Oh! It was a mistake alright.
As I previously explained in my ongoing coverage of the Geneva Teachers’ strike, were I the school board president, given their propensity to shoot themselves in various body parts, I’d simply sit back and wait for the Geneva Education Association to hang themselves.
And they just did just that!
I’ve tried to tell the union that, not only have they vastly overestimated public support for their cause, but 85 percent of Genevans actually support the School Board. The irony, of course, is that our teachers had to learn this the hard way.
And they just did just that!
For reasons beyond any normal mortal’s comprehension, the union and teachers decided it was a good idea to use the Remind Me cell phone app, to solicit their students to sign a pro-GEA petition to prove just how heinous the Geneva School Board really is.
And the bovine excrement immediately hit the rotating air propulsion device.
For the uninitiated, school counselors generally use the Remind Me app to text blast high school students about upcoming and impending school events. Only app administrators can send those broadcast texts, and there is a separate Remind Me “group” for each high school class – freshman, sophomores, etc.
Some parents told me their middle schoolers also received emails from teachers, too, but I haven’t been able to pin that one down quite yet.
But let me tell you, in my 4,852 days and 15.25 hours at this gig, I’ve never had so many peeved people bombard me with emails, texts, blog comments, and Facebook PMs and comments on any previous story. And every last one of those missives excoriated the union and the teachers for this beyond despicable tactic.
Pride goeth before the fall, right?
I’ll say it again! When it comes to any kind of political pitched battle, from an election to a strike, the vast majority “voters” will simply tell you want you want to hear because they have better things to do than to argue with you. Please don’t mistake trying to stay on your good side for support.
And, as perfectly exemplified by that errant text, the union and teachers keep mistaking fear for support. Aggravate a teacher – and especially this batch of spiteful teachers – and your children might not fare so well in D304 going forward.
You think I’m making this bleep up? Ask board member Mike McCormick what his children have had to endure on Instagram from teachers’ children and those of their utterly overzealous supporters. Apparently even children aren’t off-limits when it comes to the GEA getting the kind of raises most of us will never see in our lifetime.
I’ll be getting into this complete moral failure on Monday or Wednesday. And Mike was not the one who told me about this, but four other sources did.
Oddly enough, the first person to apologize for the sign-the-petition text was GHS Principal Tom Rogers who had absolutely nothing to do with it. Again, the Remind Me app sits on cell phones, not on some high school counselor’s computer behind locked and closed doors.
Finally faced with an onslaught of suddenly fearless parents – don’t mess with their kids – the GEA recoiled from that text debacle faster than Michael Cohen from Agent Orange.
GEA union head Kevin Gannon, a real piece of work who’s made these contract negotiations all about him, quickly issued a statement calling the text a “mistake.” Oh! It was a mistake alright, but it wasn’t an accident.
Leaving the toilet seat up in the middle of the night such that your lovely spouse falls in is a mistake. Leaving the garage door up is a mistake. Voting for Donald Trump was a mistake. But unless a number of counselors and teachers own the kind of talented cat that could figure out how to send that text, it was utterly intentional.
And we know it was intentional because soon after Gannon’s artificial mea culpa, those same counselors and teachers issued yet another Remind Me text apologizing for using that medium to recruit underage petition signers.
But the damage has already been done. And those D304 teachers are finally beginning to understand that rejecting our reality and substituting their own is the kind of thing for which they’d regularly call out their young charges.
The truth is, I’ve never been impressed with most Geneva teachers and I wrote a column about it the week after my youngest son matriculated out of the district. And I always appreciate it when people go out of their way to prove my point.
Thank you Geneva teachers!
Meanwhile, I’ve been privately emailing the board with my thoughts on how to deal with these negotiations because I didn’t want to further inflame all of the obvious tensions. But after that Remind Me text, I’m no longer feeling quite so magnanimous.
Geneva School Board! You have bent over backward to resolve this labor issue, but you’re being held hostage by a bunch of overentitled and sometimes overrated educators who have no problem stooping to using and abusing children to get their way. Even my D131 teacher wife thinks your latest offer is beyond generous.
It’s time to look those often contemptible union reps directly in the eye and say, “This is our final offer. Come back to work when you’re ready.”