There is no organization on Earth that has my automatic assent and/or loyalty. My union serves a vital function in protecting my rights and negotiating a fair wage, but it oversteps its purpose when it presumes to speak for me in political matters. Some of my respected colleagues have disagreed with me on this point, but I think unions in general get themselves into trouble when they venture beyond their original and central function. The association spent more than $50,000 of union dues and future union dues on the April 7 election without consulting the members of the union. I think that’s wrong.
I’ve heard from a good number of fellow teachers who have become disenchanted with our union’s tactics of late. Next month the union will have the opportunity to vote for new leadership, and I hope my colleagues throughout the district will seize the opportunity to clean the slate and elect new people with no ties to the leadership of the last three years.
And now about last week’s column. I received more than 50 responses from the good people in our community, more than any column I have written in the past six years. The subject was assimilation, and the object was a sentence that I came across in writing a student recommendation that read like a mission statement from the Armenian Youth Federation. I have since learned, and probably should have researched before I wrote the article, that the federation has done a world of good for more than 70 years and did not deserve this slap for one (however misguided) sentence.
My apologies to the Armenian Youth Federation. But all the same, wouldn’t it be a good idea for that venerable organization to delete the sentence, “The AYF was founded .?.?. with the purpose of keeping the Armenian youth from assimilating”?