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Chris Christie said he wanted to ‘punch teacher unions in the face.’ Here’s how a teacher responded

New Jersey governor Chris Christie doesn’t hide his disdain for teachers unions. In a soundbite from a CNN interview this Sunday when Jake Tapper asked the rotund GOP candidate this unassuming question: “At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?”

New Jersey governor Chris Christie doesn’t hide his disdain for teachers unions. In a soundbite from a CNN interview this Sunday when Jake Tapper asked the rotund GOP candidate this unassuming question: “At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?”

“Oh, the national teachers union, who has already endorsed Hillary Clinton 16, 17 months before the election,” Christie replied.

Not surprisingly, that comment didn’t go over too well with teachers, especially Russ Walsh, coordinator of college reading at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.

For 45-years, Walsh has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist and curriculum director in schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He blogs on public education matters on his website, Russ on Reading, and this to say in response to Christie:

In case you missed it, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, erstwhile presidential candidate, declared on CNN Sunday that teachers unions need a “punch in the face.” Faced with declining numbers in the polls and with being out bullied by Donald Trump, Christie has decided to come out swinging – at teachers.

Of course the teachers union has no literal face and the leaders of both major teachers unions, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and Lily Eskelson Garcia of the National Education Association are women. I don’t think even a Republican candidate for president could get away with punching a woman in the face. Belittling them, yes. Berating them, yes. Taking away the choice of what they do with their bodies, yes. But not striking a woman, especially with a Hillary running on the Democratic side.

So, taking all this into consideration, I would like to step up and offer Christie my face to punch.

I am well qualified for the job. I have been a public school teacher and administrator for 45 years. I have been the president and the chief negotiator of my local teachers union. I have been sharply critical of Christie’s education policies on my blog. I deserve that punch in the face. I have earned it. Not only that, I live just a stone’s throw from the statehouse in Trenton, so I could meet the Governor there at any time, if he ever happens to get back to New Jersey.

I am sure it would give Christie a boost in the polls and solidify his standing as a violent, bullying looney worthy of Republican voter support. It might even be enough to get him on the stage at one of the primary debates where he could punch Wolf Blitzer in the face and garner even more support.

Better yet, forget the debate and let Trump and Christie duke it out in a steel cage wrestling match. I would certainly pay money to see Christie and Trump done up like Rowdy Randy Piper and Man Mountain Dean pawing at each other like a pair of demented rhinoceros.

No doubt Christie’s spin doctors will be out today declaring that Christie has no animus toward teachers, just teachers unions. Christie, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Andrew Cuomo and others seem to forget that a union is made up of teachers and that while individual teachers may not agree with every action of their unions, those unions represent the desires and aspirations of millions of hard working teachers across the country – imperfectly perhaps, but emphatically for the better of teachers and children and public education overall.

When teacher unions fight for better working conditions for teachers, they are also working for better learning conditions for children. When unions fight for job protections for teachers, they are also working to ensure that children have access to the best knowledge and the best instructional strategies available unfettered by flavor-of-the-day ideology. When teacher unions fight for reasonable pay, they are fighting to attract high quality candidates to the profession.

What has Christie’s teacher bashing, vitriol against unions, stripping of job protections, attacks on pensions done for the children of New Jersey? How have his repeated attacks on teacher unions improved education for the children of New Jersey? How has his hiring of political hacks to bring unpopular education policies to the impoverished cities of New Jersey helped school children?

The answer is, of course, not at all. The children of New Jersey are worse off educationally than they were when Christie took office. And yet, those teachers he loves to hate keep soldiering on, doing their best in the face of the intolerable and deteriorating conditions to provide a good education for New Jersey’s children.

If Christie wants to punch the teachers unions in the face, he needs to realize that he is punching every teacher in the face. He is punching each and every dedicated teacher who has been working to improve the lives of children for decades before Christie discovered that bashing teachers is a winning campaign strategy.

So, Governor Christie, here is my face. Take your best shot. I won’t hit back. I will just pick myself up, dust myself off and go back to being the best teacher I can be. To paraphrase Nathan Hale, “I regret that I have only one face to give for my profession.”

[The Washington Post]

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. harmonikasavingsbonds

    August 6, 2015 at 12:25 am

    I think a wonderful way to disrupt this large asshole’s campaign would be to have thousand upon thousands of American schoolteachers, all lined up before the podium to receive their own personal punch in the nose. IMAGINE the visual of women and men of all shapes and sizes, requesting their promised beatings from this fat entitled warthog.

  2. Andrew Isbell

    August 6, 2015 at 12:28 am

    I think CC was really upset w/ his cameltoe photo.

  3. Liss

    August 6, 2015 at 1:10 am

    I cannot be the only person who thinks that if we start collectively punching people in the face, we should start with politicians!

  4. Rowdy Roddy Piper

    August 6, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Rowdy Randy? Really?

  5. Dániel Balog

    August 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

    “When unions fight for job protections for teachers, they are also working to ensure that children have access to the best knowledge and the best instructional strategies available unfettered by flavor-of-the-day ideology.”

    Of course. Job protection seems a necessary precaution when we are talking about a sucessful, highly competent teacher.

  6. wriz

    August 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    The only thing that Christie could possibly win is a hot dog eating contest. He is a disgusting example of humanity!

  7. Some Guy

    August 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Christie dropped out already?

    (“erstwhile” presidentiasl candidate. That word does not mean what Mr. Walsh appears to think it means.)

  8. Ernie Steele

    August 6, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    It’s obvious Gov. Christie.has w small dick and a controlling wife at home, as all I see him do is try to bully women (teachers) around whenever he can!! If he had his balls in his pants instead of his wife’s purse then he might actually stop screaming at women all day and try to get right into some man’s face and spew his shit!!! Cowardly woman beater…he probably kicks his dog every chance he gets too!! P.O.S. woman bullying looser!

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