Get High On Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2001


The Foster Flu reminds me of a definition I once heard for pride, which is, pride is the only sickness that gets everybody sick, except the person who has it. To the more than 50 percent of the St. John Parish teachers who voted to stage a sickout this past Monday, your decision really showed your character. The children and community’s best interest was second to your ridiculous action to follow the lead of other parishes that have already staged sickouts. Instead of following the lead of others who have acted unprofessional, it would have been refreshing to see you stand together, while performing your duty to get a much-needed raise for some teachers. I say, some teachers, because many professional, unselfish, conscientious teachers are underpaid. However, I believe, like any other profession, some at the present pay scale are overpaid. To the teachers who voted not to miss school Monday, I thank you for realizing that such a move would serve no purpose, other than for your profession to lose more credibility. The sickout was a slap in the face to the people of St. John Parish who just passed a tax for a $2,000-per-year teacher pay raise. It was an injustice to the 6,000 public school children who seek an education in the public school system and to the school board that proposed the tax and pay raise. I’m reminded of the many times in the past few years when LEAP test results were released and St. John Parish had some of the worst scores. Is this a reflection on just the school system? No. It is, also, a reflection of the community and some families that don’t care about their most precious possessions – their children. I’ve often said that I have little respect for teachers who are paid to teach and don’t teach. On the other hand, my admiration is to the many teachers who consider their profession like a ministry, which is to mold and teach our future leaders to be responsible citizens. You will never get paid what you’re worth. I challenge all teachers to compare their salary with those at private schools. You’d be amazed at what some of these people sacrifice to give to their students. HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. Call him at 652-8477.