Friday, February 3, 2012

Dallas Meeting on School Closures Turns Ugly; 177 Teachers to Lose Their Jobs

In my July 11th post from last year, "Why We’re Screwed (Part 1): Public Opinion Poll Regarding Entitlement Cuts" I asserted that as the American tax base continues to shrink, the various interest groups are going to find themselves engaged in a fierce struggle to maintain their share of the booty. So far, those clashes have not erupted into actual violence, but the tipping point could be drawing near, as demonstrated by this recent story from a local Dallas television station:
After a raucous meeting lasting more than four hours with police intervention, Dallas ISD trustees voted to close 11 elementary schools, which will result in 177 layoffs of full-time employees.
Ooh...grab the popcorn ma. This looks like it's gonna be GOOD.
"Wake up people; are you asleep? Are you sick? Or what?" Joyce Foreman, one of the first public speakers opposing school closures, asked board members.

Tempers were hot. Her speech could have foreshadowed what was to come.

"Treating teachers with respect is not that expensive. Do it!" said Bill Betzen, a former Dallas ISD teacher.
Actually, I beg to differ, Mr. Betzen. The full salary and benefits of 177 teachers are actually quite expensive in these tough economic times. Not that I'm at all happy to see these teachers lose their jobs. It's just that the money to pay them has to come from SOMEWHERE.

But it gets even better:
For more than an hour and a half speakers blasted the board until one, Joyce Foreman, questioned why several trustees weren’t even listening. They had left the room.

That’s when the situation spiraled south.

"Security, I would like you to escort Ms. Joyce Foreman out of this meeting right now," said DISD Board President Dr. Lew Blackburn.

A team of uniformed Dallas ISD police officers closed in on Foreman, who was standing at the microphone as the crowd erupted in protest.

"If you do not get quiet we will move this meeting down the hall and you will not be a part of it!" Blackburn said over the loud jeers.

"No Justice! No Peace!" Foreman yelled, holding her purse above her head as police pushed her back towards the door.

"Sir! You need to be quiet!" Blackburn said to someone in the commotion.

Seconds later, he suspended the meeting. "Trustees, we are moving down the hall!"

Trustees retreated to their smaller board room to continue the meeting away from the anger.
Cowards. If you can't stand the heat, then give up your cushy position. Yes, I realize the crowd was being unreasonable, and that the schools are facing tough budgetary times in this age of austerity. But if you can't handle the stress that comes with being the hatchet person, then GTFO already. It was the unrealistic promises made to people at all levels of society by hacks such as yourselves that created the massive sense of entitlement we have in this country in the first place.

Bonus: "Strong words in...the staff room...the accusations fly"


  1. 100:1 student-teacher ration. Yeah Bill, that would be so much better than entitlements and all. I'm sure there's more than one wealthy Dallas tycoon that could keep these teachers employed and the schools open if only they didn't have their tax attorney's squirreling it away. Oh wait, they can afford to send their kiddies to well funded private schools. Maybe cut some spending on the riot gear and OT earned while cracking down on the wall st occupiers for starters too.

    1. I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I fave taxing the fuck out of the 1% out of basic fairness, but in the long run that isn't going to save the public schools or our economy from collapsing as the effects of peak oil continue to mount.

  2. I find it interesting that the teachers can be screaming so loud for their jobs. Is there not one teacher there who sees that what they teach is for the most part useless? We ourselves sit around and chat about what our kids learn and bitch about how they should be taught things like how to use credit, what a con game politics are and other things. Come on, you do it all the time around the lunch room right? Do teachers not do the same thing? OR are they silent in their lunchrooms, afraid of being hammered down like the nail that sticks up?

    So assume they do see the con game that is teaching these days. What do they do about it? Nothing. They are trapped in a system that forces them to teach garbage, as cogs in a machine designed to produce docile little workers. Now they wonder why they are being dumped because there is no money and they scream in righteous indignation. OMG we are valuable..... NOT!

    BTW, Its interesting you should use that song as your end piece. Up here we've had 3 different cases of teacher/student affairs in the last few weeks.

    1. Excellent points about public education rapidly becoming useless as we face a powered down future.

      As for the teacher/student affairs, not a day goes by when doesn't have at least one such story, but surprisingly it almost always involves female teachers and male students.

  3. Everything’s falling apart
    (You could plot the trend on a chart);
    Doom living’s an art:
    Since we cannot restart,
    You get used to it fast if you’re smart.

  4. Hopes for the future have faded—
    Poor quality now has pervaded;
    It happens each day
    And in every way:
    Everything’s being degraded.

  5. When it’s hard to keep staying alive,
    And most life can barely survive:
    Computers won’t work,
    But folks won’t go berserk
    Over how much is five times five.