Policy Documents

Bullying Teachers: How Teachers Unions Secretly Push Teachers and Competitors Around

April 19, 2012

In routine tracking of education-related legislation, The Heartland Institute’s School Reform News has uncovered evidence that teachers unions across the country routinely inhibit teachers from joining or speaking out about competing, nonunion teachers associations. In at least one case, this intimidation has resulted in a teacher losing his job. Most of the incidents are smaller. Taken alone, they’re isolated annoying incidents. Together, they form a pattern of repression and discrimination akin to the bullying among youngsters which state legislators around the nation have recently worked so hard to end. This merits similar concern.

The incidents reveal how teachers unions use aggression to retain power and keep teachers ignorant of nonunion competitors, and how they place themselves within every crevice of the teaching profession to ensure the same, from graduate schools of education to pressure on administrators. They also reveal how unions maintain their grip on education by restricting the information teachers receive, even when teachers fight to share it. They create an undercurrent of fear through threats, creating unpleasant social situations, and taking action against teachers who speak out, so this widespread repression remains little-known.

School Reform News spoke with representatives of the American Association of Educators in four states and its Virginia headquarters, looked up AAE representatives’ and teachers’ testimony before state legislatures on related legislation, and received email and photographic documentation of the activities described in the attached report.