Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00The biblical imperative to “turn the other cheek” is often misconstrued to mean one should allow another to attack more than once, unchallenged. I choose to believe the meaning of the teaching to be this: give those who would attempt to harm you the opportunity to make a better choice—to do the right thing.
For decades, educational professionals working in Port Washington have devoted their lives to providing quality public education to the wonderful children in this community. Working in partnership with parents and community groups, we have far exceeded what the statistics would predict, given the wide range of socioeconomic, cultural and academic backgrounds our students represent. However, the dedicated teachers in Port Washington don’t view their students through a single lens. We strive to help every student imagine and achieve goals beyond expectations…and we often succeed. Our partnership has produced remarkable results.
So it may seem surprising and a bit unsettling that attacks on teachers – on their motives, their salaries, and their union continue to surface year after year. It would be disheartening if it weren’t so predictable. The insidious manipulation of facts about what educators in Port Washington earn, the repeated lies that we have offered nothing to help mitigate the economic challenges we all face, and the hateful rhetoric that seeks to divide this community and destroy its excellent schools is a slap in the face of everyone who cares about our schools and our children.
Let’s take time, especially during this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, to build unity in the Port Washington community by cherishing and protecting what we have here. And next week, let’s hope an overwhelming majority of voters do the right thing by voting “Yes” for both the school budget and the roof bond. There is so much we hope to accomplish. Let’s make the better choice of working together to build and preserve quality public education in Port Washington. It is the right thing to do.
Christine Vasilev, president, Port Washington Teachers Association