by Steve Haner
Let me get this straight. An elected member of the General Assembly comes to school buildings to give doughnuts to teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and the leftist Democrat agitators of the teachers’ union are “triggered”? They whine about her generosity to the gutless school management, which then caves to the weak-minded and bans any future acts of kindness?
Apparently true, and get this, it wasn’t Fox News telling the story, but Virginia’s new media outlet of record, the lefty online Virginia Mercury. Graham Moomaw reported it, in a fairly straight article yesterday. I waited for someone else to post and comment here, but then recalled our namesake host (this is his kind of story) is otherwise engaged. I won’t mention where but be jealous.
Amanda Batten, who worked in the Capitol as a legislative aide before winning the seat when her boss retired, is just nice. I’ve known her for years. She’s nice. She brought a pile of doughnut boxes to schools in her district, yes with her name on the boxes, and yes, she used campaign dollars to pay for them. Plenty of legislators across the state have made small charitable donations out of those accounts, and that should be allowed. Yes, it is partly a name ID gimmick. So what?
That of course became a focus for Virginia Mercury, what reporters call the hook, the campaign dollar issue. It has to keep up its lefty, Pecksniffian credentials. But the real story is that licensed, educated, professional teachers, presumably adults, actually went into spasms of fear and loathing because a (gasp) Republican legislator entered the building and provided a treat. That is what “triggered” means, right? Perhaps her being a parent made it worse?
From Moomaw’s story:
The pushback, which included the local teachers’ union taking aim at Batten’s voting record, was so strong school officials told Batten similar doughnut drop offs would be declined in the future due to their “political nature.”
In an official statement on the matter, the Williamsburg-James City County Education Association, which represents local teachers, took aim at Batten’s record of voting for more alternatives to traditional public schools and against collective bargaining rights for teachers.
Alynn Parham, the president of the local teachers union, said Batten’s visits sparked an email from an anonymous group of teachers who “addressed concerns about Batten’s presence in the school district.”
“The union felt that we needed to also make a response recognizing that her presence triggered some members and employees,” Parham said.
These are sad, pathetic people. The schools are almost beyond hope thanks to them. I’m proud to be the husband of a spectacular teacher, proud that I, my wife and kids with all our state school degrees account for something like 60 years of direct affiliation with Virginia’s public schools and colleges. Add in my wife’s teaching time and it is probably almost a century. My mother, grandmother and an uncle and aunt were Virginia public school teachers, and a grandfather taught in Michigan.
These silly partisan shenanigans are destroying public confidence in the schools. And they should.