Lawyers are extremely expensive and even if a teacher accused of a crime or of incompetence was innocent, without the union to pay legal fees, most teachers would be helpless victims.
In addition, legal assistance from the teachers unions is not automatic. When a teacher is accused of being incompetent, and he claims to be innocent and goes to the local branch of the teacher union seeking help, legal experts that are retained by the NEA or AFT will usually consider if the case has merit.
You Pay for what You Get!
If the union’s legal experts feel the teacher deserves a defense, then the union will stand behind that teacher. What I mean by evidence may be twenty years of satisfactory evaluations by more than one administrator, which is often the case.
However, if the union’s legal experts say there is not enough evidence to defend the teacher, the union will not defend them.
I taught in the public schools for thirty years and know of cases where teachers went to the union and were denied legal support. I also know of cases where the union’s legal experts ruled in favor of teachers and recommended the union assist them.
To demand that teachers accused of incompetence be fired without due process is undemocratic and un-American. If Wal-Mart can have its day in court when accused of discrimination, then teachers should have the same privilege when accused of incompetence.
How many teachers are we talking about that may be incompetent? A possible answer will appear in Part 3.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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