To the chagrin of my progressive friends—who continue to dog the dark-side’s presidential frontrunner for his most famous campaign comment--I concur with Mitt Romney’s remark that “corporations are people.”another Steve logically explainsgovernments are people, too.”
While the previous two paragraphs might sound like I am prepping for a Romney rally this week, I would surely be hauled off by the Republican/Tea Party supporters if I applied this same organizations-are-people logic to governments, public schools, and public workers unions.
For those of us who have spent our lives in schools, we understand public schools are people. We embrace public schools as Professional Learning Communities of developing learners, sincere social workers, compassionate counselors, caring parents, dedicated professional educators, invaluable support staff, and well-meaning administrators.
Public schools are social constructs as aptly described by my local superintendent. "We aren't a factory model where we're dealing with things…We're not only dealing with people, but also people's most precious commodity—their children,” said Dr. Karen Schulte, in the face of a potential school closing made possible by a Walker-worsened school budget deficit.
The public educators sanctioned to guard these precious little people are your neighbors, friends, and relatives. Wisconsin public educators are willing members of vital teachers unions. These unions are people, too.
The Republican/Tea Party friends politicking in Wisconsin this week will continue to espouse the Walker myth of unions as scary institutions controlled by heartless bosses. Sadly, they will ignore that the public supports public workers and their right to collectively bargain. Wisconsin parents know that teachers unions are comprised of dedicated educators, like recently-recognized Hall of Fame teacher, Deb Tackmann from Eau Claire, who deeply care for their children. Public school supporters know education is personal.
For Wisconsin to truly move forward, we must recognize the humanity of corporations, governments, public schools, and unions. We cannot build a state by dividing it. We must see the interconnectedness of all organizations and the people who make up these establishments (as a fellow educator fittingly explains).
Our capitalist system must have a soul. We must value public schools and their educators, who nurture and develop job creators and the people who will service the job creator’s creations. We must not balance state budgets solely on the backs of public workers, which is proven to hurt us all. We must also recognize the value of the corporations where our friends, relatives, and neighbors work.
Corporations, governments, public schools, unions are people. We, the People, in order to form a more perfect union, must embrace this egalitarian worldview.