America’s public school system has been demonstrably corrupted by the ubiquitous influence of powerful teachers unions. Educators deemed unfit to lead a class are increasingly difficult to terminate, often being placed in so-called “rubber rooms” to bide their time as they collect an uninterrupted salary.
In certain extreme examples – such as the molestation of a student – teachers are sometimes deservedly fired. Even in cases involving the most egregious abuses, however, unions continue to fight for the abuser.
Such was the case when former math teacher Neal Erickson admitted to raping a young student over a three year period. After being arrested for the crime about a year ago, the Rose City, Mich. educator pleaded guilty in May.
During the period between his arrest and conviction, the school district addressed a staffing surplus by offering a $10,000 severance package to any teacher willing to resign. Though Erickson was placed on administrative leave even before his arrest, the Michigan Education Association contends he was still on the payroll when he volunteered to accept the buyout and leave the district.
Of course, his separation from Rose City Middle School was ultimately guaranteed by a jury of his peers instead of his own desire to leave. This distinction matters little to his union representatives. Even many of his fellow teachers, along with at least one school board member, showed support for the self-avowed pedophile during his trial.
The MEA spoke out after realizing Erickson did not receive a check when school officials sent the first of two severance payments. Superintendent Dan Cwayna confirmed he made the decision to omit the felon after convening with the district’s school board president.
Union boss Ron Parkinson was tight-lipped when asked about the case by EAGnews recently. Others in the community, however, are vocally outraged at the MEA’s stance. The victim’s father, John Janczewski, shared the sentiment of many, suggesting that if anybody deserves a payout, it is his son.
“Are they nuts in the head?” he asked. “How can the union file a grievance and back a child molester? We’re very upset about it.”
He and his wife have received substantial community support in their petition to have Mike Eagan, the board member who sat with Erickson during his trial, recalled. As any caring parent would in this situation, Janczewski said he is prepared to fight tooth and nail against his son’s abuser and the bullies coming to his defense.
“I don’t think the union wants the publicity we’ll bring on this,” the outraged father said.
Schools are unfortunately no longer a safe environment for children to learn and interact with others. Indoctrination has replaced imagination, while hysterical responses to perceived security threats mean students face draconian punishments for harmless childish actions.
The only thing worse than an inhumane teacher making the situation far worse by preying on his own students is a teachers union that believes he should be rewarded for it.
–B. Christopher Agee