Florida News Site Publishes Names of Teachers Attending Education Rally In Shaming Article

A local news organization in Florida posted the names of 100 teachers who will be attending a rally in Tallahassee. The accompanying article accused teachers of “skipping work” and neglecting to provide students with “adequate supervision.” This shaming and violation of privacy is bullying. 

*Update on the situation: Brevard Times edited their article on January 14 and commented on Facebook, “The article has been updated in response to the comments.”  Bored Teachers shared the problematic article on January 12. In just two days, nearly 2,000 teachers and advocates flooded the Brevard Times Facebook page with comments challenging the decision to post the teachers’ names and the bullying wording of the article. While Brevard Times has removed the list of teacher names, it was done the day after the rally. The shaming wording of “skipping school” and “skipping work” remains in the article. The article states the list of names was originally found on a Facebook post from the Brevard Federation of Teachers, however, the post the Brevard Times linked to is no longer available. Brevard Times added to the article, “The list published by the union included the names of teachers, their spouses and children, and other left-wing activists who planned on attending the event.” 

Brevard Times, a Brevard County, Florida news organization, posted the names of 100 teachers who will be attending a rally in Tallahassee. Thousands of teachers are gathering at the state capital tomorrow to demand more funding for schools and better pay. These are obviously important issues that benefit our students. So why on earth are teachers being shamed for using personal days to attend a rally geared at helping to improve the Florida education system?

Not only did Brevard Times post the names, it also implied the teachers attending were neglecting their responsibilities. “Brevard Times has published the list of Brevard Public Schools teachers so that concerned parents can see if their child’s teacher is planning on skipping work to attend the rally.

Parents can then follow up with their child’s school to ensure that their child has adequate supervision during the school day on Monday.”

Excuse me…what?! None of these teachers are “skipping work” or jeopardizing “adequate supervision” of their students. This makes it sound like Florida teachers are just waking up on a Monday morning and deciding to go to the beach or Disney World instead of work. But you know what? They are entitled to personal days and if they want to use it with feet in the sand or hanging with the mouse, they shouldn’t be shamed for it. They especially shouldn’t be shamed for using their personal time to fight for a better education system. 

Brevard County teachers will be driving around five hours to participate, which means they need to leave their homes by 4 a.m. and won’t return until at least 9 p.m. They’re juggling already jam-packed schedules, missing time with their own families and skipping sleep to fight for the rights of teachers and students. We should be praising them, not shaming them. Even the heading of the Brevard Times article, “Troubled Teacher,”  is shaming and implies the teachers are doing something wrong. Florida ranks 46 in the nation for teacher pay, which is insult enough without newspapers violating their privacy and using bullying tactics.

It’s important to note the listing of names and shaming is coming from Brevard Times, not the Brevard County School District.  I spoke to two Brevard teachers who both said the school district has been extremely supportive of the rally and of teachers who want to attend.

Rebecca says, “Brevard County Schools itself has been supportive of teachers wanting to attend this rally. It’s been planned for months and time off has been allowed. The Brevard Times needs to use better language with the public. There’s absolutely NO reason to list the teachers attending at all, let alone with the connotation they are shirking their duties as a teacher.”

Lauren says she doesn’t know why the newspaper posted the names of teachers attending the rally, “however the list was short by 233 names. Brevard is sending 333 teachers at the moment. The district has been very supportive! They’ve worked closely with the union to ensure coverage.  This has been in the works for months.”

The rally, promoted by the Florida Education Association (FEA) is being held on the eve of the 2020 legislative session. It includes a march and special speakers. There is still time for teachers, parents and community supporters to attend. FEA is asking those in attendance to wear red as a sign of solidarity and for supporters who can’t attend to also wear red Monday, January 13. There’s even a Facebook filter to show your support.

Rebecca adds, “I’m not able to go on Monday, but many Florida teachers will be there, fighting for us all. Fighting for our right to be treated as the professionals we are. If you’re behind our cause, wear red on Monday to show your support.”

Pop over to the Brevard Times Facebook page to let them know it isn’t okay to shame teachers. Safe travels to those heading to Tallahassee. Thank you for putting up with bullying and making the sacrifices to fight for better pay, lower class sizes and more support. Also, thank you to the teachers staying put in classrooms and to all the subs for providing “adequate supervision.” I’ll be wearing red. 

Also Read: Teaching is My Calling, But Being a Teacher Has Become Almost Unbearable

Florida Newspaper Publishes Names of Teachers Attending Education Rally In Shaming Article

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She's been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga. Connect with her at rachael.m@boredteachers.com
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