To the woman who drove by the picketing teachers:
Last week there was a post on our school Facebook page, asking for parents and students to come out and walk the picket line with teachers. Just for an hour or so, to show support. I went to work early so I could take the hour.
Not many people came, but it was a week day, and kind of last minute, so I wasn’t surprised. It was nice to see a few moms there with their kids. The school is in a residential area with little traffic compared to other sites. As I was talking to the teachers I began to notice something. Each time a vehicle approached the group, the expressions on the faces of the teachers became identical – it wasn’t fear (after all, these are elementary school teachers and it takes a lot to scare them), it was something more like trepidation.
Some people waved and smiled, some people looked straight ahead, some people turned away. Then there was you. You were driving too fast for me to get your licence plate number but I did see the face of your toddler hanging out of the front seat of your vehicle. I didn’t hear what you yelled; someone told me about that later. I did hear the tone of your voice and I got a glimpse of the triumphant look on your face.
I have some advice for you. You are entitled to your opinion. It is obvious that you don’t support the teachers. That being the case, you could have chosen to express yourself by simply driving by or by stopping to speak to the group. You could have written a letter to your MLA or your school board trustees.
Instead, you chose a cowardly taunt and no doubt took pleasure in bragging about it later. I guess you got what you wanted. However, I keep thinking about your child.
At some point, that child will enter the public school system. It’s possible that you have other children, and perhaps they are already students. Your children will reap the benefits garnered by those resolute women standing on the curb. You will depend on them to make sure that your child has a safe, nurturing, effective learning environment, where they will learn that everyone needs to be treated in a respectful manner. You will come to them if your child complains of being bullied or is falling behind. They will do everything in their power to ensure the success of your child and of every other child.
Do you know what they won’t do? They won’t scream profanities at you. Even though they know who you are, they will focus on your child and look beyond you.
Do you know why they will do that? Because they have class, and right now all they want to do is teach one.