North Carolina state legislator Mike Stone is a budget hawk, and is supporting a budget-cutting proposal that could eliminate 9,300 positions in the public schools. It’s a contentious issue, and the representative has received many letters—including a plaintive one from his own third grader daughter, a student at Tramway Elementary, who was one of several students in her class directed by teacher Melanie Hawes to write to the Republican and plead with him to save the jobs of their two teacher assistants.
“Our school doesn’t want to lose them,” she wrote. “Please put the budget higher, dad.”
Ugh. Ethics foul; in fact, three of them:
1. It is unethical for teachers to indoctrinate their students in political positions in which the teachers have a personal interest.
2. It is unethical to exploit children as lobbying tools, under the pretense of educating them.
3. It is extremely unethical to recruit a legislator’s 8-year-old daughter to carry a lobbying message.
Despicably and indefensibly, Lee County Board of Education Superintendent Jeff Moss defended the teacher’s actions, saying, “They wrote them to support public education. It was a writing activity in a class. We teach various forms of writing, so this was just an activity to teach kids writing and they used it as the subject matter.”
Liar. Unprofessional liar. Power-abusing, unethical, unprofessional liar.
Education is a profession with woefully inadequate ethics standards, non-existent ethics enforcement, and a critical mass of practitioners with the ethical judgment of safecrackers, welfare frauds and playground bullies. Nobody in their right mind should give more budget money to someone with the attitude and character of Jeff Moss, who would betray the trust of a parent who places his precious daughter in the charge of his teachers and schools by turning that daughter against her own father. According to Rep. Stone, his daughter and her classmates were given “talking points” that the children were to include in their letters, such as arguing that students won’t be safe in the cafeteria, won’t have field trips, won’t have assignments graded on time and will be undisciplined if the teaching assistants were let go. “They put all the ideas on the board and coached them through it,” Stone says. Now he is concerned that his daughter will be ostracized by the other students if the budget cuts go through. I wouldn’t doubt it. Maybe that’s what Moss will use as leverage next.
Superintendent Moss is Exhibit A for the proposition that giving more taxpayer money to the incompetently run public schools is like pouring it down a sewer. The school district should make a deal in which the two teaching assistants keep their jobs with the money saved by relieving Moss and Melanie Hawes of theirs.
Just imagine how much money could be saved if schools stopped paying Ethics Dunces.