Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stoning Teachers Raises Some Eyebrows - with Updates

Have folks gotten wind of this?  It is all so outrageous.  Read all the stories leading up to this "Teacher Rock" concert to supposedly honor teachers—despite an advertisement that calls for throwing real rocks at teachers.  And the concert is being put together by the same people who did 'Waiting for Superman.''  How violent and hostile toward our teachers.  So toxic.  So vile.  There are some real losers in this story.


Stoning Teachers Raises Some Eyebrows - with Updates

August 9, 2012 2:30pm EST
Los Angeles – When nineteen-year-old Marsha Felton of Santa Monica heard about a concert honoring teachers, she wanted to go. After all her mother Jane is a public school teacher.  This may account for why she was so angry when she came across an on-line advertisement for “Teachers Rock.”  "I couldn't believe what I was reading.  It just seemed wrong.”

What bothered Ms. Felton lies in the fine print at the bottom of the concert promotion. Alongside food and tee-shirt vendors is listed an entertainment booth entitled "Rock-a-Teacher.” Further description reads, “Like an old fashioned dunking booth only better.  Live teachers. Real stones. C’mon, you know you’ve always wanted to.”

Marsha was shocked. “I read it over and over again." She began to spread her rage, as so many do, by sending a Tweet that linked to the advertisement and read, "Teachers Rock=Rocks@Teachers.”

Almost as quick as you can say, “publicity gaffe,” Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, began to rally her troops.  "This is outrageous!" was the opening salvo in a daunting and unrelenting number of emails sent from Weingarten's Twitter account complaining about the planned stoning. Concert producers Walmart and Walden Media and CBS, which is supposed to broadcast the concert later this month, have been swamped with vitriolic communications from labor leaders and their constituents demanding the booth be removed.  “I will nevr by yr resnbly priced scool supplies again,” threatened @CheapTechr in a Tweet directed at Walmart.

While no decision has been made about the fate of the booth, CBS, Walmart and Walden Media issued a joint statement, which read, “The matter is currently under examination.”

Update: Stars Threaten to Walk
August 10, 2012 9:00am EST
Los Angeles - TMZ is reporting that several stars scheduled to appear at the "Teachers Rock" concert have threatened to pull out if teachers are actually rocked.  According to TMZ sources, Leslee Dart, Meryl Streep's publicist, made a fury-filled phone call to CBS, which is scheduled to record and broadcast the concert later this month.  She is quoted as screaming at CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, "Meryl's in a god damn union for Christ's sake.  She has to work with Teamsters.  Damn right she wants this rectified."  No word yet on Moonves' reaction.  

Also unhappy about the "sport" of stoning teachers is Josh Groban.  People magazine is reporting that Groban expressed his concerns to Walmart and Walden Media producers after getting an earful from his art teacher mom. According to sources close to the star, Groban's mother is angry about more than just the stoning booth. She objects to the entire event which is a publicity vehicle for the movie "Don't Give Up." "I don't want you lending your time and talents to a movie that glorifies yet another way to turn public schools over to charter chains," Lindy Groban is reported as saying. "They can call it whatever they want, but this concert is not about honoring teachers. It's being put together by the same people who did 'Waiting for Superman.'"

Update: No Rocks Allowed
August 10, 2012 4:35pm EST
Los Angeles - Well that didn't take long.  After receiving hundreds of thousands of phone calls, emails, on-line petitions and tweets, the concert producers of "Teachers Rock" waved the white flag.  Through a Walden Media and Walmart spokesperson, it was announced moments ago that the Rock-a-Teacher booth will no longer be a part of the concert event.  Reading from a prepared statement, the spokesperson said, "No teachers will be harmed during the concert.  Not in a booth. Not by a youth. Not in the parking lot.  Not by an angry tot.  Not here. Not there. Not anywhere.

Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS, is expected to issue a formal apology tomorrow.

Reality Alert: Interested in how we came to write this? Read Diane Ravitch here.

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