Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Substitute Teacher

Image courtesy of
Shepherd Express
The following was forwarded to me this evening. It reads like something that came out of The Onion. I wish it had, but sadly, it's all too real. It's a letter that was sent home from a local elementary school, which I shall transcribe here, with some names redacted to protect the innocent:
Dear Parents of 4th Grade Students:

I am writing to inform you that Governor Scott Walker is coming to visit [name redacted] School on Thursday, September 13th and will speak with all of our 4th grade students! Governor Walker and a professional from the Wisconsin Historical Society are coming to [this school] to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. They will present a lesson to all of our 4th grade students from 9:15 am until approximately 10 am. Students will hear about the signing of the Constitution and be able to ask the Governor some questions they may have for him.
There is then a paragraph regarding the need to sign a permission slip because the media will be there and will be taking pictures that could end up on TV and/or the paper.

What? Did you expect Walker to do anything that wasn't a photo op and something he could use to further his political career, as short lived as that might be due to Walkergate?

The letter then goes on:
I also want to let you know that this activity is one that is not open to the public. Therefore, parents will not be allowed to attend. Please understand that the Governor is requesting time with your children rather than speaking to a large audience. In addition, the security that is necessary will require us to be strict about who is allowed on the school grounds that day. Please understand the need for that security.

It is an honor to have the Governor of the State of Wisconsin visit [our] school! The students are truly excited to have the opportunity to learn from him! If you have any questions or concerns regarding Governor Walker's visit, please fell free to contact me at your convenience.


[Your friendly neighborhood principal]
I have since found out that Walker is supposed to be visiting a number of schools who are named after one of the founding fathers. I wonder if he has found an aide with more than the usual level of incompetency of the Walker administration to help with this. Left to his own devices, I could see Walker going to Custer High School or Lincoln Elementary.

As I mentioned above, this is obviously nothing but a photo op, using the children as political props.

It takes some serious brass balls for him to even show his face in a public school after all the damage he has done to the public education system. But then to act on the pretense that he is going to give a lesson about the Constitution?!

I mean, really?! This college flunky can't even spell, for crying out loud!

But if the irony hasn't reached toxicity levels yet, I have learned that Walker's people have already told the schools that the children are not going to be allowed to ask questions unless they are strictly related to the Constitution. This wipes out the question, "Why do you hate teachers?"

But it still leaves wide open the question: "Why do you continue to violate the First Amendment? Why do you hate Free Speech and the Right to Assemble?"

I know at least one parent who was going out tonight to buy their child a red t-shirt just for this occasion, to show support for the Chicago teachers. Wouldn't it be grand to see Walker surrounded by a sea of kids wearing CTA red? Of course, he'd be too self-centered and too dense to pick up on the meaning, even if they did do that.

Although, as I think about it, this stunt just might give the children a real lesson. They will get a first hand glimpse of the almost perfect, living example of what Walker's privatized education system will look like - an unqualified, uneducated person telling them what they should think instead of how to think. The only difference is that instead of being underpaid, Walker is being way overpaid for his job performance, and that's without the deck being stacked against him.


  1. Indirectly at least, I just learned something because of Walker and your post.

    I pulled up a list of names of signers of the Constitution, and it read like a street map of the Isthmus in Madison - Pinckney, Langdon, Gilman, Gorham, Blair, Williamson, Mifflin, Broom, and on and on.

    A *great* number of the streets in Madison are named after signers of the Constitution, with the names chosen specifically for that reason.

  2. "I also want to let you know that this activity is one that is not open to the public"

    It's the Republican party, isn't this something that didn't even need to be stated?

    Glad I have no children in Wisconsin, it will be like watching Walker and his pal Weix getting together at Elmwood school again.

    The permission slip was probably a reverse style one, too, where if you didn't return it, permission was given.

  3. If he comes to my kids' school, my kids will be absent!

  4. Better than just red tshirts for the kids.
    Have them printed with this "An Owie to One is an Owie To All" strike kitten design

  5. This whole photo op has a definite Soviet tinge to it. The children must be careful what questions they ask the great leader. What a pathetic little man.

    1. Team Walker already knows which school, which class to pick, and which students are in there.

      The shadow email system goes well beyond just communication....

  6. I hope the fourth graders sing all verses to "This Land is Your Land..."

    I attended Custer High School.

  7. And what will happen if he spews the same bullshit he did on 9/11, stating that our freedoms come from our creator?

    I wonder what FFRF would think about that in a public school?

  8. Wouldn't dressing the kids in red shirts be "using the children as political props".

    1. Since your average 4th grader is highly unlikely to wear anything just because "mom said so", I imagine the parents are discussing the meaning of the shirts with their kids. So no, it wouldn't. The phrase 'political props' carries with it the implication that said props are ignorant of their role.

      I would have gleefully worn such a shirt in those circumstances when I was that age. Though admittedly, I was an unusually politically aware child.

    2. Well, I stand corrected. Then I would suggest Walker take all the kids with red shirts on aside, and discuss with them how far off their parents are in their political views and let them know it's borderline abuse to encourage a fourth grader to worry about things they have no control over yet.

    3. yOU mUST bE hIDING wHAT yOU rEALLY tHINKSeptember 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Oh shit! More of this crap! This state is in a mess because decisive actions are called for, and no one has the spine to do what the situation demands! When the schools become centers of thought and questions, the problem is clear.

      These fourth graders will be the union thugs of the future unless something is done about it now! Anyone attempting to subvert the government by wearing protest t-shirts supporting criminal looters of the public purse SHOULD BE ARRESTED!


      After a few years of strong measures such as this, the budget will be in surplus, and everyone not in jail will be employed. Many of the newly employed will be celebrating their new prison industrial complex jobs, which will probably be blissfully uncontaminated by union presence (other than all the union members now imprisoned for various criminal activities.)

      It's the mealy mouthed half measures of milquetoast so called Walker supporters that are getting in the way of the real solutions. Failure to eliminate dissent in a Democratic system just encourages more dissent. People must start understanding what the real problems here!

    4. Good grief. Guess I'd better clarify -- I'm the one who said I would have been glad to wear such a shirt in 4th grade. Since some people seem to have decided that must mean that I was raised by manipulative bastards, however, let me explain further. My father was very active in education and local politics, and made sure his kids learned the true importance of both. He took me with him to vote from the time I was five or six, and (in an age-appropriate manner) always encouraged me to learn as much about the process as possible.

      Before anyone decides he must have been some sort of hippie liberal, let me also add that he tended to vote Republican (though bear in mind that this was some years ago now, before the Tea Party influence truly made itself felt), but never blindly voted Republican. And he would have been appalled at the disrespect Walker consistently shows for education.

  9. So your saying we should not talk with our kids about politics????

    Two years ago when Walker introduced ACT 10 my son called a meeting of all his friends in 2nd grade and told them how bad the bill was....

    1. If it makes you feel better have at it. Don't forget to tell them that "the man" is keeping them down like your parents told you!
      I don't tell my kids what is right and wrong politically. When they are older I will teach them how to make up their own minds. Crazy hey?

    2. But, but, global warming... and ... and corporate America!

    3. You left out Sharia Law and whatever Rush said!

    4. Mr. IMBR, it is not the politicians or the unions who are controlling your kids.

      Pepsi controls them. Coke controls them.

      They are nothing but market share percentages.

      You've helped to weaken the education system further, you've helped to weaken the lower classes further.

      All for your own personal gratifying wants, because it is all about you, Mr. IMBR, and just your personal freedom.

      If Walker were true in his intent, he would make more public appearances, in Wisconsin.

      I'm sorry, I should say, Walker would make public appearances, period.

      Besides, what is Walker doing in a classroom when he is "laser focused on job creation?"

      Shouldn't this guy be reaching across the aisle and into his co-workers offices?

      He's reaching across all right...., C. Y. A.

    5. I should stop and thank you for the thoughtful reply. Nice to see it is not all lunatics reading this blog.
      But, the same case could be made that the unions are controlling the kids with a monopoly on education. I can keep my kids away from pepsi and coke and most of its influence but not public schools. It's true, I am not a 1%er. I have kids in public schools.
      As far as weakening the schools that remains to be seen. Its true he weakened the union, but it can be argued that he saved many teaching jobs with the money saved on benefits. It would seem to me by paying the teachers more we would need to have less teachers. I know Cappers on the edge of his seat right now saying Walker defunded the schools but I see less money going to schools everywhere, even in liberal havens such as Chicago and New York.
      That being said, I cannot explain his motivations to sit in a classroom. I would rather see him in Madison myself.
      I'll be watching chicago to compare if we are better off without union influence or not.

    6. Actually we do not have to "wait to see" if he is weakening schools. It is painfully obvious he has weakened our schools tremendously!

      Yes people are cutting education all over, but I personally fight back against that no matter who does it. Also no one has cut education the way Walker has.

    7. Really, because I haven't noticed it. I'm fairly involved in my sons school and things seem to be business as usual. Tell me how it's so obvious.

    8. have you sat in on a class? went to a school board meeting? seen the budget? Im betting your school had to cut a tremendous amount of money from the budget and im also betting your school lost some high quality teachers to retirement the last couple years

    9. I'm not so sure age makes a teacher better, I'm sure they dont get worse but I'd argue they dont get better like wine by whining about act 10.
      Is a repeal of act 10 better for the kids? or the teachers?

    10. everyone will benefit and luckily for all it was repealed today!

    11. I can clearly see your excited for the children

  10. Could anyone name the school? Just curious what school would agree to this. I'm sure the teaching staff is thrilled- will they have to salute him as he enters the building?

    1. Ben Franklin Elementary School in Franklin, WI.

    2. Thanks! Ha, they even have pictures (evidence?) on their web site. Apparently the district feels no shame in what they have done.

  11. No salute necessary from the teachers. Just a deep, sustained bow,and offer to lick the dirt from his Allen Edmonds. One lucky teacher will be allowed to kiss his ring.

    1. Did Scott Walker ever take Brian Pierick or Scott Russel to any schools? Or any events where children were present? Just asking.

  12. Scott Walker addressing a bunch of grade school kids.

    Intellectual equals?

    The kids may have a big advantage here. They may actually see and understand the benefits of a good education. If they do that would put them ahead, far ahead of governor Skippy. Walker will probably never be known as an "education governor" as long as he keeps cutting funding and the potential for funding of education in Wisconsin.

    Act 10 is a disaster that will continue to hurt Wisconsin.

    What a legacy!

    Scott Walker will propably make people forget about McCarthy.