Two quick thoughts on this whole “lynch mob” controversy in Los Angeles where the head of the teachers’ union there* characterized the parental trigger policy as lynch-mob like. Background: San Francisco Chron. is here and Antonucci is here. Let’s stipulate it was a poor choice of words, he should apologize, and if he doesn’t his peers should call on him to do so.
But the incident is noteworthy for two other reasons. First, it does seem basically to be a Kinsley gaffe, not in the sense that it’s true but rather in the sense that this is what a lot of folks believe about parents and why, despite all the rhetoric about “parental involvement,” you don’t see a lot of people within education tripping over themselves to encourage it.
Second, and related, the teachers’ unions really hate this policy idea and are not keen to see it spread. So given the viral way this whole lynch mob remark has spread it’s hard not to think that ultimately the real damage here isn’t bad PR, it’s much more attention to this trigger idea than there otherwise might have been.
*Update: Per several notes, the way I wrote this was obviously unclear, the “there” referred to California, the head is the President of the California Federation of Teachers, Marty Hittleman.
By the way, over at the National Journal education blog they’re debating the parent trigger issue.