Hawaii Teachers: Earn Your Respect, But Don’t Expect Dollars


By Dick Rowland

About three weeks ago, I saved a 5/13/10 letter to the editor from the Honolulu Advertiser, “Letter writer should work for free, too” by Shawn Lathrop, Waikoloa. I had intended to respond right away but alas, was distracted. But, here goes now.

Mr Lathrop was much disturbed that Marie Boles of Honolulu had called on “our overburdened and underappreciated teachers…” to work three furlough days for free. He then challenged Boles to work for free for at least three days and without prep time and see how she liked that. He also attacked Boles call for teachers to earn “respect” from parents, students and the community, saying they should all try working for “free” and see how they liked that.

Well, Mr Lathrop, you forgot a critical point: parents and students do work for free, as do all individuals active in community affairs. As a matter of fact, parents are never paid a damn thing in dollars and cents for being parents, unless they are foster parents. And most every parent works hard, day in and day out and into the night as well as the middle of the night without any overtime or prep time at all, much less getting paid for it. Finally, there would be no need for teachers at all if parents were absent.

So, Mr Lathrop, it is suggested that you go to work earning some respect from others. Do not expect to be paid for it, sir. That will not happen. But you will be rewarded, just ask a parent.

Dick Rowland is the president emeritus of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii