In scolding Kent teachers to get back to work, the always anti-union Seattle Times argues that “Defying court order teaches the wrong lesson.” Uh-huh. Really?
Putting aside the issues of this particular strike (I haven’t paid them much attention, and don’t plan to), teachers, like nearly all workers, have a moral right to strike, even if in Washington state they may not have that legal right, and standing up for one’s rights, even in defiance of the courts, is never the wrong lesson to teach our children, especially in a nation like ours with such a strong authoritarian streak to its national character… a character quickly revealed in the first couple comments in the Times’ comment thread:
anderson island, WA
Why should any Kent student EVER believe another thing his/her teacher tells them? A teacher willing to disobey a lawful order is a teacher who has no right to expect his/her students to follow the teacher’s rules. A national disgrace.
moses lake, WA
great first message. mine it to fire every single one of them. take the union leadership and lock them away in jail. am i being to hard. no. back in 1981 Patco members and union leadership were hauled off to jail in handcuffs and chains. fire each and every single one of them.
Whatever the Times editors thought they were saying, surely they must have understood that this is the kind of sentiment their headline would inspire. And while no doubt Times publisher Frank Blethen would be cheered at the thought of union members being hauled away in handcuffs, America in fact has a proud history of civil disobedience… a history lesson conveniently ignored by those who would use the power of the state to trample the rights of others.