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Thoughts From A “Retired” Los Angeles Public School Parent

Sara Roos: This is Resistance writ huge. This is our women’s march, the march of our teachers. Our teachers are leading the way and giving We the People a voice here in LaLaLand.
LAUSD Parent

Damian Dovarganes/AP

The fallout of emptying one’s nest is not quite as expected. How long it takes to accumulate dishes enough to justify running the dishwasher; how different is the consumption-spectrum of groceries; how discombobulating it is to manage unsplintered stretches of time – these are some of what is surprising.

But what remains undiminished, if not firmer, is the self-evident truth that education is an unalienable right and the rich are colluding in ways that deny it from the poor.

The palpable feel about town is overwhelming support for UTLA teachers. It’s been puzzling for a decade or more how the reputation of the apple-wielding teacher could have changed so and in such short-order. Gone was the iconic arbiter of fairness and love, even if sometimes tough, the benevolent overseer, champion of and ally in the hard work of learning. She was replaced in reputation by a feckless closet-predator with the temerity to draw public wages for their schema.

This is Resistance writ huge. This is our women’s march, the march of our teachers. Our teachers are leading the way and giving We the People a voice here in LaLaLand.

It turns out this revolution in perception is neither ‘just one of those innocent things’ nor happenstance. It is a concerted effort to devalue, degrade and deskill teachers, to “soften the market” for corporate takeover. And it turns out everyone on the street seems to have kinda known this. Write it out and it looks like paranoia. Live it and you can feel the truth, palpably.

To and from today’s tremendous rally in front of LA’s City Hall, you could feel overwhelming support from random people, everywhere. On the expo a stranger tosses out: “Good luck with your strike”. From bus drivers in uniform and lunch couriers in beat-up Hondas, waiting at every intersection from downtown to our neighborhoods blares the staccato horn of support. Professional cameramen trained to remain unfazed and neutral nevertheless emanate waves of sympathy. Business and car windows display signs of solidarity. Workers at City Hall open their windows to hear. Supersaturated among our populace is a pent-up frustration with where we’re at politically, and how to get ourselves heard.

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This is Resistance writ huge. This is our women’s march, the march of our teachers. Our teachers are leading the way and giving We the People a voice here in LaLaLand.

These teachers are actually kinda the same old apple-faced Good People they always ever were. There hasn’t been some gigantic social evolution. It’s just the propaganda that’s changed; the underlying reality, not surprisingly, is robust, centered on social service for the betterment of us all. Our teachers haven’t changed, only the corporate, capitalist-centered narrative surrounding all of it has.

By the way, it turns out the long-sought after solution to LA’s traffic gridlock may be simply: stop sending kids far afield to some school of “Choice” and choose to value and invest in your own neighborhood. Anyone else notice how empty the streets have been all week long? When parents aren’t racing their kids hither and yon in a frenzy of Choosing Excellence, everyone’s lives get a little more deeply vested in their surrounds.

It is everyone’s right to have the same excellent education as the next families’. But education isn’t a value added commodity to buy off the shelf whether the salesman peddles snake oil, false promises, educational spyware or a social panacea. Like democracy itself it’s a collective activity valued by the value which we each add.

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Sara Roos
RedQueenInLA