Teachers Stike in Strongsville
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” These are the famous words of Lord Acton. Whether in government or any other aspect of life, complete control generally leads to greed. Dr. Seuss allegorically demonstrates this lesson in “Yertle the Turtle.” While it may appear as a simple, rhyming children’s story, we are taught a lesson about greed and power. It does not even need to be complete control, but a little bit of power can lead to a want for more, which in turn leads to demise.
Throughout the centuries, we can see examples of leaders who brought about their own fall because of greed. Unfortunately, unions have become greedy and corrupt at times as well. And while I can’t compare Hitler’s quest for world control to a teachers’ union, there are some parallels that can be drawn between them.
Let me preface this by stating that I belong to a union. I am a teacher and have seen, first hand, how the union operates. I pay my union dues because I know of the good that the union can do. It offers protection in many instances. However, I have also been a witness to the corruption that can come. I don’t always agree with the union or vote for the political candidates it endorses. I can see both sides of it; there can be good and bad.
Recently in Strongsville, Ohio, the union has given itself a bad image. The teachers have gone on strike because of issues with negotiations for a new contract. The students have been left with substitutes in their classes, and in some cases, there aren’t even subs in the rooms. The teachers have been picketing and causing a lot of controversy, with some even being arrested. They are not setting a good example for students. They are losing respect for the way they are behaving, and they are lessening their chances of having their demands met.
The Ohio Graduation Test (a state-wide standardized test) is being taken (during the week of March 11-15), and the teachers left the students a week before. Students in Ohio are required to pass all five parts of this test in order to receive a diploma. All sports and extracurricular activities have stopped. Seniors getting ready to graduate are unsure of what will happen or if they’ll even graduate.
No one wins in a strike. Yes, the teachers union may get some of their demands met, but is it really worth the price? The families of the teachers go without pay as the strike looms on. Education is about the students, and students are the ones suffering. They are left without their regular teachers to teach them new concepts and ideas. Yes, they have substitutes, but they are not prepared to handle this situation. They are put in to fill the legal requirements of have supervision for the students. The entire town suffers from a strike too. Schools are the heart of a city, especially in a city like Strongsville where the schools are a thing of pride.
I understand how unions use strikes as a form of protest to get their desires met. However, teachers are public employees. Just like police and firemen, teachers are paid by the citizens. They are not part of the private sector. Teachers have responsibilities and are overstepping their boundaries by striking in this manner. The strike is merely casting a bad light on the teaching profession. Strongsville will not be the only district to suffer because of it, but other districts in the area will also hurt. The greed of the union is going to affect many. Money will always be an issue, but let’s put the focus back on education.