Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Thursday, July 19th, 2018Last Update: Friday, June 1st, 2018 10:41:02 AM

The Teacher Strike

By: Steve Byas

It was called a “walkout,” or perhaps even a “protest,” but make no mistake about it, it was a strike. School superintendents and school boards across the state were enablers in this action, which set a horrible precedent.

Public employee strikes are not like private employee strikes. In the case of private employees, it is a private dispute, and if employees want to strike, they have every right to do so. This is not the case with public employees, like public school teachers. In this case, the teachers were, in effect, striking against the people themselves in this state. In a representative form of government, we leave decisions as to public funding of any government activity up to our elected representatives. If you want teachers to get more compensation, less compensation, or the same compensation, then the proper course of action is to change the composition of the Oklahoma Legislature.

School boards who chose to close their schools were, in effect, subverting our very form of government. The Legislature needs to pass a law that would remove any school board member from office who chooses to shut down their school to support a future teacher strike. In the future, it should be clearly illegal to use taxpayer-purchased school busses to transport striking teachers to the Capitol.

All of this is not to say teachers have an easy job, or they don’t have legitimate gripes. As President Warren Harding once said, the hardest job he ever had was the one year he taught school. Those who think teaching is some kind of a gravy train are free to get a degree and get on that gravy train. But the proper course of action for a disgruntled teacher is to take their complaint to a legislator, work for a candidate of their liking, or even look for other employment.

What really happened with this strike?

While supposedly an isolated event within our state, the fact is that the Oklahoma teacher strike is just part of a national movement by the left-wing National Education Association (NEA) to energize the national Democratic Party and progressive causes generally. The hard reality is that the positions of the NEA and its Oklahoma affiliate are virtually indistinguishable from those held by the Democratic Party and others on the Left.

The overwhelmingly Republican Legislature and the “Republican” governor did not understand what was going on. They evidently believed it was all about getting more money for education. No doubt it was for the vast majority of teachers in Oklahoma. If it was really about teacher pay, that was accomplished even before the strike happened. Now, Oklahoma will rank 29th in the country in teacher pay, and second in the region.

What this strike was all about was to advance the cause of the Left. Their obvious intention was to push for more, and keep moving the goal posts, until the governor and the Republicans in the House and Senate finally balked. Then, when they finally balked at this or that demand (removing the capital gains tax, or the hotel-motel tax, or whatever) the Republicans could then be cast as the villain in the whole affair.

A look at the websites of the NEA and OEA reveals advocacy for issues that have nothing to do with education, but much to do with the various causes held dear for liberals who run these leftist teacher unions. For example, we find the OEA even has a link to DACA ‘resources’ on its home page. Other links call for educators to support the “dreamers,” and even an “immigration toolkit for educators.” Astoundingly, teachers are even offered access to a “Deportation Defense Card,” so a person would know how to best respond during an immigration raid.

In a link to “Teaching Tolerance,” teachers are urged to “teach the facts about sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and learn how to advocate for LGBT youth.”

The OEA links to the NEA and its support for “common-sense gun violence laws.” They mention their partnering with a number of other groups to help in the anti-gun rights “March for our Lives” rally held in late March. And that is not all OEA/NEA has done, or they intend to do to curtail Americans’ Second Amendment rights. “Our Democratic [Party] leaders have held sit-ins, tried to close the ‘terror gap,’ ban bump stocks, as well as bipartisan groups looking at compromises on ‘no-fly,no-buy’ measures.”

Obamacare. They oppose its repeal.

Oklahoma was just one “red” state to be hit with a teacher strike. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne was ecstatic because these actions are part of the effort to move states into the Democratic Party column.

Several years ago, I asked the vice-president of OEA why they were opposing Reagan administration aid to the Contras in Nicaragua (then ruled by Marxists). After all, I said, what does that have to do with public schools in Oklahoma? Her answer was amazing – she said there were school children in Nicaragua! Of course, like many of the left-wing positions taken by the teachers’ unions, there is no bona fide connection to teaching children in America such things as math, science, English, or history. Most teachers are simply unaware of the radicalism being promoted in their names. But the leadership of the unions are liberal activists, and they see the teachers in their unions as pawns in their schemes to advance their progressive-left causes.

About Steve Byas

Steve Byas is editor of the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper. He may be contacted at: byassteve@yahoo.com

Other Articles By Steve Byas

Christians and Government

When I read the words of the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13:1-5, penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, its meaning is very clear to me. As Christians, our principal priority is to win the lost to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The Teacher Strike

It was called a walkout, or perhaps even a protest, but make no mistake about it, it was...

End Does Not Justify the Means

I was disappointed when I saw some folks that I consider conservatives folks who believe in the...

Our Michelle Obama Legislature

When we started the Oklahoma Conservative Index in 1979, we had about 20 Republicans in the state...

Cole, Inhofe, Lankford, Russell, Wrong on Syria

It was quite discouraging. Following the decision by President Trump to bomb a country Syria ...

Civil Asset Forfeiture and Oklahoma's State Constitution

It is remarkable how when one challenges the practice of government agents taking private property,...

Book Review: The Oklahomans

The Oklahomans: The Story of Oklahoma and Its PeopleVolume I: Ancient-Statehoodby John J. Dw...

Other Constitution Columnists

Tony Lauinger

Abortion: There Is No Silver Bullet
The right to life is a God-given right, and the lives of unborn children should be protected by law....

Steve Byas

Christians and Government
When I read the words of the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13:1-5, penned under the inspiration of the...

Steve Byas

The Teacher Strike
It was called a walkout, or perhaps even a protest, but make no mistake about it, it was a strike....

Richard Engle

A Cornett However...
I was at an event and got stuck talking to a musician. I am not musically inclined, so to make...

Randy Brogdon

Ending Abortion Is Possible by Ending Pro-life Policies
Since 1973 after the Supreme Court opinion Roe v Wade declared that abortion of an unborn baby was a...

Rep. Jason Murphey

My Criteria for Voting on Legislative Proposals
Consider the following statement one might hear if they stay around the capitol very long: If there...

John Michener

Voter Guide for Republican Gubernatorial Primary
After forty-five years of electing pro-life politicians who have promised to fight abortion, we find...

David Deming

Should We Surrender on Bump Stocks?
In the aftermath of the October 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas, the US Justice Department has...

Charlie Meadows

Have Republican Lawmakers Been Suckered
Since the elections of last November, most Republican lawmakers have been regurgitating the mantra...

Brandon Dutcher

New OU President Gallogly: We will not have waste on campus.
James Gallogly has been selected as the next president of the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma...

Andrew K. Boyle

State Question 788 brings 420 to the 46th State
Finding Virtue in the Unvirtuous:State Question 788 brings 420 to the 46th stateState Question 788...

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Spring 2018
Jim Bridenstine, NASA AdministratorCongratulations to Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was finally...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Federal Offices on 2018 Ballot
The U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers. Senators serve six-year terms with only a third of...

Constitution Staff

State Offices Attract Candidates
In non-presidential election years, the governors office, a host of secondary statewide offices, and...

Constitution Staff

Candidates File for Oklahoma Legislature
The candidate filing period for the Oklahoma Legislature this year was April 11-13. Oklahomas...

Constitution Staff

Special Elections for Legislature Come to an End
After an election on March 6, Special Elections for the Oklahoma Legislature are now complete. The...

Constitution Staff

Oklahoma State Legislators Rated
The Oklahoma Constitution presents the 40th annual Oklahoma Conservative Index, rating our state...

Constitution Columnists

Tony Lauinger

Abortion: There Is No Silver Bullet
The right to life is a God-given right, and the lives of unborn children should be protected by law....

Steve Byas

Christians and Government
When I read the words of the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13:1-5, penned under the inspiration of the...

Steve Byas

The Teacher Strike
It was called a walkout, or perhaps even a protest, but make no mistake about it, it was a strike....

© 2001 - 2009 The Oklahoma Constitution, all rights reserved.
Contact the Oklahoma Constitution by calling 405-366-1125 or emailing okconsti@aol.com
Content Management System (CMS) provided by WebTeks CMS.