Now, I was gonna let this one go because, when it comes to campaign shenanigans, the Geneva Education Association (D304 teachers’ union) are but mere pikers. If you want a real study on how to subvert the electoral process, look no further than Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns or Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham.
Burns regularly mobilizes the entire city workforce on his campaign behalf and then gives the unions everything they want at contract time. And Jack blurs the lines on just about everything.
So, when you compare the GEA to that kind of blatant malfeasance, the teachers’ lapses were nothing more than mildly amusing. Ah! But after an astute reader sent me the union’s absurd response to the disciplinary measures leveled by the School District and Board, I just had to respond – if for no other reason than I’m in it!
When will people learn to stop poking the bear?
First, they had the temerity to accuse me of harboring mendacious qualities and then they went as far as referring to me as lowly “local blogger.” The scurrilous cads! C’mon! Everyone knows I’m the scion of righteousness, virtue and all things sacred. Just ask my wife!
To wit, the scoundrels put the word “eyewitness” in quotes when referring to the source who told me about the GEA campaign material being delivered directly to the Geneva High School main office.
The truth is, there were two “eyewitnesses” to that bizarre breach, and let me tell you, they were hopping mad about this development, too. How do you think I found out about it? And if the staff knew it was a problem, are we really going to believe those teachers had no clue?
Apparently, none of those educators read the considerable coverage of the two St. Charles school board members who were sanctioned for simply seeking petition signatures on school grounds.
But that faulty GHS campaign material dissemination wasn’t nearly the only ethics violation! No! Our teachers’ fascinating capacity to neglect district policy and the law, included, but probably wasn’t limited to:
- One teacher used the Middle School’s address when filling out PAC paperwork (freakin’ really?)
- Seven teachers received campaign canvassing materials in their school mailboxes
- Two participated in a GEA backed candidate Facebook Q&A session in an “unlocked” school classroom
- One invited a GEA backed candidate to visit her kindergarten classroom
Sigh! My estimation of Geneva teachers is spiraling into the abyss as we speak, and it was pretty low to begin with.
There’s no point in naming names as it’s generally immaterial, and unlike the Union’s plan to smear me at every turn because they didn’t care for my strike columns, I actually have a conscience.
But just when you think it can’t get any worse, the GEA’s attempts to defend these ethical offenses were even more comical than that old “the dog ate my homework” excuse. It basically boiled down to the teachers’ vast ignorance of District policy and the law amounted to an automatic absolution since they never intended to abrogate either.
So, let me get this straight. If in the process of getting pulled over for doing 87 down Randall Road, I tell the officer I was unaware of the speed limit and had no intention of speeding, he’ll let me go with a smile and a pat on the back, right? Good to know!
And if one of my now matriculated son’s cell phones rang in the middle of a GHS class, the teacher wouldn’t consider confiscating the device because he didn’t “know” he’d get a call?
Though the real irony here is the GEA referring to their own rank and file as “ignorant.” Is that the label you really want to apply to educators?
Not nearly content with the damage they’d already done, the GEA proceeded to excoriate the heinous District and School Board for failing to allow these dire delinquents to “speak on their own behalf or ask questions.” But that’s not the way it works. Most forms of employment aren’t nearly based on democratic principles, and while a judge might listen to mitigating testimony, it won’t change their verdict, only the sentence.
A transgression is a transgression regardless of what did or did not inspire it.
Lastly, the GEA proceeded to rend garments and gnash their teeth after three of those teachers received “letters of direction” and four earned “letters of remedy.” A letter of direction is a simple reprimand, while the “remedy” variety could mean one more mistake and you’re out!
Given these specific circumstances, that’s exactly what should’ve happened. What the bleep did the union expect? A mild rebuke culminating in a group hug and a rousing round of Kumbaya?
We’ve previously discussed how Newton’s Laws of Motion apply to politics. So, when the GEA insisted on waging the kind of scorch and burn labor contract campaign that consisted of union head Kevin Gannon taking the art of lying to new heights while his supporters went after board members’ children, this was exactly the kind of equal and opposite reaction that any sixth-grader could’ve predicted.
And if I were a D304 teacher, I’d watch my step going forward.
I certainly understand Trump supporters’ capacity to create and reside in their own stilted reality, but I expect far more from our educators. Because this is exactly the kind of thing where they’d insist their young charges take responsibility for their actions, apologize, and promise to do better. But no! Being an overly entitled Geneva teacher clearly means never having to say you’re sorry.
All I can say is, thank God my children are done with D304.