A mom in Schenectady, New York has a message for her local teachers union: back off.
On Tuesday morning, Jolene Damián found a flier in her first-grade son’s backpack that read: “Help us Shield our Students and Schools from President Elect Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos!”
Mom to Teachers Union: “Don’t Ever Hand My Child Political Material Like This Ever Again!”
Her first-grader brought home a flier asking her to help “shield our students” from Trump and Betsy DeVos
Damián took the flier to the school’s principal, who said it was never intended to be sent home to students.
The flier was produced by the Schenectady Federation of Teachers as part of a “day of action” on January 19. The president of the union, Juliet Benaquisto, called the incident “a mistake” and said, “I regret if one ended up in a backpack.”
The school district superintendent Larry Spring condemned the incident.
“That can’t get in backpacks,” Spring told the Schenectady Daily Gazette. “We have to be really careful with those kinds of things; what we put in kids hands is essentially curriculum… it can’t be partisan.”
Still, Benaquisto defended the union’s right to engage in political issues.
“Engaging and having honest conversations with our parents is very appropriate,” she said. “Conversations are very careful; people work to not impress their opinions on kids. (Teachers) are very aware that you are entitled to an opinion but not entitled to impose it on a child.”