The president of the public school teachers union in Orlando, Fla. has apologized for suggesting that teachers and people who labor in cotton fields work under the same difficult conditions.
Diana Moore, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, made the bizarro comparison in an email she sent to members of the Orange County School Board right before Thanksgiving, local ABC affiliate WFTV reports.
“I have filed several complaints for teachers who have been screamed at, pushed and intimidated so badly that it reminds me of the ‘cotton fields’ of the past,” Moore wrote in the email.
The teachers union president also complained about the stress and workload facing teachers who toil for upwards of eight hours most weekdays for several months each year in air-conditioned classrooms.
“It wasn’t the best analogy to use for the message,” Moore told a WFTV reporter.
“What I was referring to is teachers are so afraid to speak up,” she explained.
“So someone had used a quote, ‘the cotton fields of corporate of America,'” she added. “I was trying to relate that.”
In a since-sent apology email, Moore wrote that she “never meant to downplay the atrocities from the years of slavery in this county.”
School board member Linda Kobert told WFTV she was disappointed in Moore’s comment. Another school board member, Kat Gordon, observed that the comparison was not a good one.
The median annual salary of teachers at taxpayer-funded public school teachers in the Orlando area is $51,257, according to Salary.com.
Teachers in Orlando at the 25th percentile earn a yearly salary of $41,987. At the 90th percentile, yearly pay is $69,479.
The median teachers’ salary in Orlando of $51,257 would put an unmarried person in the top 15 percent of all American workers.
Orlando’s public schools were in the news last month after school officials officially adopted a policy allowing students who do absolutely no work and earn zero credit to receive 50 percent as their quarterly grades. (RELATED: Students In Orlando Public Schools Now Coddled With 50 Percent Grades For DOING NOTHING)
The purpose of the generous policy is to keep students from dropping out. Students who don’t do any work often get discouraged at the grades which reflect their work, it seems.