I don't live that close to the public library. I can't just ask my mom to drop everything and take me to there. I do my best to find new reading materials, but it's not always easy. I'm glad to be in middle school now. I have FULL access to the library. I have read more than 30 books in the school year; none of which from the public library. And my friend, Sam LaGuardia, would like to read more if he had a library to actually use at school. He still goes to Schulte, and he isn't too thrilled about the whole having-library-only-seventeen-times-a-year thing. I know this post may be a little late, but I think that RUSD needs to put the kids first, not money. I mean, after all, RUSD is a school district. As in children go to their schools every day. Don't you think that they should get the full extent of education, as well as something to do when they're bored? I think so.