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I Accuse



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I Accuse

To the Editor:

Do you remember the case of Captain Dreyfus, condemned to Devil’s Island for treason and freed only after the book by Emil Zola exposed the hypocrisy of his trial? The book was named J’ accuse (I accuse), and I shall borrow this phrase to accuse those who have for their own advantage ignored and bypassed the urgent need of our children and used political pressure and appeals to the public that more money and even more money will buy a better education for our children and grandchildren and that automatic pay increases, ludicrous medical benefits, and extravagant pensions will do the trick.

The trick is on us my friends!

They have lately even tried to use television ads to turn public opinion against the attempts by Governor Malloy to curtail teachers tenure of office. Nothing but nothing can be done to significantly improve education for our children until this antique monstrosity is sent to the garbage can where it belongs.

I must also take our administration to task for not challenging laws which only add to the burden of the taxpayer and the bank account of those who have adamantly opposed any change to the status quo. I have pointed out that tenure of office laws violate the XIVth amendment of equal protection under the law of our constitution since it singles out teachers only for job protection and that collective bargaining in the public sector violates both federal and state restraint of trade laws. Is it not time to challenge these laws as the city of Chicago did and won its case? The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the interest of children takes precedence over job protection. Must I stick this under the nose of our town lawyer?

For years now, many teachers and their unions have preferred a great bank account and political maneuvering to the general interest of their pupils to the detriment of their professional obligation to do the best they can and elimination of incompetence and laxness among their ranks.

Fortunately, the voters of this town have refused to be bamboozled by the usual platitudes such as: We must spend at least as much on education as last year or face penalties. My fellow citizens, this law defies gravity, it is absurd. We have less pupils, but are expected to spend more. For whom, for what?

I want to see the teachers’ unions face the reality of an outraged citizenry who want a level playing field and not one stacked in favor of the teachers and a free-handed Board of Education who know nothing of the hardships which some of their fellow citizens have endured for years. These self-propagating means of assuring affluence for one group and effluent for others must be overthrown by the courts if necessary.

Oscar Berendsohn

34 Appleblossom Lane, Newtown                                  April 30,2012

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