A tale of three teachers: Checking in with protesters inside the Wisconsin Capitol

Bill Lueders:

There are as many stories to tell about the ongoing protests at the state Capitol are there are protesters – tens of thousands. This is a story about three protesters I spoke to today. I noticed them because of their sign: “Sauk Prairie teachers.” On the back was another message: “Stop GOP Class War.”
All three teach at Sauk Prairie High School. This is the second day in a row that they’ve come to Madison to protest Scott Walker’s move to strip them of their collective bargaining rights and undercut their unions. It probably won’t be the last.
Their names are Betty Koehl, Alison Turner and Lynn Frick. Betty has taught at Sauk Prairie High for nearly 30 years; she’s a Sauk Prairie native and a graduate of that school. Alison has taught for eight years. It is her second career. From 1993, she worked “in this building as a legislative aide,” for state Reps. Mark Meyer and Gwen Moore. Lynn has been a teacher for 26 years, 21 of them at Sauk Prairie.
I ask each of them why they are here, and what they hope to accomplish.
Responds Betty, “I taught social studies for 30 years and, as a citizen and worker, I have to stand up for my rights and show my students that it’s important to stand up for what you believe in.”

2 thoughts on “A tale of three teachers: Checking in with protesters inside the Wisconsin Capitol”

  1. The unions are using the teachers to further their cause- namely $ and political. Wake up teachers and smell the stink.
    I work in public education, so I feel for teachers. However,
    to Allison: what you are doing is subjective, not objective, so it does not qualify as one of your teaching objectives. Also, a good and effective teacher is in the classroom doing their job.
    To Betty: when does modeling good citizenship include lying, committing fraud, and accepting fake sick notes (if you are one of those who did)?
    To Lynn: Do you really think what you’re doing is dignified? Hardly. And yet you are calling Walker disrespectful. You are being totally disrespectful to your students and the taxpayers who pay your salary.
    This is beyond ridiculous.

  2. My child (imagine that, he’s 18 and I still call him that!) walked out of East High School last Tuesday and marched on the Capitol to protest Gov. Walker’s attempt to bust the union his teachers belong to (as well as the union his mother belongs to). On Wednesday, his teachers joined him. On Thursday, he stood with 3 of his favorite teachers for hours in the cold. Then he stayed up all night to testify at the hearings in the Assembly. He came home at 6:45am, slept 5 hours, and went back to keep up the fight. He told me that if his teachers went back to work, he would go back to school to support them. He cares about them deeply as both teachers and respected friends. He could be lackadaisical, after all, he’s been admitted to 3 of his top choice colleges already. But he’s not. He’s hungry to learn about the real world and in his own words has “learned more about life in the past week than he (sic) could ever imagine.” I only hope that “honestynow”‘s students feel the same way about him/her.

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