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Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Celebration of Local 5082, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

Dedicated to one of the first teachers' strikes in the United States:

What did the little girl do in school today?
She read her speller,
She read her geography book,
She read her math book.
The teacher watched her.
The teacher read a magazine.
He was A Man from headquarters.
The fact that he couldn't teach
Was irrelevant.

No school milk today,
The principal told the milk man
To go away.
She was right there when he came,
On the picket line that he would not cross.
Good old Miss Oh Never Mind.
She had always run a tight ship,
Now she kept her teachers in line,
Out on the sidewalk.
And each striker's sign...
Had perfect spelling.

Teacher strikes are illegal in this state.
(Not anymore,
Not if you want us back,
You'll give us amnesty.)
Before we discuss our raises,
Let's discuss tenure,
Tenure for all after two years.
You don't mind, do you?
All teachers are the same;
They are all outstanding.
We can prove it.
Look out the window,
They're all out standing
On the picket line.
You say you need to talk salaries first,
So you can set your budget?
Fine! Just give us all tenure,
Then we'll talk about anything you like.

Mommy, will we have to go to school
In the summer?
No sweetie, school is still open.
But we're not learning anything,
We have no teacher,
A man just sits there and watches us
So we can't talk to each other.
I want to learn to spell.
Can I bring my speller home?
You can't bring your books home;
Only the teachers are allowed
To use the school books.
Mommy, my teacher
Called me
a scab,
And she won't come to class.
What's a scab?
It's nothing. Your teacher is sick, that's all.

What is school for in an old mill town?
Is it for football?
Is it for gym?
Is it for Wednesday morning instruction
At St. Claire's?
Is it for mid morning milk?
Bring your nickel, please.
Is it for the Federal Lunch?
Bring a quarter,
'Cause it's shepherd's pie today.
Is it for collective bargaining?
Oh, yeah, dats it.
Learning? Oh, sorry, maybe dat too.
Ah teachahs speak a well English.
'Long as we got tenyah.
See yuhs later.

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