IRONTON -- National Education Association President Reg Weaver energized an enthusiastic crowd of Crosby-Ironton School District teachers and their supporters Tuesday at Education Minnesota's family night and rally at Gary's Sports Bar and Grill.
The junior high science teacher from Chicago said children need experienced and certified teachers. He objected to the notion that "it's OK for anybody to teach as long as they can breathe."
Weaver urged teachers to take their movement beyond the picket line and go door-to-door with the explanation that they're on strike for the children. He urged them to tell the community, "Don't be for me. Don't be against me. Just split the difference."
Noting that every strike encounters opposition and has discouraging moments, he reminded them of Eleanor Roosevelt's words that no one can make a person feel inferior without that person's consent.
"C-I, do not give them your consent," he said.
Weaver followed Attorney General Mike Hatch as they both addressed a crowd of about 240 people.
The speeches were preceded by acknowledgment of contributions from several unions and groups of retired teachers. Brainerd, Aitkin, Blaine and St. Paul were among the teacher groups represented.
Don Samuelson of Brainerd, a former state legislator and union representative, also was at Tuesday's rally.
MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5860.
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