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Teacher Says His Profession's Reputation Has Taken a Hit in Recent Weeks

According to a Maple Grove Elementary School teacher, respect for the profession is dwindling.

Doug Perry used to feel like he was a pillar in society. He felt that his role as an educator made him an important part of the community.

But now, the 26-year teaching veteran is not so sure.  

He says the perception of teachers, both in the Greenfield School District and across the state, has deteriorated so drastically, especially over the last month in light of Gov. Scott Walker’s polarizing budget-repair bill that has made national headlines.

“To be called bottom-feeders and freeloaders and whiners, how we’ve been vilified, I don’t know when that (change in perception) happened,” Perry said Thursday. “There was a time when teachers were respected and we’re just not anymore."

Perry, a fifth-grade teacher at is also the vice president of the Greenfield Education Association teacher union and has been an active protester both in Madison and in Greenfield. He said he and his colleagues were shocked when the Senate Republicans passed a revised version of Walker’s budget-repair bill Wednesday.

“People are devastated,” he said. “People felt like things were moving in the right direction, like maybe we could get some compromise. Now, we’re just wondering where this leaves us.”

And though they are devastated, as Perry described, he expects Greenfield teachers will continue to do their jobs, just as they have the over the last month.

“We serve the public; that’s what we do,” he said. “I’m about to step back into my classroom right now and I’ll give those 27 or 28 kids everything I’ve given them every day of my entire career.

“It’s difficult to do, honestly it is, but you have step back from your personal life – and this is a personal attack – and you have to be professional.”

Perry said he will remain an activist for worker’s rights even though the bill has been passed. He said he and other protesters will be hitting the Milwaukee-area overpasses again Friday, , and he plans to participate in a rally in Madison over the weekend.

After that, he will help move forward recall efforts for eight Republican Senators.

“We’ll be turning our attention to bringing some new faces to Madison,” he said. “This is not what people voted for.

“(Walker) has polarized the state, and he lied to people. He mischaracterized what he was going to do. People are going to go after these eight senators (with recalls), and a year from today, he’s next.”

Lyle Ruble March 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Mike Brooks, Following the governor's lead he is going to push the problem down to the municipal and county levels. His means to accomplish this is to cut the state contribution to local government, schools, cutting senior care, Badger Care, freezing state wages, reduce the state workforce through attrition and not replacing retirees in non critical areas, have the public sector workers contribute more to their healthcare and retirement, and cut Medicaid funding. His plan will close about half the deficit. That still leaves half and that's where the problem lies; the state will have to come up with additional revenue streams without raising property taxes or income taxes. Suggestions have been forwarded such as: 1) Reduce the goods and services exemption for sales taxes except for food and prescriptions; 2) Increase the state's sales tax; 3) Minimally increase the tax on alcohol; 4) Impose VAT (Value Added Taxes) on luxury goods; and; 5) Increase the state's dumping fees on out of state waste haulers. This is what the Democratic senators will probably push, attempting to reduce Walker's cuts and replacing them with new revenues. With Governor Walker's Libertarian agenda, I think he will attempt to push privatization of a number of non-essential government services and would eventually like to reduce public schools, replacing with charter and private schools. In my opinion it is going to take a combination of cuts and increases in certain taxes.
BassGreat May 19, 2011 at 09:36 PM
What a jerk you are!
BassGreat May 19, 2011 at 09:44 PM
So what should teachers who have earned degrees get? The governor has six-figures with none. Me thinks you all are looneys. And guess what else, teachers deal with kids just like the one who axed his grand pa. Now tell me how over paid they are. They do the work of cops, psychiatrists, mothers and fathers, then have to try and teach a subject, administer tests, while you ingrates beef. Just mind boggling.
BassGreat May 19, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Sounds more like your lecture was a bore. Was it?
JustMe March 17, 2012 at 01:38 AM
teachers=whiners

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