Attorneys Daniel Suhr and Edward Dindinger joined me on my podcast, The Hoff Time Report, to talk about this legal challenge. Hit "Play" below to listen to our discussion.
It’s a shame that the union bosses in the West Ada School District thought it was a good idea to yank parents and students around with a two-day “sick out” strike. This audacious and disgusting political posturing did nothing but throw chaos into the lives of children and families. I hope these parents prevail in their lawsuit against the union. They must.
All throughout Idaho, other labor unions are watching closely, deciding whether they, too, should declare a teacher sick day and walk out, even if it leaves parents and students in the lurch.
If you’re unclear on how much of a hardship the union’s hardball tactics have been for moms and dads and students, below are select sworn affidavits given to the court by the families that have been traumatized — no exaggeration — by the West Ada Education Association’s actions.
One parent wrote: “My 5th grader has been in tears several times over the last few days, with the anxiety of not knowing when or if she will be able to go back to school. My senior in high school is already behind with his grades and assignments as he has struggled with the remote learning. With the very shortened semester timeframe that has already been put in place, missing days could jeopardize his graduation. My sophomore in high school is in advanced classes, and again with the already shortened semester, missing days makes it very difficult to keep up. My middle school child is already having a hard time keeping up with the remote learning, the cancelled school days only makes it more difficult.”
Another stated: “The cancellation of school is causing a financial hardship on my family and emotional stress to my 1st grader. I am unable to provide a homeschool environment for my son. I am dependent on daycare to provide services because I am an essential employee.”
A third parent noted: “The cancellation of school has me concerned for the future. If the teacher's union continues calling in sick I will be forced to look for other options. The cost of private school, and transportation to another school would be a hardship on our family.”
That these parents have chosen to speak up in a lawsuit coordinated by the Liberty Justice Center and the Idaho Freedom Foundation is a blessing. Some are doing so despite concerns, also voiced in documents filed with the court, that they and their children will face retaliation for their actions. As Idahoans, we all need to rally around and support these brave parents who stepped up and are doing the right things against a powerful political machine.
I’m no fan of the public education system. But the West Ada School District’s elected school board members came up with a plan to allow their schools — the schools that parents have already paid for through their taxes—to reopen. And the union is doing everything it can to keep schools from reopening. The lawsuit is an unfortunate but necessary move to win back control of our public schools from the special interest groups that use fear as a weapon with children as pawns in their political game. Such vile behavior on the part of West Ada’s union bosses must be challenged.