NEA to Residents of Tiverton:
Not one to shoot ducks in a barrel, I’ve resisted the urge to post this photo, but NEA-Tiverton President Amy Mullen’s reaction in the Sakonnet Times suggests that more should be made of it:
Amy Mullen, a special education resource teacher at Pocasset Elementary School, treasurer of the National Education Association Rhode Island and president of the Tiverton branch, described Mr. Crowley’s action as an “unfortunate incident” the NEA-Tiverton does not support.
“It is regretful communication has deteriorated to this level. We have been going through very difficult and very frustrating attempts at negotiating with the school committee. When First Amendment rights are violated, things can get heated,” Ms. Mullen said. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Rearick chose to use the media to address this situation when there were other options available to him.”
Note the linguistic distance and the spin back to the school committee. Shameful.
This wasn’t an “unfortunate incident”; it was a deliberate statement, made out of either profane calculation or an adolescent lack of control. In a sane system — a professional one — the teachers would be requesting a new rep from the union and telling any reporter who would listen that they absolutely don’t want Crowley to be seen as representative of them.
Sadly, as I’ve been finding, the teachers don’t appear to be unwilling pawns in the union’s games. One gets the impression that the “unfortunate” part of the “incident” was that somebody had a digital camera handy.
For the sake of clarity: Ms. Mullen’s reference to First Amendment rights probably has to do with two teachers’ suspension (with pay, of course) for publishing an anonymous letter in local union newsletter attacking (and making allegations about) individual school committee members. The photo of Crowley was taken at the protest related to that matter.
(I apologize for any confusion. My “to post” pile has been growing in proportion to my too-heavy schedule, and this story is in it.)
For the record, I first saw this picture on Dan Yorke’s exhibits page about a week ago. Inner turmoil kept me from pointing it out until today.