Cog: School Children Suffer Consequences of Teachers’ Strike

September 10th, 2012

Our children practice lock-downs in school — an effort to teach children how to take cover and remain safe from threats outside of the classroom. But what happens when it’s a lock-out and the teachers are the ones threatening at the doors? What crisis of confidence does that create in the minds of a child from a broken home, or latch-keyed survivalists who every day must pass the grade of street lessons when school is out of session?

In today’s tumult, it would be a nice thing for children in Chicago to get up in the morning knowing their school is open, friends are gathering after a final summer weekend and their teachers are there to greet them — ready to deliver some knowledge (like it or not). Even better would be for struggling parents to count on a timeless tradition of sending children off to school as a convenience in order to earn an income without worry for the security and watchful presence of a safe school environment.

Is it right for an educator to take to the streets in order to teach a middle-schooler a lesson in shared sacrifice for some socialist agenda? Why are the teachers’ unions using children as the leverage point for negotiations? Is that moral? Imagine an entire school on lock-down; children huddled in a window-less room, clutching a lunch pale and bottle of water. Now imagine that same school and its hundreds of students in virtual lock-down with the very same teachers we entrust to keep our children safe now waiving signs and chanting slogans as participants in an angry mob. In the first example a teacher is protecting our children like a brave grizzly, while in the second example there is an imposing image of the bear on attack.

Look into the not too distant future and you may see a sign held by your emergency room physician who strikes for a larger slice of the shared-sacrifice pie that feeds less, yet promises more. We all love teachers for their standing in society and for their dedication — that cannot be denied. But they are leading by example in many ways and the lessons will only end in more pain, more sacrifices and perhaps, with a few more children left behind in a time when our nation can least afford it.

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