Districts across the state seem to draw from the same playbook in using a budget shortfall, whether real or not (we’re looking at you, Reynolds School District!), to go after basic contract protections and rights and quality learning conditions they’ve been licking their chops over for years. Communities and parents push back, causing board members to have “public” tantrums in front of news cameras. It’s becoming a thing, as the kids say.

But Eagle Point School District is taking it further, going beyond scare tactics and bad information to bullying and illegality. Here are twelve examples on the eve of a possible May 8 strike of district attempts to attack educators, harm the community and students, and generally be lousy:

  1. Telling educators on disability they must cross the picket line and return for ‘light duty’ or else lose their disability. Does it matter that they have not been released for work by their doctors? Nope!
  2. Half-time employees are directed to work more hours or be fired. FUN FACT: if they work more hours they can join the union. Does the district mean to bully people into becoming Eagle Point education union members and making the picket lines larger? Weird strategy.
  3. A high school principal disregards student concerns about a strike, neglecting the opportunity to create a teachable moment about conflict resolution and non-violent demonstration. Frustrated and disrespected, students leave school to protest the situation, and the principal expels them. Another kind of teachable moment.
  4. Mayor has been calling businesses and asked them to stay out of the conflict (probably to make sure the principal doesn’t try to expel businesses, too).
  5. The district is using Craigslist to offer more than normal sub pay for replacements to work 5 hour shifts. Where is this magical money coming from? Isn’t Craigslist used more often for, ehm, personal connections? Don’t real educators use EdZapp instead? (EdZapp, if willing to donate $ for this free plug, let us know).
  6. Teachers are being asked to write 10 days worth of lesson plans before they check out for the strike. When they aren’t given time during the day to plan their lessons anyway. Why not only work extra time, to help replacement workers stealing their jobs? Genius!
  7. Every employee is being asked to check out and to take their personal belongings home, turn in keys, and computers. Some teachers are being asked to turn in textbooks as well. Days before the strike. The district should put their energy into bargaining seriously instead of ramping up for a strike.
  8. Security guards have been seen giving high fives to picketers (put in as a good-news item, figuring you wanted a break).
  9. Renting nearby private property for parking space, threatening to charge people parking there with trespass, and ordering security to only arrest those who look like they are “congregating”. “Racial profiling” is a common phrase, might this be “educator profiling”?
  10. Principals polling individual educators about their plans to strike or not, attempting to coerce employees into not striking. It’s been a few centuries since a good Inquisition, way to go old school! Are Eagle Point administrators certified at Wal-Mart?
  11. Telling educators they may not speak to parents or students about bargaining issues at all, any location or time, not just as school.
  12. Claiming publicly to be willing to meet to continue bargaining with educators, but consistently refusing to meet beyond the mandates of the limited availability of the state mediator.

Loyalty oaths or be fired! Ailing educators: detach the i.v. and hobble into the school or be fired! No free speech rights no matter where you go! Once the Eagle Point School District installs loudspeakers with songs of praise that proclaim the wisdom and great feats of its leaders, its transition to North Korea will be complete!

BONUS GOOD NEWS! DISTRICT SHENANIGANS BACKFIRE!

The Eagle Point School District encouraged people with concerns about a possible strike to call a provided phone number to voice their opinions. The phone number? Went to the union members of the Eagle Point Education Association. Clever.

However the union reports that over 75% of the district-directed calls have been in SUPPORT of the local educators. USA! USA! USA!