The video is pretty dramatic. A black parent is pictured as a recorded call is played. The parent is calling a school to demand answers. What will be done about a teacher who called a student the n-word? The administrator on the other end responds. Is this what happened to your child? The parent presses. Will the teacher be fired? Will the teacher still be allowed to teach? Will the teacher be allowed to continue using racial epithets?
The video reveals that a teacher has used just such language against a student and still teaches. Another teacher, a union official, in an informal setting talks about it. A colleague who used abusive language to a student in front of other students was merely demoted, still working with other students. She uses the n-word to quote the offender, the one still teaching.
The scene fades to a confrontation in a parking lot with the union official. This time she is the target. A microphone is in her face. Has she ever used the n-word? She is silent, shocked, and obviously angry. The scene then goes back to the black parent on the telephone. The administrator tells him that certain procedures must be followed before the offended teacher is punished. The incident must be verified. The teacher must be interviewed. The facts must be determined. Due process is in the negotiated contract. The black parent is understandably impatient. Who wouldn't be if his child had been verbally attacked on racial grounds? In all, 6 minutes documents that Teachers Unions are run by racists.
The video was produced by the same folks who smeared a social worker with heavily edited secretly taped conversations that made it appear that he was helping a pimp get government aid. In fact the social worker was in touch with police, begging them to investigate. That social worker not only lost his job, but his organization was shut down. You may have heard of it: ACORN.
In this case, the racial incident never happened. Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution looked into it. The black parent is a hired actor. But the teacher in the parking lot is real, although she is not a union official after all. Her name is Alissa Ploshnick and she has taught special ed in Passaic, New Jersey, for years. She was suspended by the school district after the video surfaced. She has been attacked by the Governor of New Jersey as an example of the evils of teachers unions.
It turns out the story she told to the friendly young man who bought her drinks and flattered her with attention was not true. It was simple barroom talk, falsehood told in the interest of provocative conversation.
We can speculate about how the teacher may have felt at the friendly attention. She is single, approaching 40, and bears the trauma of a serious incident 13 years ago. Her near death in 1997 is more than a source of our sympathy. She was hospitalized after she threw herself between a dozen endangered students and a speeding, out-of-control van. Her immediate reward included broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes. She did get a letter of appreciation from President Bill Clinton and she did save the kids.
The video that got her suspended by her employer, and attacked by Governor Chris Christie, is called "Teachers Unions Gone Wild." She does not hold any office in any union. Her primary duties are to teach, get run over by vans, and get smeared by friendly young conservatives with hidden cameras.
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This teacher has been unfairly and outrageously victimized by unscrupulous conservative Republican trickery. It is a sneaky, yet blatant attack on teachers' unions, and is a prime example of the hypocrisy and treachery of the modern reactionary "conservative."
Gov. Chris Christie is an attention-seeking, rash, and irresponsible blowhard, just like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
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