Fire Lakota’s Teachers: Protest over merit pay bad example to kids

I have written and said so much on this topic you’d think that the ridiculously arrogant teachers in the Lakota school system would have learned by now.  However, they apparently have the memory span of Dory from the Finding Nemo movie, and about the same politics—and they can’t remember anything from five minutes ago, let alone five years.  Like a bunch of children they protested in front of various Lakota schools over the implementation of merit pay—which is something that’s happening all over the nation, not just in Ohio—and is certainly not limited to Lakota.  I’ve said it before, I don’t mind paying a teacher $200,000 a year if they are really good, but I don’t want to pay a slug $65K per year just because they showed up and fulfilled a step schedule established by the labor union.  I want to see management deciding who gets paid what for an expected criterion.  I do not want to pay for collective bargaining which favors the lazy at the expense of the hard-working.

Of course the impact of these entire teacher antics in attempting to wreck the budget at Lakota will provoke another levy attempt, which I have been saying all along will happen right around the 2017 mark—if not sooner—since the school board knows it will likely meet resistance and may take a few years to pass.  What they are asking us to pay for is the same ridiculousness they have in the past—out-of-control employee costs that are directly linked to this kind of teacher behavior.  Because the union is protected by state and federal law management often caves under the collective pressure of protests like this recent one at Lakota and the tax payers are stuck with the bill—which means an increase in property taxes.  People new to the district don’t mind paying a bit more on taxes until they live in the area for a few years and are stuck with excessively high taxes.  It is then that they get buyer’s remorse—meanwhile all these radical union employees retire and move away leaving the mess to the rest of us to clean up.  I let the Pulse Journal know my thoughts about the Lakota protests with the following Letter to the Editor.

In a fair world every teacher who took part in the Friday April 24th demonstrations in front of the students at twenty of Lakota’s schools protesting merit pay, should have been terminated immediately.  However, we don’t live in a fair world and are currently stuck with an out-of-touch teacher’s union culture in these schools that feel they are entitled to district resources without the judgment of their job performance being established through a merit pay system. 

Defenders of the action will declare that their gathering was a “peaceful demonstration” and they (the teachers) have the right under the First Amendment to “assemble.”  Yet the protesters in this case are district employees who consciously made a decision to impose their viewpoints in front of the same children they are supposed to be teaching which should be considered a breach of contract by attempting to radicalize students against value assessment—merit pay.  It is insulting that they’d even contemplate the protest at Lakota after that district spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to repair their image after the last few years.  Talk about short memories—and a lack of gratitude.  The school board went to great measure to improve Lakota’s image and the teachers decided “collectively” to perform this task—in front of their students–amazingly short-sighted.

I’m looking forward to the further antics of the Lakota teachers over the coming summer.  Since we can’t fire them, they will make fighting the next levy attempt that much easier. 


Rich Hoffman

The judgment was so bad that all those employees should have been relieved of their duties and sent home on the spot.  But we don’t live in a fair world—but one where public employees like these people are used to getting what they want, when they want it.  They are spoiled brats—and that is putting it mildly.  The Lakota teachers participating in this demonstration are easily replaceable, and should have been treated justly.  They expect too much money for doing entirely too little—then they have the arrogance to be a disruptive force within the school.

It should be quite clear by now why I still think it was a teacher who left the note in the bathroom just days before the last election in Lakota threatening a shooting spree if voters didn’t pass a levy.  Even though the levy was to throw money at these same teachers as appeasement for maintaining a wage freeze at the time, the levy was sold as a way to keep our “kids” safe in school.  Conveniently, just days before the election a threatening note was left behind promising a shooting spree.  The FBI and Butler County Sheriff’s office offered no leads, no hand writing analysis, no arrests in their “investigation” because they knew what I did—that the investigation would have taken them to the classroom of one of these radical teachers instead of some disgruntled kid.  Heck, Sheriff Jones even put his name behind the passage of the levy.  But if it was a kid, where could we place the blame for learning the behavior—look at their teachers?

Much is said about the millennial generation and how bad they are regarding work ethic—how pretentious they are relative to generations from the past.  Granted, the parents are largely to blame for these screwed up kids.  But the public schools have sold themselves as an option to parenting—as a viable substitute.  Well, here is the proof of what kind of things those mentors are teaching kids.  No wonder kids grow up expecting the world to be handed to them on a silver platter; they learn it from their teachers.

Until Ohio becomes a Right-to-Work state these radical nutcases will have all the leverage against tax payers—because management of them is simply not possible—if teachers will protest merit pay—where good teachers get paid based on how good they are—they’ll protest a turtle crossing the street.  Their argument becomes so ridiculous that it’s almost science fiction.  What’s encouraging is that these Lakota teachers have shown so early in the game that they are willing to behave like a bunch of Saul Alinskey radicals just as they did in 2008 with a strike threat, which I brought up continuously in 2010 through the first three levy attempts, caused the budget problems at Lakota.  These latest actions by them will just give those of us willing to fight these idiots cannon fodder—so I welcome more of these antics.  But there is a bit of me that feels sorry for the management of the Lakota school system—which is an entity I have been very critical of—because of their willingness to stay away from the hard decisions like this merit pay issue.  They tried so hard and spent so much money extracting money from the community and this is how the teachers show their thanks.  It has to hurt.  But nobody can say they weren’t warned.

Rich Hoffman


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