California Teacher’s Association Responds to “Camilla Letter”
Board Member Jim Rogers responds directly to student letter with abrupt condescension, sparking local outrage
In a singular act of political activism last month, the California Teachers Association board, with the leadership of CTA President David Sanchez, flexed it’s political muscle during the campaign, donating over a million dollars toward defeating proposition 8. In this highly controversial move, CTA representatives raided the teacher’s union funds for political causes that had been earmarked for lowering class sizes. Now that the money has been lost and Proposition 8 has won, the heat is on.
In a letter questioning CTA choices in this matter, Folsom High School student Camilla X, wrote to CTA officials protesting their use of teacher funds and received this shockingly worded reply from CTA/NEA coordinator, Jim Rogers….and this is a direct quote:
“Thanks, Sweetie, but it’s over for now. And it’s really none of your business.”
Mr. Rogers is one of the board members who made the decision to use teacher funds for political causes. The reply to Camilla’s letter was sent directly to her email box and shocked her mother. In responding to Mr. Rogers, Camilla’s mother Barbara X, had this to say:
“Regardless of your personal feelings on a matter, Camilla was exercising her rights as an American to discuss her views and opinions with appropriate representatives. The message you are giving reflects your personal and selfish interests (not appropriate as an elected board member) and also sends the message that it is not okay for citizens to express their views.
Camilla’s letter was thoughtful, respectful and eloquently written. Your response showed little to no thought and was not respectful. I will continue to make calls to ensure that this type of behavior is not allowed in the California Teacher’s Association.”
To which the venerable Mr. Rogers, rather than issuing an apology to the student, replied hotly:
“Such hate and bigotry… Such a shame.”
Mr. Rogers should be ashamed of himself for such a response to a student. I have no words for this kind of incomprehensible action. To have the head of a teacher’s group show such disrespect and rudeness to a young student is outrageous. California’s teachers should be ashamed to be associated with such an organization. Not only did the CTA send 1.25 million of teacher’s hard earned money down the proverbial rat hole, but they have shown, time and again their contempt for educators and their students.
That these calloused, shameful comments came from a board member is just beyond the pale and speaks to the inner rot at heart of the CTA itself. —Beetle Blogger
Read the original Camilla Letter, it’s very well written:
Subject: In Protest of CTA’s $1.25 million donation to the “No on Prop 8” campaign
My name is Camilla and I am a junior at Folsom High School. On October 21, I stayed home from school to protest the $1.25 million your association donated to the “No on Proposition 8” campaign. I believe that this is something that CTA, which speaks for all teachers, had no right to do. Did you ask the teachers if this was okay with them? Did they approve this? You can tell me that your board and representatives voted and passed the decision to donate this amount of money for this proposition, but as I understand it, your board should make decision for education, not for political agendas.
You spent the teachers’ funds on a very controversial issue with which many of them do not agree. Marriage between a man and a woman has existed since the beginning of human life on earth. Should Proposition 8 fail, it would cause the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman to be diminished and its powerful influence on society to be lessened. The failure of Proposition 8 would result in the meaning of marriage becoming little more than a casual relationship between any two adults and the weakening of the importance of the roles of a father and a mother in a child’s development. Marriage is not just about love or the desires of the parties entering into it. It about providing what is best for children, ideally a mother and a father who love them.
Does it really serve teachers and students best to sponsor changing the institution of marriage in this way?
While you have stated that you made this donation because all people should be allowed equal protection under the law, you must understand that many people do not agree that denying same-sex marriage equates to unjustified discrimination.
Domestic partners, whether homosexual or heterosexual, already have all the same rights and privileges afforded to them by law as do married individuals EXCEPT that their union cannot be called “marriage”. I believe that this type of “discrimination” is very different from the withholding of basic rights to
individuals based on their race or ethnicity, something that cannot be chosen or changed. Even if homosexual individuals do not choose their sexual orientation, their desire for their relationships to be considered equal in all ways does not justify changing society’s definition of marriage, especially when there are already laws in place which give them equal protection and rights.
I thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that I will get a reply. I hope that you understand why I stayed home. It was not to get the day off but to say that I do not agree with this donation and am not for same-sex marriage and do not appreciate the representatives of the teachers in our public education system taking sides on such a controversial issue. I know that my actions did not adversely affect you but I did this as a matter of principle. I do wish to thank you for the good work you do in seeking better pay and benefits for teachers. My teachers make a positive difference in my life and I appreciate anything you do that will truly help them.
See the entire correspondence sent to us as source material, including replies from CTA President David Sanchez, here—notice his fear of the media on this one…he knows they’ve been caught with their ends in the breeze.