Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman.
UPDATE: I posted this about 12 hours ago on a late Saturday night, and already it has over 30K hits. I’ve never seen blog traffic like this, especially on a weekend. Is it not obvious that there has been an enormous amount of frustration and anger building up over Chris Christie’s condescension toward teachers, parents, and students? And that all it took was one brave act by one brave teacher, Melissa Tomlinson, to finally break the dam?
I, and many others, have not given up. I proudly support Barbara Buono for Governor of NJ, because she would never engage in this thuggish, bullying behavior toward any constituent, let alone a teacher.
New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, has a long history of teacher bashing – not just teachers union bashing, but teacher bashing. Even when he’s clearly in the lead, he can’t help himself: he has to take a swipe at teachers whenever he can. It’s almost pathological: even when he’s up by a sizable margin, Chris Christie just can’t turn down a chance to bash a teacher who gets too uppity – as he proved today: (h/t to our own Momotombo)
In an exclusive, I am privileged to present an account of what happened today from Melissa Tomlinson, the brave South Jersey teacher who showed up at Christie’s partisan political rally in Somers Point this afternoon and dared to ask her governor a question – as is her right as a citizen and a taxpayer of New Jersey. Here, in Tomlinson’s own words, is what happened:
Well, I was in a crowd of all Christie supporters with my sign. They were all eyeing me apprehensively. A few tried to stare me down. Some of them even blocked me from the crowd.
When his bus arrived one of his henchmen went on the bus to speak to him. I was right at the door. It was like he was told to deliberately turn away from me when he got off of the bus.
I went to listen to him speak. I stood in the front of the crowd that was standing towards the back. I know he caught sight of me. He stared at me a few times during his speech. I left right as his speech was over to position myself right at the door of the bus. He came out, shaking everyone’s hands as he was getting on the bus. I asked him my question, expecting him to ignore me but he suddenly turned and went off.
I asked him: “Why do you portray our schools as failure factories?” His reply: “Because they are!” He said: “I am tired of you people. What do you want?”
I told him I want money for my students. He fought back with the amount that he has spent on education. My response was along the lines of the fact his amount was not actually an increase from the previous years, given the rate of inflation and other factors. (I think I got that from one of your blogs).
The crowd started arguing with me. He screamed at me to just do my job. The crowd cheered for him. I just looked at them and told them: “Hey, this is my life. I had to do this.” I tried to follow him to Atlantic City to continue the conversation but the roads were blocked by police when I got there.
Chris Christie to teachers: “I am tired of you people!”
Chris Christie on our public schools – and the performance of the students in them: Failure factories!
There is really nothing left to say. If you vote for this man, shame on you.
“I am tired of you people!”
ADDING: Want to do something about this? Oh, Marie:
New Jersey’s best hope.