Teachers being treated like they're new priesthood

I have been reading with great interest the many articles about the plight of our teachers here in beautiful Del Norte County. I have noticed that no one has written to you or said anything negative abut their wanting a pay raise.

I did read Mike Mealue's letter to you and found it to be very true to form. By that, I mean he (Mealue) says that someone called him a hero. I have to agree. I feel that the only group in society that must be spoken of in terms of reverence, no matter what, is public school teachers. I mean, we can attack the Boy Scouts, put Jesus in a jar of urine and boycott Mel Gibson movies, but don't you dare say anything negative about teachers unless you want it noted on your report card. We are all supposed to gasp at their raw dedication and then be forced to listen to their wailing about how they don't make enough money. Well, what is it? Are they dedicated to teaching or are they in it for the money? After all the complaining about how little teachers are paid, if someone enters the teaching profession for the big bucks, then aren't they - just maybe - too unlearned to be teaching?

Public school teachers are the new priesthood, while traditional religion is ridiculed. You see, a priest or minister is portrayed by Hollywood as either a Nazi sympathizer or a sexual predator or some other low life, while the teacher is the hero, as in movies like andquot;The People vs. Larry Flyntandquot; where the pornographer comes off favorably or the TV show, andquot;The Book of Danielandquot; about a drug addicted Episcopal priests just to name a few of the many that are out there. By contrast, the moment a teacher walks onto the screen, you know who the hero is, as in andquot; Dead Poet's Society,andquot; andquot;Dangerous Minds,andquot; andquot;Conrack,andquot; andquot;Lean on Me,andquot; andquot;Mr. Holland's Opus,andquot; andquot;Mona Lisa Smile,andquot; and on and on and on. But in real life, these are tax-supported people teaching our children whatever they please and doing whatever they please, whether we like it or not. They have become the new doctors. They can tell whether your child has ADDS or the proper amount of lice on their heads.

To conclude, just a few statistics. Teachers get long summer vacations, professional development days, snow days, every conceivable federal holiday and an average work day that ends at 3 p.m. There are national and state teacher of the year awards. The national one is given out by the president of the United States. The National Football League has a teacher of the year award nominated by players and they are awarded a trip to the Super Bowl and $5,000. In our fine state, teachers get discounted mortgages, car loans and tuition reimbursement.

A lot of people in America have difficult jobs. There are men and women sleeping in their boots in Afghanistan right now so the rest of us can sleep peacefully at night. I am sure that I will be accused of attacking teachers, but I say that there is nothing wrong with teachers that a little less unionization and a little more competition couldn't cure. If teachers are the new priests, than at least let us make them take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience like all the other priests.

Bobby Rodriquez