The other day we received an email from a friend who goes to another ward in our stake. Angry over the California Teachers Association’s million dollar donation to “No on 8,” she was trying to help facilitate a protest:
Dear Fellow Parents and Friends:
As you know, I NEVER LET MY KIDS MISS SCHOOL FOR ANY REASON. (Goodness knows, they need all the schooling they can get!)
HOWEVER, unbelievably, even I, after much thought and consideration, am prepared to keep both my kids HOME FROM SCHOOL in support of the requested, state-wide “School Sit-Out” this Monday, October 27th, in protest of the California Teacher Union’s $1,000,000.00 donation toward “No on 8″.
The families that support the California Teachers Union ARE GENUINELY SPLIT on this issue. The fact that they would take a side on behalf of only SOME OF THE STUDENTS, while literally COMING OUT AGAINST the families of other students, astounds me. As much as I have supported them and looked up to them for YEARS, I just don’t see that there is a place for this in the California Teachers Union agenda.
I consider all teachers to be my personal heroes- but we need to show our California Teachers Union that we NOTICE what they do- and that the endorsements they make, especially the FINANCIAL ones, do matter to us and make an impact.
We are in unprecedentedly difficult times, and I know that we all want the best for our schools, our teachers and our kids.
If you are for “No on Prop 8″, and if I have offended you in any way by passing along this information, please accept my apologies. I SO SELDOM pass along viral email information, indeed, for fear of offending even one person. But my feeling truly is motivated by the fact that a side should not be take here by the California Teachers Union.
If you support “Yes on Prop 8″, I would urge you to consider joining our family in supporting the “Sit-Out” on Monday.
All the best, and take care.
Upon receiving this dispatch, I called Miss D.’s school principal to feel him out about the Sit In: Would there be punitive consequences for kids who didn’t go in, would the protest be honored, etc. He told me their school district wasn’t even part of the California Teachers Association, that that union represented only a part of the districts and teachers in the state. He added that their school district absolutely did NOT support “No on 8.” Finally he said he would call the district office and urge them to publicize their position so that parents would not participate in the protest.
From this conversation my wife and I decided not to keep Miss D. out of school. I emailed my friend to tell her about the phone call and that we wouldn’t be participating. She never wrote back.
Then this morning brought an email from the stake presidency:
Dear members of the —– Stake.
We extend our warmest expression of gratitude for your vigorous efforts and passionate desire to do all we can to ensure passage of Proposition 8 on November 4th. Your dedication to this very important cause is vital to the success of this effort.
Having said that, we need you to know that as a stake presidency we are not neutral on the proposed boycott of schools on Monday, October 27th. We feel strongly that supporting this boycott is inconsistent with our desires to bless our children and families. It will punish our school system and our children more than it will punish the teachers’ union.
As a stake presidency, we stand firmly behind the request of our coalition partners at ProtectMarriage.com.
Please see their statement below:
ProtectMarriage.com - Yes on 8 Opposes Any Parent or Student School Boycotts Protesting Teacher Union Contributions To No on 8 Campaign
October 21, 2008
Sacramento – The Campaign Manager of the ProtectMarriage.com & Yes on 8 campaign today urged its supporters to ignore efforts circulating on the Internet encouraging parents and students to boycott class for a day to protest the California Teachers Association contribution of $1 million to the campaign opposing Proposition 8.
“We have no idea where this idea to boycott class attendance for a day came from,” said Frank Schubert, Campaign Manager of the Yes on 8 campaign, “but we disavow it and urge our supporters to ignore it. Students belong in class. Taking a child out of class as a political protest is wrong and detrimental to the child. While we understand the anger that some parents may feel toward the teacher’s union for donating to our opponents, the best way to counteract that donation is to urge people to vote yes on Proposition 8. We call on the millions of supporters of traditional marriage to ignore attempts to organize a student ‘sick in’ and instead focus their attention on passing Proposition 8.”
As will always be the case, we respect each individual’s right to make a personal choice. However, we are concerned about the unintended consequences of this particular choice and direction.
May the Lord bless each of us as we continue to put forth the mighty efforts necessary to pass this critical proposition on a subject so central to Heavenly Fathers Plan.
My family is firmly committed to the support of Proposition 8, but I have to say, sometimes some of the members’ enthusiasm makes me cringe. Even if our school district WAS part of the CTA, how would it benefit our position by sacrificing the kids’ education? It’s not just a pragmatist’s stand, it’s a zealot’s ploy.
Think things out, people. Be pensive and prayerful. Don’t let your emotions make a psycho out of you.
And that goes for both sides.