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NJ Gov Wants Teachers Union Leader Fired for Memo

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posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:18 PM

The president of a state teachers union left a meeting Monday with Gov. Chris Christie after refusing to fire a local president who wrote a memo that joked about the governor's death, further escalating a rift that began before Christie's election.

Christie spokesman Mike Drewniak said the governor wants Bergen County teachers union head Joe Coppola fired for his "irresponsible" memo. The memo from the Bergen County Education Association to its locals included a closing prayer that read:

"Dear Lord this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor."

Coppola and New Jersey Education Association President Barbara Keshishian have apologized for the memo. Coppola has said the "prayer" was a joke and was never meant to be made public.

This is a sticky situation. To start, I have to say that the memo was pretty funny to me. That does not justify it being written down and circulated. Its not exactly a threat, unless one considers indirect prayers that the governor dies to be a threat. It could just be Christie seizing any opportunity to weaken the NJEA.

I have to add in this personal tale: Governor Christie visited my town's Ambulance Corps/Fire Department, to make a speech on something or other. The local high school was not even 10 yards away, yet he did not pay a visit to a politics class, or make a photo op. The whole Christie vs NJEA battle has gotten way too heated.

[edit on 13-4-2010 by fleetlord]

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:43 PM
Imagine if someone had put in "Obama" instead of Christie. Imagine the outrage.

I too found the joke to be humorous. I do not think that the man needs to be fired for making a joke. The world is entirely too PC.

[edit] to not fan some flames.

[edit on 13-4-2010 by angrymomma]

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by angrymomma

In that case, the guy would have been forced not only to resign, but much much worse. The story would get national coverage, he would be labelled a racist and probably some kind of extremist christian. All this would be before he got arrested for attempted assassination, of course.

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:59 PM
Personally, I think that Gov. Christie is being ridiculously overly sensitive and I question just how big the rock is that the guy lives under. I see that "prayer" posted on facebook on a near daily basis. For Christie to think that this was written for him and that he is some special snowflake tells me that the man is really out of touch with the public and doesn't even have a good enough staff to be bothered with cluing him in that this is a meme that has been circling the internet for a while now.

It generally is written with Obama's name plugged in as "favorite politician", but I have seen it with Chicago's mayor Daley and IL Gov. Blagojevich. It seems to be a "pick your pol" poem.

I think it sounds like Gov. Christie is living a very sheltered life if he has never seen/heard of this poem and no one around him has either. Maybe he should take it as a clue that people are unhappy with his performance of his duties as Gov. and look into what he can do to fix the problems and resolve the situation.

Take care,

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 06:18 PM
It's a joke and no one should be fired over a joke. Even if it is in bad taste.

With that said...I would be worried about someone who prays for the death of others whether in jest or in seriousness. Definitely wouldn't trust him sitting behind me during the PTA meeting.

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:11 PM
I am from New Jersey. So, I know more about this story from hearing about it on our local radio station.

Ok. The Gov is actually very popular and is trying to fix what the previous admins have caused our state to become. He is trying to cut the states spending as drastic as he can without causing people to lose thier jobs.

One of the cuts has to do with how much the school districts are getting in aid. Now the school districts get this aid even if they already have a surplus already.

And here is where the NJEA comes in. The money grubbing higher ups of the teachers union are attacking him any way they can. Brainwashing teachers into thinking they are going to lose their jobs. But the only way people will lose thier jobs is if the Teachers Union doesn't go with a salary freeze for some teachers. In a nut shell. The Union is the one causing the real problems.

The "Joke" was sent out through his place of employment, to 1700 members of the union. And from there forwarded to others.
He shouldn't lose his job for making a joke. He should lose his job for using his work comp for personal enjoyment.

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 09:58 PM
I have some sympathy for the joker, and I laughed at the joke.

The problem is, we live in a very tense, politically charged society. You never know how your own attempt at humor is going to affect others, particularly someone unstable.

It's probably better not to even joke about an opponent's death.

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 04:27 AM

Originally posted by Meatphis
He shouldn't lose his job for making a joke. He should lose his job for using his work comp for personal enjoyment.

Very of topic but still basic logic should be at place. If I personally enjoy programming (for a company) and I use company computer at same time, should I be fired? In other words I use company comp for personal enjoyment every day (and lot of nights) just when I'm programming (I like to program & I get money). I use company computer for many other - company not related - tasks, now I'm using it to post useless post on ATS for example. My boss will not fire me for this because he very well know, that people are not mindless robots, but people, with different social and political needs. I understood your point, but please, be more specific, because at present state your argument is worthless.

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