Think of the Children

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, has alleged that Rahm Emanuel privately told her that “25 percent of the students in this city are never going to be anything, never going to amount to anything and he was never going to throw money at them.”

This is only the latest example of a classic teachers’ union tactic: using the children they are supposed to care for as human shields during contract negotiations.

Mayor Emanuel is pushing back against the CTU’s request for 30 percent raises across the board over the next two years and $713 million in new spending to reduce class sizes by hiring more teachers (swelling union rolls).

Never mind that the impact of class-size reduction “has been found to be mixed or not discernable” for a “very expensive” program (according to the Brookings Institute), teachers unions maintain that opposition to this sort of wasteful spending is tantamount to abandoning a quarter of Chicago’s children.

Maybe Mayor Emanuel ought to be careful, or next year his children might be treated to the same Valentine’s Day surprise that was waiting for the president of the Delsea School Board in New Jersey.

Labor Union Report writes that the Delsea Education Delsea Education Association has been fighting over the amount of its raises since 2010 and decided to make its grievance personal by protesting in front of the President of the Delsea School Board’s house.

He wasn’t home — but his children were. To make matters worse, his daughter’s teachers were in the crowd picketing and they won’ apologize. “It was a simple expression of our democratic right to express our discontent of not having a contract,” said Christine Onorato, president of the DEA. “This was something our membership expressed, and our negotiating team said … we are going to do it.”

These types of intimidation tactics are familiar to unions like SEIU. In 2010, 14 school bus loads of purple-shirted SEIU protesters stormed Bank of America General Counsel Greg Baer’s front porch. He wasn’t home, but his teenage son was.

His neighbor, Nina Easton, recounts “as bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. ‘When are they going to leave?’ Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.”

Keep in mind, SEIU is currently campaigning to force child-care providers in Minnesota and Connecticut to join their ranks. Wonder where their “kids first” mentality was when hundreds of protestors terrified Jack Baer?

In the words of Helen Lovejoy, won’t somebody please think of the children?