NYC Educator's piece on the dust-up. If you haven't been following it, what happened, briefly, was this:
Campbell Brown, formerly of CNN, wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, basically accusing teachers unions of protecting sexual predators. Randi Weingarten jumped into the fray to defend teachers, claiming that even teachers who are accused of sexual infractions are entitled to due process, and can certainly be removed if arrested or if an arbitrator rules the against a teacher. Ms. Brown claims that due process is "protecting" sexual predators, and that teachers should be summarily fired if accused in order to protect children.
One issue that came up in the debate is that Campbell Brown failed to disclose in her piece that her husband, Dan Senor, is on the board of StudentsFirstNY--an organization run by Michelle Rhee.
A cynic might believe that Ms. Brown has an agenda here because of her conflict of interest, but she eventually came clean and admitted that she should have disclosed her close ties to such an staunchly anti-teacher group.
So, who is right? Normally, I would side with Randi on this one, as I believe everyone deserves due process. But recently I heard a case of perverted behavior with a child that can not be ignored in a discussion such as this. This kind of sick behavior must be punished, and I am sure Ms. Brown and Ms. Rhee would agree.
The case involves a teacher who allegedly groped a 16 year old girl. The police recorded a phone call from this teacher apologizing to the girl for what happened. The case was investigated by the police, who declined to prosecute. In the end, the teacher reportedly paid a settlement to the girl to end the matter. As bad as this case was, yet another accusation surfaced against this teacher. A student again complained of inappropriate behavior by this teacher, although she later recanted. Nevertheless, in light of the first settlement paid, coupled with a subsequent allegation of similar misconduct, we should in this case agree with Michelle Rhee and Campbell Brown that this teacher needs to lose his job and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near young girls.
Oh, wait. My bad. It wasn't a teacher against whom these allegations were leveled. It was a politician, namely Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento.
The husband of Michelle Rhee.
I'm sure that any moment now, we can expect Michelle Rhee and Campbell Brown to call for the ouster of Kevin Johnson as mayor. After all, although none of the charges were substantiated and no charges filed, I'm sure they would agree that we can't allow a little thing like due process stand in the way of protecting our children.
Right, Michelle and Campbell?