Robbing our teachers

BowieCCT1's picture

As we get into the really hot months of the year, we all tend to get a little “hot” and let our opinions fly around like daggers on the wind. Social media makes it easy for people to have an opinion and yet still hide behind a computer screen. Sites like Cheers and Jeers do serve a purpose, but too often they become a launching pad for the kind of adolescent, uneducated pablum that just makes folks look stupid.
Still, sometimes there are issues that truly need to be addressed and having a forum to discuss topics of the day can be a good thing. Hatespeak is never necessary. Online bullying is a sin, and far too prevalent, and idiots that think sending lewd or provocative pictures and messages or simply a sign of the perverse world we live in today.
In fact, you will find in this paper the first in a series of articles on the subject of sexting, written by a local young man, that I think has a keen perspective on the subject.
Personally, there are a few things that are “grinding my gears” this week.
First, what in the heck is wrong with our state lawmakers? What they are proposing to our teachers is tantamount to dragging them out in the back alley and beating them with a stick. The $1,000 raise is nothing compared to the proposed insurance rate hikes, and if they are handed down, our teachers will be in a situation that they simply do not deserve.
When healthcare costs stand to take as much as half of a retired teacher’s pension, something is horribly wrong. No, actually, it isn’t just wrong, it’s a criminal act.
It is nothing less than armed robbery for our state lawmakers to have the gumption to strike out at our teachers the way they have been, and the way they are expected to do in the special session coming up. It is a slap in the face of every teacher that has ever taught a class, and it stands to happen, unless somebody does something to prevent it.
I would hope that lawmakers like our local representative, Gary VanDeaver, let their voices be heard loudly and strongly to keep these atrocious acts from being dealt out to our teachers. Heck, they haven’t even received a cost of living increase in 16 years.
According to a fellow journalist friend of mine, Suzanne Bardwell at the Gladewater Mirror, what is being done and proposed to be done to our teachers is as if they are being targeted by Governor Abbott and state lawmakers.
Bardwell knows what she is talking about, since she herself was an educator for more than 30 years. She organized a rally on the Gregg County Courthouse steps today, Wednesday, to raise awareness of the concerns that teachers, current and former, have about what is being done to them.
It is my hope that our lawmakers listen.
Let’s look at the facts for a moment and consider what all of this means to us here in our little corner of the world.
Our schools are the backbone of our communities. That is an undeniable fact. Without our schools, the heartbeat of everything else would be very faint.
If our teachers are not taken care of in the way they should be, why would they want to stay?
It is kinda hard to have a school without teachers. Or, you have a school with classrooms led by either very young teachers, or teachers without the zeal needed to do the job right.
Let me say this though before I get too far down the road.
Every school district I know has teachers in it that sacrifice themselves for the job, because to them, it is far more than just a job. I know many that work for less than they should make, spend their own money for supplies, and work countless hours that they are not paid for working.
These teachers are those that care about their students and communities and do whatever it takes to make both the best they can be. They are math teachers, English teachers, band directors and special needs instructors. They become secondary moms and dads, mentors, counselors, taxi drivers, lunch providers and a shoulder to cry on. They care.
They care despite what they make, what the lawmakers may hand down to them and despite the hardships they choose to endure.
I think, just my opinion now, teachers are right up there with local pastors, when it comes to guiding a community down the right path. I have been both, so there is a little insight to that statement.
The fact is, our educators deserve better. They do not deserve the raw deal they are being handed, and the voice of the people needs to rise up, right now, and be heard in Austin.
If you care about your community, you have to care about your teachers. Let’s show them that we do.
Try this.

Texas State Senate District 1 Senator Bryan Hughes
Capitol Office: CAP GE.7
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0101
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
District Address: 100 Independence Place, Suite 301
Tyler TX 75703
Phone: (903) 581-1776

Representative Gary VanDeaver

Capitol Address is Room E1.310, P.O. Box 2910, Austin,Texas 78768 and the phone number is 512.463.0692.

The local info is Gary VanDeaver, Bowie County Courthouse, 710 James Bowie Drive, New Boston, Texas 75570 and the phone number is 903.628.0361

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