Thursday, March 30, 2006

No News Is Good News

The teacher's union voted to authorize a strike last Wednesday and we haven't gotten the phone call (they have to give us 48 hours notice) saying that we were actually going on strike. We haven't gotten any news actually. The union website doesn't show anything after the vote and we haven't gotten any phone calls. So I've been reading the paper every day, and feeling rather silly about having to read the newspaper to find out if I'm about to be on strike. There was a story today, but all it says is that the strike talk gets serious, which is what they've been saying all along. So we still don't know anything! Except that San Francisco Unified is about to go on strike too. Strikes all around! What better way to celebrate César Chávez Day?

Speaking of César Chávez Day, I am trying to keep this just about the kids and not about politics, but the Bush admininistration, Congress, and our school district are all conspiring against me. This HR 4437 crap, for example. Now, I haven't studied it extensively, and I'm not denying that there is an immigration problem. But I am tired of mean-spirited meaures being proposed to "solve" the problem. In the 1990s, it was Proposition 187, which denied health care and public education to illegal immigrants. Now it seems that we have another shot at trying to make teachers, doctors, etc. into honorary members of the Border Patrol.

In 1994, when 187 passed, teachers overwhelmingly said that they would not report which of their students were in the country illegally. There's no reason to believe we're going to start doing it now. Apparently there's a chance that teachers would be included in those who could face jail if they were caught helping illegal immigrants. Why don't we just make them wear little Mexican flags on their sleeves too? Stop them from going into stores, riding public transportation, that kind of thing.

Like I said, I realize the problem of illegal immigration is extremely complicated and, unfortunately, not morally black and white. But I believe there has to be a respectful, reasonable way to deal with it. As for me, I will continue to teach all the kids in my class - legal or illegal - and you all just might have to come visit me in jail someday.

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