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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Milwaukee Teachers OK to Indoctrinate Students

Page down to the July 1, 11:03 entry (side note: why can't the Journal Sentinel include permalinks?).

Court says union signs in school are OK

Teachers have a right to post signs in classrooms supporting their side in a labor dispute, the state Court of Appeals panel in Milwaukee said in a decision released today.

...The Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association, the union representing the teachers, suggested that the signs be posted after attempts to reach a contract agreement for 2003-2005 failed. The teachers began wearing buttons during the school day that stated "attract and retain" in March 2004. A month later teachers displayed two-sided, 11x14-inch signs in their classrooms on windows, desks and walls.

The union later encouraged teachers to display the signs more visibly, particularly during parent-teacher conferences, along with letters from the union. The MPS administration sent a letter directing school principals to remove any public displays of literature that constituted "political advertising or advocacy."

The commission and the Appeals Court found that the signs did not constitute political advocacy activities that are banned by school board policy.
Check out the example one of the judges used:

"A teacher's posting of a Chicago Bears poster, for instance, is much more likely to provoke a response from a devoted Packer fan than a sign stating 'Do the Right Thing,'" the appeals court found in a decision written by Judge Ted Wedemeyer.
What a bogus (if I were a lawyer, I think I'd say "spurious") argument.

Unlike the choice of a favorite football team, the disposition of teachers' contracts - any government employee contracts, for that matter - is in the end a political decision. It's a decision made by a political body. A body - in this case, the school board - made up of elected officials, answerable to the voters.

This commission has decided it's all right for teachers to expose their students - a captive audience if there ever was one - to their side of a political question.