NEA’s and Hillary’s Bully Folly

Larry Sand

Teachers union and Hillary Clinton team up to tackle the (nonexistent) bullying epidemic.

For several weeks now, the National Education Association has been running ads in in nine swing states on the so-called “Trump effect.” The six-figure campaign maintains that Donald Trump’s inflammatory campaign rhetoric has caused a substantial uptick in bullying in schools. NEA president Lily Eskelsen García asserts, “There is bullying going on, and [there are] children who feel that they are given permission to repeat some of the things they’re hearing out of Donald Trump’s mouth.”

But is the bullying claim true?

Fact is, there is absolutely no data to back up the charge. The only reliable study on the subject shows that bullying in general had actually decreased from 2011 to 2013. The only evidence we have of the “Trump effect” is an anecdotal survey conducted by the unreliable Southern Poverty Law Center. To its credit, SPLC does admit – in a rare moment of candor – that its survey of 2,000 K-12 teachers is anything but scientific. “Our email subscribers and those who visit our website are not a random sample of teachers nationally, and those who chose to respond to our survey are likely to be those who are most concerned about the impact of the presidential campaign on their students and schools.”

But Hillary Clinton, never one to let a good crisis – real or fake – go to waste, jumped on the non-story, and has proposed a plan to combat bullying that would cost taxpayers $500 million.

And, whatever the truth is about the “Trump effect,” is Hillary Clinton really the one to point fingers at bullies? According to many sources, Clinton is a serial intimidator. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers claims that Hillary would frequently explode and belittle people, and then wage a campaign against them behind their back.

“Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left her staff members in tears and unable to work,” a campaign aide told Edward Klein in 2015.

It is well-documented that she serially blew up at the Secret Servicemen who, of course, were there to protect her. In Crisis of Character, Gary Byrne details how the Clintons operated during his tenure in the 1990s. He reports that being assigned to Hillary’s Secret Service detail “was a form of punishment….” Byrne also writes that the more at home she felt in the White House, “she vented on everyone…and it got worse as time went on.”

As the major-domo behind the bimbo-eruption campaign, Hillary told Ivan Duda, a private investigator in Little Rock, “I want you to do damage control over Bill’s philandering. … Bill’s going to be president of the United States. … I want you to get rid of all these b–ches he’s seeing. … I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control.”

But when it comes to bullying, the teachers unions – from systemic strong-arm tactics to personal threats – have no equals. In about half the country, teachers are forced to pay dues to a union just to be able to get a job. The union doesn’t ask teachers whether or not they want the union’s services, it just takes their money, every month, as a matter of course. That’s not only a textbook case of bullying, it’s also extortion. And it’s also just the tip of the iceberg.

As reported by City Journal’s Steven Malanga, the California Teachers Association reached new heights of thuggishness in 1993 after a group began a petition to place a school-choice initiative on the state ballot. Backed by their union, “teachers shadowed signature gatherers in shopping malls and aggressively dissuaded people from signing up. The tactic led to more than 40 confrontations and protests of harassment by signature gatherers.” The head of the initiative said, “They get in between the signer and the petition. They scream at people. They threaten people.” CTA president Del Weber justified the bullying, explaining that, “There are some proposals that are so evil that they should never even be presented to the voters.”

In 2005, some determined Californians worked to get Prop. 75 passed. This initiative would have allowed automatic deductions for the political portion of public employees’ union dues only if the worker gave their permission to do so. Not surprisingly, the California Teachers Association leaders were furious about the choice aspect. As one who signed off on a letter that explained the details of the initiative to teachers, I was threatened with prison by CTA boss Barbara Kerr. Also, as the initiative’s proponents tried to speak at a press conference in Sacramento, 100 or so union bullies shouted them down, yelling, “Shame on you! over and over and over again.

Few in the country know more about union bullying than Wisconsinite Kristi Lacroix. In 2011, the high school teacher made a brief video in which she spoke approvingly of Governor Scott Walker, aka “Hitler” to many teacher unionistas in the Badger State because he led the charge to remove teachers’ collective bargaining “rights.” Lacroix was a target of teacher union venom for months. There was a “fire Kristi” movement that led to a vicious hate mail attack from intimidation-minded members of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s NEA affiliate. Lacroix, clinging fiercely to her slingshot, stood tall and started her own website in an attempt to tell her story, and to combat the union’s bullying.

To learn more about teacher union bullying across the country, please read Heartland Institute researcher Joy Pullman’s Bullying Teachers: How Teachers Unions Secretly Push Teachers and Competitors Around.

While in all likelihood, a few kids across the country have used some of Trump’s words to taunt their classmates, there is absolutely no evidence of the “Trump effect.” On the other hand, examples of the “Hillary effect” and the “Union effect” abound, are irrefutable and show no signs of abating.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

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