Wikileaks Reminded Me That Most Teachers Are Cowards

Wikileaks has some pretty disturbing footage from Iraq showing an American helicopter gunship murdering many unarmed Iraqi civilians, several of whom were reporters. Beside the shear rage I felt watching human beings being eliminated with the levity that one associates with a violent video game by American military, I also realized the extreme jeopardy other people had taken to make this atrocity public. Julian Assange, one of the mild mannered founders of WikiLeaks described not only the surveillance that people working at WikiLeaks are under, but also the incredible courage it took for either soldiers in the army or person(s) at the Department of Defense in leaking this encrypted footage so that the public might be aware of this atrocity.

Here was a situation where some people were willing to put their lives on the line to blow the whistle on military war crimes in Iraq (and logically Afghanistan and Pakistan) that clearly has become standard operating procedure and shows a clear indifference to human life superceded by a perverse desire to get a high score in this game of death. Those brave people who reported this to WikiLeaks absolutely trusted that WikiLeaks would protect them from FBI, CIA, and a plethora of other governmental spooks that would like in the old Nixon Watergate mentality to plug the leaks.

Then of course...

... their are LAUSD certificated educators and classified staff who sit amongst themselves and bitch about the fraud, incompetence, and intimidation they are subject and privy to on a daily basis, but do nothing about it. One of my partners in perdaily who is not in education is livid about these folks who contact us, tell us about the education atrocities that LAUSD leadership engages in on a daily basis and then call us in a panic to not publish what they have told us anonymously.

Now I could understand if the information was directly traceable back to them, but the vast majority of the tips we receive are just part and parcel of LAUSD's daily rules of engagement that continue to annihilate LAUSD students and teachers in a much less violent and overt way than what WikiLeaks reported in Iraq, but with the same ultimate tragic results for all concerned. If your partner has lost their job and your house is on the verge of foreclosure, I might say I can see your justification for not speaking out. If what you know is clearly traceable back to you, okay, don't say anything, but when you and 60 other people know egregious malfeasance on the part of LAUSD administration regarding things that have sadly become mundane daily standard operating procedure at LAUSD like: teacher intimidation, grade inflation, no discipline, construction and real estate fraud, waste, and generally irrational behavior, it is really hard to fathom why these people refuse to speak up, since most employees of LAUSD know exactly what we do at perdaily.

Last week one of my colleagues retired from teaching earlier than he had wanted to. He had planned on working for several more years, but the knifing of a Black student by a Latino student who had been dumped in his class without screening to get the numbers up, surely accounted for his decision to bail out at this point. Many of my colleagues who have either retired recently or plan to do so in the not too distant future are just trying to white knuckle it until they get out of LAUSD with no consideration as to what life in Los Angeles is going to be like during their retirement, if we continue bouncing down the same rocky road toward the edge of the cliff that looms closer and closer. While Iraq and Afghanistan are half a continent away, the chaos that now engulfs Ciudad Juarez is a day's drive by car away...but of course, it can't happen here.

Since it is not reasonable to think that teachers are never going to stop whining about an abhorrent situation that they refuse to do anything but talk about amongst themselves, maybe we at perdaily should expand our operation to giving these folks a venue for group therapy where they can indulge themselves in forever bitching while doing absolutely nothing to solve a problem that they are objectively really the only ones with the power to address -- if they ever got the guts to do so.

On the other hand, with the furlough days and more job insecurity, maybe the CIA should offer a summer special ops job training program for teachers, since it seems clear that the federal government would have a much better chance to keep the lid on nasty little scenes like the murder WikiLeaks reported, if teachers were in the chain of command.The CIA could rest assured that they would say 'nuthin' to nobody'. It has become clear to me over the last few years that almost without exception, organizational leadership reflects rank-and-file mentality and commitment.

If UTLA and LAUSD continue to predictably malfunction look to yourselves for the solution or shut up. Don't say I didn't try to help.



04 2010


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So true--both the post and the comment. I didn't quit LAUSD because of the students, I quit because of exactly what anonymous states--the yes-people became administrators with power over me, and my fellow teachers were in general either martyrs or apathetic--same thing, maybe. I'm glad I quit before the profession was exposed for what it is--and before I totally burned out fighting for sheeple who wouldn't stand up for themselves.

Interesting rant.
Don't see the connection to Iraq. I did serve in Iraq as a reservist and to me the video looked ligit. Collateral damage is the name of the game in war among insurgents. It's been a known insurgent tactic to have kids killed in combat zones to sway the public. Usually not their own, often kidnapped. Don't believe the enemy is thus? Read reports about the torture chambers? There was a collection of men, one aimed an rpg at a helicopter or approaching Bradly, what did they think would happen? Group of armed men with ak-47s not far behind, and a couple of camera men? Hard to tell the difference thru the gun site. I'll also tell you Americans did a lot of good there in spite of the twists the press and others with an agenda give it. People see what they want especially when not in possession of all the facts.

Back to LAUSD. Point of fact is LAUSD administrators are made of former teachers. Mostly teachers who couldn't cut it, but teachers who shut up. Shut up, proved they can play the game. Teachers resigned to the situation but equally resigned to the fact that the only way they can get ahead is to play the game and perpetuate the fraud. Sadly situational ethics are the way of things @ LAUSD. Fraud starts at the top. THE TOP. Cortines himself just got caught with a 150k kicker. The press, the organization, the parents did what? Nothing.

Most teachers choose their battles and fight them locally. If you as a teacher speak up, to who? Who will hear it? Who will care? Press? Union? Parents?
Where is Jason Song from the LA Times writing up Cortines with the same vigor as the teachers in the rubber rooms?

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