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Viewpoints: Readers speak out in support of teacher’s article

August 8, 2018

A guest column written by Tega Toney, a Fayetteville, West Virginia, resident, and published in The Herald-Dispatch on July 29 fostered mostly supportive comments from readers.

The column by Toney, a teacher at Oak Hill High School and president of AFT-Fayette, was a response to West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael who had called members of the American Federation of Teachers “socialist radicals.” She also criticized him for what she said was him trying to take credit for a pay raise given teachers in March after a walkout by teachers across the state.

Among the comments from readers:

Keith Barnhart: “Tega, conservative arrogant politicians cannot stand anyone having access to the same things they do. This is reflected in their: education, taxation, employment, immigration, social, health-insurance policies. But don’t take my word for it, simply Google and/or Youtube it. Of course the conservatives will decry any credibility of the web, the same web they copy& paste from.”

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Matthew Kelly: “Lol ... right, because we all know that conservatives have been controlling our education system for the past 50 years ... shaking my head.”

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Nancy Pokrajac Price: “Excellent op-ed ... very well written!! You are able to summarize years and years of frustration of the teachers and public employees in West Virginia.”

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Clifford Sullivan: “Great job Tega! I agree with you 100%!”

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Terri Bohr: “Yes, amen, it is unclear to me why he felt the need to be so arrogant and obnoxious both during the strike and after. What is threatening him? What does he hope to gain by his stubborn refusal to fix things for teachers after so many years of neglect and abuse? I am also stymied by the party line divisions, why isn’t support for teachers something everyone would want? ...”

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Katy Smith: ”... You not only spoke for the public school employees but also for every WV Citizen who received a pay raise this year (which no one would have gotten) and for those who have PEIA as their insurance carrier.”

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Linda Childers: ”... As a former West Virginia teacher, I couldn’t be more proud of the movement brave WV teachers started, and I couldn’t be more impressed with you and your ability and effort to pen this op-ed. I have worked as a volunteer for the last TWO years in an effort to change the campaign finance laws because at the root the problem is politicians who are writing laws and working extra hard for their big-moneyed donors, not for the working man. Big corporations, wealthy donors and special interest groups get laws written so they can make more money whether it’s to spew more poison in our water, ignore global warming, or send marijuana smokers to private prisons. Carmichael and many of his fellow Republicans have totally stymied our efforts to change campaign finance laws. ... you helped shine a light on that truth. Thank you.”

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Cynthia Dunlap Ellis: “This retired teacher is very heartened by the words and positive steps of so many in the profession in the Mountain State today. Thank you for speaking up and taking action that benefits us all.”

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