Photo: La Tribuna, Honduras
Many teachers continued their month-long strike yesterday. Parents are increasingly angry with teachers and teachers' unions that their children are being denied an education.
Parents and some teachers at one school filed denuncias against the school director for allowing aggressions from some teachers and preventing classes from occurring. (Article translated to English.) Many teachers have complained that they are being pressured and threatened by union members to remain on strike and attend protests despite their personal beliefs to the contrary.
At one San Pedro Sula school (article in English), children are proud to have teachers who care about their education. "I'm not afraid to give classes, it is my work, and if the students come to school, we should attend to them." said one teacher. Both parents and police are guarding the school to prevent threats by the union leaders.
Colonel Agustín Humberto Avelar asked to the office of the public prosecutor and the organisms of DD HH that the parents investigate who took to their children to the border zones where tense moments were lived yesterday.I hope this greatly upsets the parents with the current educational 'professionals'! Total irresponsibility of the teachers putting children in danger!! -- L
From Life as an Ex Pat:
I have taken my son out of the public school he was in after a confrontation yesterday with my son´s director. They wanted to force my son to march and was teaching him that communism is good and that he had to disobey his parents if they tell him different and that he had to fight in an insurrection to insist on the return of Zelaya even if it meant blood shed. I was outraged...instead of teaching school this is what they do with a thirteen year old child? Thank goodness he called me...and they jumped on him calling him ignorant and a sell out for telling me what was going on. I nearly punched the teacher right there and the director..I will be making a complaint with Human Rights against them.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a large number of teachers in this country, regardless of their political views, are not acting like responsible and educated individuals. Instead of being in the classroom where they belong, they are out on the street, carrying out illegal acts (road closures). Children will soon have missed a month of classes, just in the current crisis. That is significant.
Some teachers are apparently doing what can be considered "indoctrination" of children in non-democratic ideologies (eg communism). If it is true that children were taken by teachers to the dangerous border areas to act as "human shields", this is yet another reason for serious concern about the educational system in this country.
Because of their very strong unions, and likely due to payoffs from Chavez, they have become a significant force against freedom and democracy in Honduras. Since there are 70,000 of them, they represent 2% of the adult population of the country, but their influence extends far beyond that.
As I have mentioned before, they are among the highest paid members of the public sector, they pay no income tax, they have >3 months of paid vacation per year and they take off >1/3 of the school days with their "strikes" and other unauthorized absences.
There are substantiated accusations that students are being told to "support" Mel, or they won't get "extra" points. High school and college students are being threatened with expulsion, low grades and in some cases violence, if they don't cooperate with the teachers' agenda on the return of Mel.
Zelaya has given the teachers a pay raise. They always want more.
[LG note: In many cases in the past, teachers didn't receive their pay; the last strike against the Zelaya government was as late as June 19. Teachers are now being paid by the current government, who they continue to strike against!]
I have to ask if they really are professionals and have the best interests of the children of Honduras at heart. There are a few who have gone back to the classroom, protected by parents from mob rule. I applaud these responsible teachers.
Education is a key to solving the serious problems of this country, yet if the children are not receiving an adequate education, then the future of Honduras is in grave jeopardy.
We at HHK (Helping Honduras Kids) are happy that our 2 schools are private and relatively unaffected by the current situation and school closings. Some public school teachers did visit our Jungle School with the intention of closing it, but when they were told it was a private school, they left.
Dave in Ceiba