Different Statements (and Threats) from the Unionist
As I noted during liveblogging last night, Tiverton Guidance Counselor Lynn Nicholas had the following to say at the school committee meeting in November, at which the committee voted to hold off on approving a retroactive teachers’ contract until state numbers came in (stream, download):
Before I ask Doug a question, I just need to make it clear that, if the award is not agreed upon tonight, there will be a lot of harm done. Some of it will be financial; a lot of it will not be, and I’m not going to go into detail.
In reviewing the audio from her speech tonight (stream, download), I was planning to note how her perspective is quite different when taxpayers, not union teachers, are the ones removing money from the budget. But on the scene, I hadn’t caught the implications of the sentences with which she closed her speech. Addressing the school committee (emphasis added):
You need to be serious about what you plan on cutting. I am the last person on this Earth that would want to hurt a child, but you need to make a statement. I don’t know how you’re going to do it. I don’t know what you’re going to do. But you need to make a statement to get people to the town meeting.
Keep in mind that this was before the conversation turned to ways to “get out the vote.” That being the case, Ms. Nicholas would appear to be suggesting that the school committee make targeted cuts, risking harm to students, that would anger parents enough to get them to the next FTM. True to union form, the kids — whose well-being, the disclaimer goes, is a top priority for everybody — are to be leveraged as pawns to drive the parents toward actions beneficial to the union.
This coincides with a — for now — rumor that I’d heard today that a certain school committee member is planning to recommend cuts in programming intentionally in order to fire up parents. Me, I’d suggest that the school committee consider the possibility that such maneuvers could very well motivate parents to take quite different actions than the committee intends… especially now that a local organization exists to explain precisely where the district’s money has been going.