Education, Michigan, Michigan Republicans, Teachers — September 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

Yet another boot on the face of Mich teachers – a year in prison for sending emails


You know what I hate? I positively detest the phrase “union thugs” or “union goons”. It implies this organized group of people willing to harm others to make sure they get their way.

When you look at what Republicans are doing to unionized teachers in Michigan, you realize that when Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof says making our state a Right to Teach state is good because it is “an opportunity to let teachers get farther away from union goons”, what you’re seeing is a classic case of transference. They are accusing others of the behavior they themselves are exhibiting.

Here’s the latest example: making the use of school email system punishable by up to a year in prison:

Michigan educators could face a year in prison for conducting union or political business over public school e-mail servers under a bill advancing in Lansing.

State House Bill 4052 was reported out of committee last week, and would prohibit a public employee from using public e-mail for political campaigning, union activities, union recruitment, and fundraising.

Violators could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, which would carry a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in prison or both in the bill’s amended version.

Organizations found guilty would face up to a $10,000 fine.

Like much of the other legislation coming out of the Republican-owned Michigan legislature, this draconian step is not aimed at any group but teachers. It is payback for daring to get involved in a couple of recall efforts around the state and allows them to implement model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy with impunity.

These are the teachers of our children. Our friends, our neighbors, our relatives. They are not greedy parasites out to destroy the education system. They are, with very few exceptions, men and women that care about children and want the best for them. In the process, they want a fair shake.

The Republicans are hell-bent on making sure they not only don’t get a fair shake but that they get a boot to the head in the process.