Defend Public Education

Metro Times Reports on DFT meeting

Posted in Uncategorized by Nicole Conaway on February 27, 2010

Excertp from: Metro Times – News+Views: Schoolhouse divided.

” Johnson has called Detroit police, though no arrests have been made, and the union’s privately contracted security staff has escorted his opponents from the meeting.

At the January meeting, a teacher who left the meeting asked the security guard, “Why did you threaten Heather Miller that you would fuck her up?”

The guard replied, “I’ll say whatever the fuck I want.” Nice.

Last week Johnson tried to get consensus on the meeting agenda, but a voice vote was louder for those who opposed it. He then had the membership stand up and be counted in an attempt to determine support and opposition to approving the agenda. “136 to 115 in favor of the agenda,” Johnson announced. Shortly after that, two plainclothes police — badges hung around their necks — entered the union hall.

Teachers started leaving, many of them saying Johnson’s count was clearly bullshit. 

Teachers continued to leave. One man compared the election committee to a corrupt dictatorship for what he said was a miscount of votes about the agenda. “It’s sickening,” he muttered as he left.”

This article gives some important information about how things have progressed over the past three months. However, it missed the real story in some key aspects. For one, the Metrotimes falls into Johsnon’s trap of believing this is him against Conn and Miller. The proposal to ammend the agenda at the meeting was not made by Conn or Miller, but another member.  The movement lead by Conn and Miller has gained support not just because of  the $250 deduction, but becuase teachers know this contract is mainly about take over and privitization.

The article claims the dysfunctional union meetings are making it impossible to check Bobb’s power. Since this article was printed, Bobb has been checked. But only because the community, including teachers have stood up. In fact teachers are standing together despite the corrupt union leadership. We have organized against Bobb’s test and stopped it in some schools. Teachers, students, parents, and alumni put the pressure on that got the recent lay-offs rescinded. The school board will now be represented by our lawyers in their suit against Bobb, creating a strong alliance opposing him. Also, while Bobb’s media campaign has fooled many, mostly on the outside, opposition is growing. In his on-line chat last weekend, hosted by the publication responsible for most of the hype, people hit him with some hard criticism. Even comments from readers who say they support him questioned his power.

With the hearing of the House education Committe on the question of Bobb’s power and rally on Monday, the opposition to Bobb’s power should be loud and clear for the MetroTimes to see, and hopefully report.


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