I went home and kicked the dog last night. It’s not something I wanted to do, just something I felt I had to do.
The poor mutt looked stunned after he caught his breath and gave me that look as if to say:
“All I did was wag my tail furiously when you came home, hung out my tongue and waited to be embraced. And then you go and kick me! I didn’t even dump on the floor!”
I gave the dog a knowing smirk and rationally explained to him the logic of my boot:
“Well, I’m not getting that fat raise I deserved. They’re also not cutting back on the amount of work I need to produce. If they won’t accede to my demands, well, my only choice is to kick you and then they’ll get the message.”
The dog still looked stunned.
It’s the kind of look students around B.C. have when they’re told they’re not going on that year-end trip, their graduation ceremonies may or may not occur, the debate club has been told to shut up, and there might not be any sports teams to play on when they return in the fall.
If you haven’t guessed, the kids are being treated like the dog and the mean-spirited booter is the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. Despite the wounded look of the students, the federation tried its best to rationally explain the need to kick them where it hurts:
“Teachers believe we have no other way to demonstrate the devastating effects of Bill 22. Teachers very reluctantly voted to stop participating in these activities that we and our students value so much, because we have been backed into a corner.”
To be fair, the release on the federation’s website, also noted, “Involvement in extra-curricular activities brings joy to teachers and students and builds school communities.”
I agree whole-heartedly with the latter, and disagree vehemently with the former. To put it another way, there’s no excuse, or any good reason, for kicking the dog you love.
I also have the feeling this is a case where the tail wags the dog. The federation will point out that teachers voted in favour of the action, but I wonder how many voted that way because they’re kowtowed by a zealous union? I do know, first-hand, of some veteran teachers, nearing retirement, who don’t give a hoot about the federation’s position, and will continue participating in extra-curriculars.
But I wonder how many young teachers are willing to do the same and risk being “bitten” by the people who are supposed represent them?
We’ll never know, but what I do know is that students are being treated like pawns in a political chess game being played out by two opponents who can’t stand each other.
Students deserve better than to be treated like pawns and they certainly didn’t do anything to be kicked like this.