We must support our embattled teachers!

BY: Bruce Bostick| August 17, 2022
We must support our embattled teachers!


During historically dangerous heat waves and a deadly pandemic, central Ohio teachers are having to mount a fight, possibly even walk out, to reinforce their basic human demands for guaranteed air conditioning/heat and adequate supplies, highlighting the justice of their struggle. Their fight is also enforced by the top-heavy nature of the education system here, as more “managers” and “administrators” are hired on the public till, while students, parents, communities, and teachers get left-overs.

However, it’s also true that teachers, who like all workers deserve living wages and decent working conditions, also deserve all our support, our work, our help, and the love of our community. They are, in this “age of dumbing-down,” those who we entrust with the passing on of knowledge to the next generation.

Left to the tender mercies of corporate/financial capitalists, students will be taught to be willing consumers and obedient workers, without hope of better, more fulfilling lives, individuals without community and solidarity. Teachers are our “human factor,” and schools are where we can find real life, humanity, generosity, and solidarity, and where we can learn that together, united, we have hope and ability to create better lives, a better world for all.

The extreme right-wing nuts (Hannitys, Limbaughs, etc.) doing the corporate dirty work have put targets on the backs of teachers. In every manufactured culture war issue, from trans students’ bathrooms and gay youngsters’ sexual orientation to critical race theory, they’ve made teachers the enemy. Even worse has been the shameful use of outright racism used by the far right to attack teachers, public schools, and actual truth/education.

It is our heroic teachers who stand as our first line of defense in fighting for future generations! All of our history of victories and setbacks, in our ongoing struggle for justice, dignity, and a better future, lies in the center of our teachers’ righteous struggle! Contained within are certainly the fight for teachers to be able to live decent lives, but also the hope we all have that future generations will have beaten back racism, misogyny, and homophobia and will be living decent, healthy lives in communities of strong, educated, hardworking, and principled people.

Those positive hopes all rest within the struggles of our beloved teachers!

This is also why we need to stand united in support of our teachers!

The Columbus Education Association filed a notice of intent to strike on August 22 if a contract is not reached. They are fighting for better learning conditions for their students and against the outsourcing of positions to private corporations.

A version of this article first appeared in Ohio Notes.
Images: Columbus Education Association (website); Ohio comrades rally in support of teachers, Columbus CPUSA.



    Bruce Bostick is a retired steelworker and labor activist in Ohio.

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