Scrappy High School Band Survives Attempted Murder by Local Teachers Union

The high school band in Gold Beach, Oregon, isn't bad. The group is only 15 kids, but they did well in last year's District Festival and were hoping to return this year to take the crown.

Just one problem: The band's director is a volunteer and the local teachers union didn't like that at all.

Lenie Duffy taught in California for nine years with full credentials and continued to volunteer in local schools for 15 years after she formally left teaching, as pianist for a school choir and then as band director after the previous director had a heart attack.

Despite the fact that parents and students were pleased with Duffy's work—she was recently nominated as the town's "volunteer of the year"—the teachers union filed a complaint about Duffy with the state Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The commission ruled against Duffy and she was forced out.

The kids took to their social media of choice, Facebook, condemning the teacher's union with harsh, sometimes obscene, language. On the afternoon they were supposed to report to the school library instead of the band room, they staged a mass sit-in on the concrete steps that led to the band room. The local newspaper went wild with letters of complaint from parents and community members.

The union reps went on damage control. Their goal, they insisted, was not to hurt the kids. They told the local volunteer choir director, whose class they had also forced into cancellation, that they did it "for the good of the kids," arguing that only credentialed teachers should be allowed to teach children

This story comes courtesy of Backwoods Home Magazine, where Duffy has worked a day job as a business manager for many years. The magazine stepped up to save the day: 

Backwoods Home Magazine decided to help the kids fight back against the teacher's union. I and BHM's Senior Editor John Silveira, Ad Manager Jeff Ferguson, and Technology Manager Al Boulley moved out of our offices and made room for a "band room." The band reformed itself into an off-campus club, just like the high school golf club BHM sponsors. In fact, the golf club subsequently held an emergency meeting and agreed to donate $1,000 (nearly half of its funds) to the band to show its support. The band relocated to the BHM building and now practices there as a club, free from any further threat from the teacher's union. They will lose the half credit they should have earned for the semester, but they will still get to put on their scheduled concerts and compete at the District Festival.

And (I'm so sorry for this) the band played on.

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  • ||

    "And (I'm so sorry for this) the band played on."

    That's why there are no comments. No one could get past that sentence. It's Capital PUNishment!

  • ||

  • ||

    This made me laugh - "The union reps went on damage control. Their goal, they insisted, was not to hurt the kids.... they did it "for the good of the kids,"

    Sure Slick.

    *thumbs up*

  • Voros McCracken||

    I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. Felt I owed to them.

  • Leo||

    Even if they can't get music credit anymore, you'd think someone could get them credit for the civics lesson they just had.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Do not trust the teachers unions. They are the fugliest bitches I have ever met.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The kids took to their social media of choice, Facebook, condemning the teacher's union with harsh, sometimes obscene, language.

    Sometimes, I have hope.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "It's not about the money. I'd fuck those kids over for free."

  • InlineSkate||

    When will people realize the teacher unions are called teacher unions for a reason.

    They're designed to serve the teachers, not the students.

    They don't care about students they only care about making sure their members get paychecks and tenure with no performance accountability.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Somebody, remind me again what the difference is between a Teachers' Union and a criminal organization practicing extortion?

  • InlineSkate||

    We all suffer at the hands of a Teacher Union.

  • LarryA||

    Teacher unions are anti-gun. (Other than the cop union's guns they have on call.)

  • Sevo||

    "Their goal, they insisted, was not to hurt the kids"
    True enough. Their goal was to line their pockets. They didn't intend to harm the kids, they just don't give a shit about the kids.

  • wingnutx||

    Undocumented teachers took their jobs!

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    '... only credentialled teachers should be allowed to teach children'.

    But she was credentialled. Their flimsy excuse doesn't even hold up under a generous perusal of the facts.

  • Jerryskids||

    Credentialled as defined by them. As one of my college math professors pointed out - he wasn't legally qualified to teach second-grade math no matter how many second-grade math teachers he had taught.

    And this is one of my biggest bitches about teachers who bitch about being low-paid 'when you consider all the qualifications I have to have'. Yeah - you're the one who instituted the qualifications. You don't actually need a college degree - let alone an advanced college degree - to teach elementary school. (Leaving aside the fact that plenty of high-school students graduate with less than about a fifth-grade education and therefore you probably don't need college-level smarts to teach high-school, either.)

  • LarryA||

    "Credentialled" = "Paid union dues."

  • KPres||

    And this is one of my biggest bitches about teachers who bitch about being low-paid 'when you consider all the qualifications I have to have'. Yeah - you're the one who instituted the qualifications.

    Sort of like the mafia demanding protection money from the rising mob violence.

  • JW||

    They told the local volunteer choir director, whose class they had also forced into cancellation, that they did it "for the good of the kids,"

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  • WomSom||

    Kinda crazy man, Wow.

    www.GotDatAnon.tk

  • neonvirus||

    Their goal, they insisted, was not to hurt the kids.

    "It's not about the money. It's about sending a message."

  • KPres||

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