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Lori Porter tired of paying to be bullied
posted by: Cindy Omlin | January 24, 2016, 10:28 PM   

lori porterAnd then there is the pressure from the union.

“Lori, I would think you would want to support your craft.”

“Don’t you care about your fellow teachers and your students?”

“Set your personal values and beliefs aside for the good of the children.”

“Get on board, or get out of the way.”’ 

Frankly, I was tired of paying to be bullied to join an organization I didn’t support.

Sitting in the school staff room, I did not always choose to engage in discussions or debates about the teacher’s union.  As any busy teacher knows, in order to survive the demands and pace of teaching you have to conserve your limited energy.  In addition, many of these co-workers were my friends…and at the very least, I wanted to retain a good working relationship with my colleagues. Our students and their parents deserve and expect this. 

In my early years of teaching middle-school, I was introduced to Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE) by a co-worker who was tired of seeing his money supporting political and social ideologies that were in direct conflict with his.  I was thrilled to be introduced to NWPE!  Though unsure about the implications of going “fair share,” I dove in.  Then in 2009, I heard the general counsel of the National Education Association (NEA) Bob Chanin give a retirement speech where he was bemoaning ”adversaries” who were “picking on the NEA.” 

Was Bob Chanin serious? He was complaining about being picked on?  The union collects my money, yet it is ok to make comments such as Chanin’s that slapped me in the face as a professional?  I was utterly offended and compelled to take steps toward becoming a religious objector -- ending any and all contributions to the union.  No longer was I going to have to compensate a bully. 

I don’t like bullies.  I don’t want my students to be bullied.  And here I was paying union dues which paid the union to bully me.

I am currently the co-founder and director of a grassroots organization called Parent’s Rights in Education (PRIE).  PRIE’s mission is to protect and advocate for parents’ rights to guide the education of their children, including health services given or promoted to their children through educational services.  We believe parents should be the final authority in deciding what is best for their child and have the right to expect full disclosure of any and all services, content, and materials disseminated to their child while at school. We believe parental rights matter! 

Teacher’s rights matter as well! Thanks to NWPE, educational professionals are able to make informed choices.

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