Sep 24, 2009

Rally Draws Thousands !

At least it felt that way to me. ;--)

I thank all the teachers and related school personnel who came out to show support for our rank and file rally today. I especially thank our WTU Executive Board members who agreed to initiate this action on behalf of DC teachers. They are Willie Brewer, Agnes Dyson, Sheila Gill, Pablo Giro'n, Nathan Saunders, Diane Terrell and myself. We also had participation from the American Federation of Government Employees, the Teamsters and the taxi cab drivers. Parents, community activists and students attended as well. All the reporters were out in full force and effect as well as an independent film maker while AFT representative Jody Easley lurked in the background the entire time acting as though he didn't want to be seen. Jason Kamras, a 2005 teacher of the year turned Rhee staffer also tree boxed our event.

I must say dating back to my involvement with the Coalition To Save Our Neighborhood Schools (CSONS) -I don't think we ever drew as large a crowd to most of our rallies. Given the refusal by our WTU union president, George Parker to support our rank & file rally and his last minute effort to run interference by the use of a Wednesday night robo call and follow up email to members - I am surprised we garnered the support we did. I have trouble understanding why all of us can't work together to support teachers and protest unfair layoffs and the new IMPACT evaluation. Certainly I plan to support the October rally that the WTU/AFT will sponsor next month.

Our speakers were absolutely wonderful and made suggestions of acts of civil disobedience to right this terrible wrong. First and foremost let me give thanks to our teacher leaders who willingly spoke including Thomas O'Rourke, Jerome Brocks and Jeff Canady. Emily Washington, a longtime educator was on the list to speak but was a no show for the event. Also amongst our lineup were parents and community activists including Cherita Whiting, Robert Brannum, Roger Newell, Maria Jones, Debra Daniels, Leo Alexander, candidate for DC mayor, as well as Ernest Johnson who is another candidate for DC mayor, Reverend Graylan Hagler and Nathan Saunders. Bravo all for a job well done.

As Caesar Chavez said that to teach our children what it means to be fully man or woman requires each of us to use our lives to show the way. How are we doing so far ?

Posted by The Washington Teacher with Candi Peterson as Blogger in Residence


Glenn Watson said...

What kind of disobedience, civil or otherwise, are you planning?

Anonymous said...

Nice video. One of those teachers misspelled "discrimination." I know you won't publish this comment.

Lindsey said...

To anon at 3:21pm

Maybe if you had been there, you will have been able to correct the spelling error. Monday morning quarterbacking is still not helpful!

See you on the sidelines....I'll be the one on the field running the