ICYMI, Donald Trump Jr. gave a speech at the Republican National Convention last week in which he dismissed public schools and their teachers.
Here are just a few choice phrases from that particular segment:
“Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they are stalled on the ground floor. They are like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and the administrators and not the students.”
Needless to say, it ruffled the feathers of many educators at both public and private institutions for a number of reasons, perhaps the most significant being that he spoke from no experience.
Trump Jr. grew up in a privileged household and went to The Hill School, a preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. After that, he attended The University of Pennsylvania another privately owned institution.
Simply put, Trump Jr. has no idea what it’s like to be educated in public schools.
Thankfully, one incredibly eloquent teacher decided to call out Trump Jr. on his misinformed speech.
Dani Bostick is a Latin teacher at a public school in Winchester, Virginia, who just happened to have the RNC on in the background while working on lesson plans.
After she heard what Trump Jr. had to say about her profession, she simply had to respond.
Bostick wrote on The Huffington Post about how dedicated she and her colleagues are to the kids they teach despite their “pitifully low” salaries. She wrote about how time in the classroom is such a small part of the hours teachers put into their work. And she stressed how “reckless” it is to say public schools serve teachers instead of students because it’s simply not true. One quote sums her sentiments up pretty perfectly:
“Tenure or no tenure, union or no union, teachers dedicate our lives to students. Or, as we teachers call them ‘our kids.’ … They are our kids because we are as invested in their academic growth and personal development as if they were our own literal children.”
Once her post was up, teachers of the world (well, at least those on Twitter) united behind her.
Erin Johnston, a public school teacher from North Carolina, responded succinctly to the Democratic Party’s “fear” of free-market education:
“The only thing I fear is yet another politician running their mouth about how education is broken while at the same time passing legislation to break it even more because it gets them elected.”
Boom! Mic drop!
There is a good lesson to be learned here that can be summed up by a quote my high school English teacher had on her classroom wall.
“I say, there is no darkness but ignorance.” William Shakespeare, “Twelfth Night”
If you’re going to trash talk the people who educate others, you’d best do your research; otherwise they’ll take you to church.