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Letter to NEA Leadership & Attorney Michael Simpson

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Message Daniel Geery
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(and why teachers are wasting money on NEA dues):

Rather than continue a dog and pony show (as in the comment section here: ), I wish to give readers, especially teachers, a chance to make up their own mind regarding the NEA abandonment of me when I needed help most. I want readers to understand how they might reasonably expect the NEA to treat their own case, their own career, and the livelihood they spent years or decades working to achieve, when their job is under attack by wayward administrators, for no valid or even identifiable reason.

I view this as a significant example of the typical failure of the NEA to defend its members, and in turn, the youth of our country. It goes direct to the heart of what is wrong with education in America, and I hope will give the general public a small but relevant piece of the picture.

I encourage you, the NEA, to respond in your own defense. Your lack of reply, I submit, is a greater condemnation of yourself than any reply you might squeak out. Either event should allow the discerning reader to determine if your organization is worthy of the infinite ink and electrons supporting it, not to mention the efforts of otherwise worthy individuals running in circles on your behalf.

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A brief history here: I was a third grade teacher for eight years with a perfect track record and an ardent member of the NEA. The NEA actively encouraged me and others to speak out on behalf of teachers, children, and district corruption. When I did as advised, I was subjected to severe attack by my school district, while the NEA and its state affiliate, the Idaho Education Association, refused to defend me. My career was destroyed at the prime of my life (and though I later made a come-back, no thanks to the NEA, I still lost all my benefits and retirement, the ability to send my two sons to college, and every physical possession I owned, including my home).

Attorney Simpson, a Washington D.C. NEA lawyer, now asks who I am (see comments in link above), and encourages me on a public website to "move on." Perhaps you boys and girls can put your heads together and make a list of what teachers are expected to "move on to"--soup lines? dealing drugs? looking for nice refrigerator boxes to live in? cleaning NEA Office toilets?--after you have sucked up the dues of trusting teachers, like financial vampires, and then refuse to defend them, even after fraudulently convincing the majority of members that you will be there when needed.

In support of the latter statement, I could submit vast sources of evidence, but I'll take the first one I found online, evidently from the Iowa Education Association (which sounds like the Idaho Education Association once did, though the latter changed its song and now promises discounts on garbage instead of legal protection):

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Legal representation

When you belong to the Association [note that all state associations fall under the mighty umbrella of the NEA], you have peace of mind that your side will be heard and that your rights will be protected. We stand ready and willing to go the extra mile to make sure you get a fair shake . . . and you don't have to pay a penny in legal fees!

Ahh, peace of mind! I love that one! I still have post-traumatic stress syndrome and ongoing nightmares about teaching, two decades after I initially came under fire. But I am not here to cry. I provide a largely self-explanatory link below. It begins with recommendations from teachers I worked with or who knew me over many years, along with those of three administrators. I had asked my colleagues to write these, if they were comfortable doing so, me knowing full well (as did the IEA) that Idaho's ShelleySchool District was going to fire me. I trust these letters will help answer Michael's question as to "who I am." The documents are in the public record of the Idaho Federal Court (minus the last two recommendations, which speak for themselves).

Note that the last document contains the summary findings of a 27 page report from the Idaho Industrial Commission, arrived at after two full days of a hearing with an experienced hearing officer, my adult representative, the district's lawyer, myself, and the administrators who recommended my termination (on a charge that to this day has never been explained, let alone substantiated; near as I can tell, the administrators didn't like an unpublished letter about district malfeasance that the NEA/ IEA encouraged me to write).

Contrary to Attorney Simpson's libelous allegations of my "loosing" in several forums, the Idaho Industrial Commission was the only forum where this case was fully litigated, as defined by law (meaning the only forum where I had a chance to defend myself).

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To anyone taking time to read this, particularly teachers and concerned parents, thanks for your interest and attention. Please do pass this along if you know others who might be interested.

For further reading on my case:

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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