It's Ten Thirty On Thursday Morning, Do You Know Where Your Teacher Is?
If you are a parent in Wisconsin, perhaps you think the ad should be revived with the above question instead. Particularly if you were wondering why your children's school was closed. It seems there was an illness that was widespread among teachers in Milwaukee, Madison and Janesville. So many called in sick that the schools were locked up. The epidemic was confined to those cities and thankfully the children didn't seem to have the same malady.
All kidding aside, there is a serious problem afoot in America's dairy land and many other states as well. And I have been asked to write about it, so I will. I try to avoid pontificating on these well covered stories in favor of letting the more well informed and more talented writers and commentators do it because... well because... Ok, I'll admit it, because I stink by comparison. But I promised, so I will make two quick points instead of pontificating at length.
I'll leave the issues that others are covering to them and only address that which I have not seen elsewhere. No matter what your opinion is on this issue or which "side" you are on politically, there are points worth making in my opinion.
First, the lawmakers who have fled their state and are hiding like common criminals to avoid doing the job they were elected to do are cowards. They should be impeached, arrested (what they are doing may be a crime) or just plain unelected next time up no matter where people stand on the budget arguments. They were sent to represent their fellow citizens and they have abdicated. It is shameful behavior.
Second, the education employees who called in sick are acting cowardly as well. They have a job to do. They promised to educate the kids but they broke that promise so they could flex their political muscle at the expense of the kids and in violation of their legal and moral commitment.
Even if you agree with them on the budget issues, you should be mad as hell. They should be sued for breach of contract, disciplined or simply not rehired next time up, the same way as any employee of any private company should be. It doesn't take courage to do what they did. If it's possible to be ashamed of people you have never met, I'm ashamed of them.
So if I lived in Wisconsin I would have one question for each of them at the next town hall meeting or teacher conference. Where were you at 10:30 am on Thursday Feb. 17, 2011?