“It’s so sad that teachers have to go this far to get the attention of some lawmakers.”
–David Sanchez, President of CTA
Since I was at the State of Emergency held by CTA all week, I got to know some of the participants in Thursday’s sit-in. I thought I would share the story of one participant, George Sheriden.
George went with me to visit Senator Darrell Steinberg’s office on day one. He is a soft-spoken first grade teacher, but as you see from this video, he is also a man of convictions, and you get hints even then of why he would do this when he talks about being in Sacramento. He speaks of MLK, a historical figure that he teaches his young students about:
You can see his dignity as he marches to the bus that will carry him to jail, head held high:
And, although this video is less than ideal (I took it from a live UStream session), he still exudes that quiet, but firm certitude of conviction he’s done the right thing in this video I did with him after his release from jail:
This was George, all week long.
Was this the right thing to do? I questioned the tactical wisdom of Monday’s sit-in action. At that time, it felt pre-mature to me. I think we needed to go to the minority legislators and speak to them, rather than starting with an escalation. Thursday’s action was taken in response to, well the GOP minority’s non-responsive budget proposal. It still may not have been the right move, but as with Monday, I have no doubt about the convictions of those involved. They feel frustrated, and they are not alone. I left Thursday so that I could pass out fliers for the Friday rally to neighbors. I talked to two of them that seemed near tears in frustration with the budget process. It affects more than education, it is holding our entire state hostage.
At a certain point, you have to say, “BASTA!” and “ENOUGH!”.