|“Mitt Romney, you’re so rude! We don’t like your attitude!” protesters chanted before union organizers attempted to deliver a petition to the county GOP office on Thursday. County school bus drivers were protesting comments made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.|
What spurred these normal-looking people to protest yesterday? They were feigning outrage over a comment that Mitt Romney made in his speech the day he announced Paul Ryan as his running mate. What egregious comment could spark a protest of bus drivers? “When a young person makes the honor roll, I know it took a bus to get to school, but I don’t give a bus driver credit for the honor roll,” said Mr. Romney. Yep, that's the comment that sent them into a tizzy. Here is their reasoning.
His message is clear, bus drivers said.
“They’re saying that the bus drivers do not contribute to the kids’ education,” said Lia Lee, a supervisor at the Shady Grove Depot who has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 11 years. “Yes, they’re not teachers, but they are teaching them self-respect, they’re teaching them how to talk, they’re teaching them how to respect one another on the bus—the same rules as inside that school apply on that school bus.”
Lee added: “We take pride in that statement, ‘no child left behind’ as well.”
Bus drivers are often the first faces that students see when they leave home each school day, said Charles Montgomery, a county bus driver since 1989.
“Some of the kids don’t have people to talk to them,” he said. “When they get on the bus, they want someone to talk to them. We take them to school. We try to show them respect. In order to get respect, I tell them, you’ve got to earn it. We teach them that. We teach them being on time.”
Romney is “trying to put us down,” Montgomery said of bus drivers. “It’s a hard job. And I love it.”
Thursday’s protest was mostly a show of support for drivers, Montgomery said. “But I hope it’s political too. I’m not voting for [Romney].”
It's quite apparent that SEIU and other activists are intentionally misconstruing Mr. Romney's message. Would they appreciate it if the teachers were given credit for driving the kids to school every day? No. That's not the teachers' job. Indeed, if a child in Montgomery County schools fails to make honor roll, should the parents hold the bus drivers responsible? According to their line of reasoning, the parents CAN blame the bus driver. If they want credit for a child making the honor roll, then they have to take responsibility for the child's failure to do so as well.
You can bet that no one in the busdrivers' union is required to do anything beyond what is in their job description. SEIU makes sure of that. Where in the job description of Montgomery County bus drivers does it say that they are responsible for teaching the kids a subject in the curriculum? In fact, the Montgomery County website for "Become A Bus Operator" mentions only "Receive good pay [$16.36.hour], Get great benefits [paid holidays, insurance, 14 annual personal and sick days], Make a difference in the life of a child." I do not see "teach children" or "help children get on honor roll" on that list.
So is everyone who "makes a difference in the life of a child" supposed to get credit for getting the child on honor roll? Should we credit the crossing guard and the lunch crew and the maintenance staff and the delivery people and the office secretary and the roof repairmen and the street sweeper near the school etc., etc.? In other words, what I am hearing from the SEIU protesters and activists is: "If your child made honor roll, they didn't get there on their own. Students, you didn't learn that? Somebody else made that happen." Where have we heard this ominous message before?
Mr. Romney's message, pure and simple, was that bus drivers do their job and teachers do their job. These acticvist protesters should be glad he is giving credit where credit is due. Instead, they chose to maske much ado about nothing. You can bet that if Mr. Romney had credited bus drivers with getting kids on the honor roll, the teachers' union would have picketed.
Furthermore, if bus drivers are teaching the kids by their actions, what are we to construe from bus drivers like Charles Acker, a "married father of two – who was also a Montgomery County school bus driver – [who] was arrested for child pornography" in March of 2011? And does that demand for credit-where-credit-is(NOT)-due apply only to Montgomery County bus drivers or also to neighboring Prince Georges County, Maryland? For instance, bus driver Scott Smallwood, who was arrested in May of 2010 for sexual exploitation of a 7-year-old and sentenced to 55 years in prison by a federal court last month. Then there's the incident where THREE school buses were inexplicably involved in the same accident in that same county earlier this year, wherein 34 students were taken to the hospital. And what of another neighboring county, where a school bus driver mistakenly took a five-year-old child to her house when the child fell asleep on the bus? Or are the protesters asserting that only Montgomery County school bus drivers teach the kids by their actions?
According to one news report: "About 20 members of SEIU Local 500 waved signs urging passing motorists to 'Honk if you love your school bus driver' and depicting a report card giving Romney failing marks on schools, education and working families." Now does that not just warm the cockles of your heart? They are really teaching their children a valuable lesson - make up stuff and sell it in a bright package in a public forum so that passersby do not have a clue what they are buying and cannot return it when they realize it is worthless. It's strange that liberals don't love the free market: they can sell their worthless ideas and there are plenty of idiotic buyers.
The website for SEIU described the protest event like this: "Their message to Romney was simple: Bus drivers count, too! Thirty-five activists came out at 10:30 am that morning and marched up and down the sidewalk, receiving considerable support from passing drivers. At the end, a small group walked up to the Montgomery County GOP offices to express their disappointment that the Republican standard bearer would run by putting down the people parents entrust to get their kids safely to school." [Note to self: Find out who taught grammar to this author. I wonder if he made the honor roll as a child.]
Hmmm. Twenty members of SEIU? Thirty-five activists? But how many BUS DRIVERS? I count 14 adults in the above picture, plus one toddler. So that's 15. So who taught these people to count? Bus drivers or teachers?
Yes, I am deliberately being provocative, just like these activist protesters do. To be sure, everyone knows who will win the Presidential vote in Montgomery County, Maryland, in November. These people were wasting their time and serving only to disrupt and distract the already deadly traffic on Rockville Pike. For goodness sake, if you are going to picket, at least don't make stuff up. Be glad these bus drivers have a good job and that no one expects them to teach the kids anything. They may not have a job to be grateful for if Obama gets re-elected.
|Code Pinkos on Capitol Hill|
|Code Pinko in Tampa outside RNC.|
Final note: The SEIU activist protesters should have invited the Code Pinkos to join them. They have protested against war (not lately, since Obama took over) and they have promoted their vaginas publicly on apitol Hill and this week at the Republican National Convention. So their pink vagina-wear would have fit right in. They are all about "much-ado-about-nothing."