In February, a Utah teacher named Cole Kelly testified in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting all teacher organizations -- not just unions, but also other professional organizations -- equal access to teachers.
A week later, he was released from his position as athletic director, which for school districts is tantamount to firing. His principal admitted she approved of his job performance but had released him because of pressure. Subsequently, other teachers texted Kelly to say they agreed with him but were afraid of being fired if they spoke out or left their union. He is contesting his release. ...
In Utah, for example, a refusal to allow all teachers associations equal access to privileges like payroll deductions, teacher in-services and orientation, and committees (often a union, but no other teachers association, is guaranteed a seat or several) is illegal.
Rather than granting access, many principals and superintendents just ignore phone calls and emails requesting it to avoid admitting they are breaking the law, said the state's AAE membership director, Charity Smith. This year, Smith said, a large male union representative met her at her presentation to a group of teachers and demanded she reveal whom she had talked to, where she was planning to visit next, and her home address. Teachers have whispered to her they were interested in leaving the union but couldn't talk about it openly at school, slipping her their email addresses for later communication.