After spending scads of money to defeat the recall of Paul Scott, a recall backed financially by the Michigan Education Association (MEA), Michigan’s teachers union, suddenly Michelle Rhee’s anti-teachers union group StudentsFirst wants to play kissy-face with them. From their recent press release:
StudentsFirst Vice President of Communications Hari Sevugan sent a letter to Michigan Education Association President Steven Cook Tuesday seeking collaboration on improving an anti-bullying bill moving through the Michigan legislature.
The bill is intended to address bullying in Michigan schools, but a Senate amendment to the bill would actually allow bullying based on religious or moral grounds.
StudentsFirst believes that, just as the law would protect a child from being bullied because of the religious beliefs he or she holds, it should also protect a child from bullying that is somehow grounded in someone else’s religious beliefs.
“While there may be some areas of education policy where we disagree, on this critical issue we hope we can stand and work together,” Sevugan wrote in the letter to Cook.
StudentsFirst is asking the MEA and others to pledge to support lawmakers in the Michigan House who try to remove the Senate amendment from the final bill.
Here’s the letter they sent to the MEA:
Dear President Cook:
As you know recent amendments were added to ‘Matt’s Safe School Law’ in the Michigan State Senate that, in our opinion, severely undermined the intent of the bill.
StudentsFirst believes that a safe learning environment is fundamental to ensuring every child – whether they are gay or straight – receives the high quality education he or she is entitled to. That is why we support anti-bullying efforts that would accomplish that goal.
Unfortunately, as it’s currently written, “Matt’s Safe School Law” does not provide meaningful protections against bullying and thus we cannot support it. Just as this law would protect a child from bullying because of his or her religious beliefs, it should too protect a child from bullying grounded in someone else’s religious beliefs. And it certainly shouldn’t go on to actually provide legal protections to those doing the bullying.
We know you would agree that this simply is not acceptable and commend you on your public statements on this issue.
For our part, we are reaching out to friends on both sides of the aisle in the House Education Committee to redress the results of the Senate amendment process. But these changes will not be easy to make. Leaders who would take these steps need to know that they will have political support for their stance.
While there may be some areas of education policy where we disagree, on this critical issue we hope we can stand and work together.
To that end, we ask you to join us in pledging to support any courageous leader in the Committee who supports striking the Senate changes made to “Matt’s Safe School Law” to ensure the bill accomplishes what it set out to, and what we all hope it will do – help provide a safe learning environment for every child.
Vice President, Communications
I’m pretty certain the MEA politely ignored Rhee’s group’s offer. If I were them, I would have told them to take their corportate money and put it someplace warm. As I have already pointed out, the anti-bullying bill situation is being handled right here in Michigan by Michiganders for Michigan students. We really don’t need outside interference from Michelle Rhee and her army of teachers union-hating syncophants.