I am angry. It’s not a passing emotion brought on by a single circumstance. This anger is a deep, painful, abiding anger created by a mix of frustration, despair, hopelessness, and injustice. For decades I have been told to trust American institutions and if I have grievances to work harder to improve them. I have done so, far more than most Americans, and my reward has been watching corruption and ineptitude only increase.
As a public school science teacher in the late 1990s, I watched parents disengage from their children and students gain more power over my classroom every day. I saw administrators allow it to happen and even excuse bad behaviors: “She has a very hard home life; she just needs to blow off steam and we need to give her a safe place to do that. You don’t want her to feel unsafe, do you?”
I saw good teachers leave the profession rather than fight the brewing storm on the horizon that would make them constables instead of instructors, rely more on technology than instruction, and remove their classroom autonomy. So I quit to begin a family.
Concerned about the way the Obama administration was taking control of public education, handing out stimulus checks, and pushing for government-run health care, I helped start a local citizens’ group. I helped bring in candidates for public office to interview and study bills and legislation. I worked with legislators to develop a bill to improve civic understandingby mandating study of U.S. founding documents in high school.