Chris Christie Yelled At Teacher, The Teacher Responds – Her Letter

Chris Christie hopes to continue his job as New Jersey’s governor after the vote on Tuesday November 5th. But until then, he is apparently continuing to do what he does best – yelling a anyone who has the nerve to ask him a question.

Melissa Tomlinson was the latest New Jersey citizen to feel the wrath of the Christie, when she had the audacity to attempt ask him a question on Saturday. Christie showed his true colors then, but Melissa is intent to have the last word.

Here’s her letter to the Governor!

Dear Governor Christie,

Yesterday I took the opportunity to come hear you speak on your campaign trail. I have never really heard you speak before except for sound bytes that I get on my computer. I don’t have cable, I don’t read newspapers. I don’t have enough time. I am a public school teacher that works an average of 60 hours a week in my building. Yes, you can check with my principal. I run the after-school program along with my my classroom position. I do even more work when I am at home. For verification of this, just ask my children.

I asked you one simple question yesterday. I wanted to know why you portray NJ Public Schools as failure factories. Apparently that question struck a nerve. When you swung around at me and raised your voice, asking me what I wanted, my first response “I want more money for my students.” Notice, I did not ask for more money for me. I did not ask for my health benefits, my pension, a raise, my tenure, or even my contract that I have not had for nearly three years.

We got into a small debate about how much money has been spent on education. Too me, there is never enough money that is spent on education. To invest in education is to invest in our future. We cannot keep short-changing our children and taking away opportunities for them to explore and learn. As more money is required for state-mandated curriculum changes and high-stakes standardized testing, it is our children that are losing. Programs are being cut all over the state as budget changes are forcing districts to cut music, art, after-school transportation, and youth-centered clubs.

But let’s put money aside for a moment. What do I want? What do ‘we people’ want? We want to be allowed to teach. Do you know that the past two months has been spent of our time preparing and completing paperwork for the Student Growth Objectives? Assessments were created and administered to our students on material that we have not even taught yet. Can you imagine how that made us feel? The students felt like they were worthless for not having any clue how to complete the assessments. The teachers felt like horrible monsters for having to make the students endure this. How is that helping the development of a child? How will that help them see the value in their own self-worth. This futile exercise took time away from planning and preparing meaningful lessons as well as the time spent in class actually completing the assessments. The evaluations have no statistical worth and has even been recognized as such by the NJ Department of Education. I am all for evaluation of a teacher. I recognize that I should be held accountable for my job. This does not worry me, as long as I am evaluated on my methods of teaching. I can not be held wholly accountable for the learning growth of a student when I am not accountable for all of the factors that influence this growth. Are you aware that poverty is the biggest determination of a child’s educational success. If not, I suggest you read Diane Ravitch’s new book Reign of Error. Take a moment and become enlightened.

Getting back to the issue of money. I am fully aware of our educational budget. Where is all of this money? To me it seems like it is being siphoned right off into the hands of private companies as they reap the benefits of the charter schools and voucher programs that you have put into place. It certainly hasn’t gone to improve school conditions in urban areas such as Jersey City. The conditions that these students and teachers are forced to be in are horrifying. Yet you are not allowing the funds needed to improve these conditions. Are you hoping that these schools get closed down and more students are forced to go to private charter schools while the districts are being forced to pay their tuition? I know for a fact that this is what has happened in Camden and Newark. Yet these charter schools are not held to the same accountability as our public schools. Why is that? Because deep down you know that you are not really dealing with the issues that influence a child’s education. You are simply putting a temporary band-aid into place. Unfortunately that temporary fix is already starting to be exposed as Charter Schools are showing that they actually are not able to do better than public schools.

You are setting up teachers to take the blame for all of this. You have portrayed us as greedy, lazy money-draining public servants that do nothing. I invite you to come do my job for one week Governor Christie. I invite you to come see my students, see how little they really have during the school day as they are being forced to keep learning for a single snapshot of their educational worth. For that one end-all, be-all test, the NJASK. The one that the future of my job and my life is now based upon.

Why do you portray schools as failure factories? What benefit do you reap from this? Have you acquired financial promises for your future campaigns as you eye the presidential nomination? Has there been back-room meetings as you agree to divert public funds to private companies that are seeking to take over our public educational system? This is my theory. To accomplish all of this, you are setting up the teachers to take the blame. Unfortunately, you are not the only governor in our country that has this agenda. What do “we people’ want, Governor Christie? We want our schools back. We want to teach. We want to be allowed to help these children to grow, educationally, socially, and emotionally. We want to be respected as we do this, not bullied.

BadAss Teacher,

Melissa Tomlinson

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I'm just tired of the lies and nonsense coming from the GOP, so this is my little contribution to combat the nonsense!

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39 Comments

  1. disqus_dmukTWgNMk November 8, 2013 3:26 pm

    Hannah, that’s “why not get creative”? You wrote while. Secondly, do you have children. If so are they in the public school system? Thirdly, read the content of Bad Ass Teacher’s letter. I think you missed some vital facts. “Judge not lest you be judged”

  2. Annie November 7, 2013 5:28 pm

    Quit sniping and stick to the subject of how to improve the education of are children and grandchildren.. It’s annoying and childish ..

  3. William Timko Cffc November 7, 2013 2:28 pm

    well Doug for ur information, not only has my x-wife done it, but my girlfriend , n my office manager, I’ve spoken to them all n heard what they have encountered, so my sources r pretty good!!!!, n I’ve been a volunteer in Boy Scouts, n West Essex YMCA day camp, in addition to being involved in CCD for handicapped children, n spent summers as a camp counselor @ Camp Hope in E. Hanover, NJ for handicapped children, guess by looking at me u’d never have thought that, BUT FOR UR EFFIN INFORMATION I DO USE THE “MUSCLE” BETWEEN MY EARS, I’ve run a successful business for 24yrs, own many properties in 3 states too, so I work my muscle out!!!!!!!

  4. Doug Hamilton November 7, 2013 11:19 am

    You “heard” a lot of what goes on? Heard? Why don’t you go spend a week volunteering as a classroom helper and SEE what it’s like? Use the “muscle” between your ears and see what crap teachers have to put up with from all sides.

  5. Doug Hamilton November 7, 2013 11:11 am

    How so? Corporate welfare is the problem! Isn’t the whole GOP thing “you should be able to stand on your own two feet”? Tell that to companies like Walmart and McDonald’s who cost the taxpayers billions because they are too greedy to pay their employees enough to live on! Cute how you can never set foot in either place, but they will STILL get into your wallet! The CEO of Walmart is paid $50,000 PER DAY!

  6. Hannah Dougherty November 7, 2013 11:08 am

    While I do agree there are typos in this letter, that may not have been the teachers fault. If you use a software program to convert files like a Word file to a PDF file, etc., sometimes the letters get changed. Also, so what? When I worked as a teacher we would proofread our letters, tests, etc. together. I think Chris Christie was upset with her for demanding more money even if it was for her students because, as he has has pointed out, people can’t afford the tax increase. If she wants more money just for her students while not get creative? The school can collect box tops, soup labels, apply for grants, etc.

  7. judi November 7, 2013 10:25 am

    HERITAGE foundation, KOCHS, ALEC, GOP, Dave and Betsy DEVOS, MIchelle. Rhee, Students First………..all RW pushers of charter for profit schools!!!!!!!

  8. judi November 7, 2013 10:23 am

    WHAT the hell is wrong with you???? Dumbing Down…..that has been the GOP agenda for decades. All these STUPID mandatory tests and evaluations are products of the Heritage Foundation, The KOCHS , ALEC and the DEVoses…..with the main aim to cause trouble, denigrate and defund public schools…..and REPLACE them with for profit charter or voucher schools. AT taxpayers expense. DO A LIITLE RESEARCH…..if you really care!!!!!!!!!

  9. Jonmann November 7, 2013 8:58 am

    YES. you bleeding hearts are killing this country and the working middle class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. William Timko Cffc November 7, 2013 8:36 am

    can’t even put a picture up, guess u have something to hide!!!

  11. William Timko Cffc November 7, 2013 8:35 am

    no better yet id like to invite u to a club function, u’ll b the guest of honor, we can compare our muscles……ha ha ha !!!! dick

  12. William Timko Cffc November 7, 2013 8:30 am

    hey honeymaid0 , that’s a queer name!!!! did u think of that all on ur own, tell me where we can meet n talk, id love for u to teach me how to spell!!!

  13. William Timko Cffc November 7, 2013 8:27 am

    really, im n idiot, wow did u have to strain ur pee brain to think of that, it’s teachers like u that give the profession a bad rap, ur really the idiot, n next time, think b4 u comment. n anytime u want to talk face to face u let me know, asshole

  14. Jonmann November 7, 2013 8:13 am

    Haha you teachers are a bunch of whiney babies. Your “60 hours a week” doesn’t count in summer, winter break, spring break, teacher inservices and holidays. The education system in this state, and country, is a joke. We dumb down our children then tell them they have to learn at a slower pace because it’s unfair to others. Give me a break. I have zero sympathy for teachers, you chose this career, you deal with it. Or ask the NJEA for help with all the money they bring in. Maybe if they didn’t pay their president $500k a year!

  15. MJ November 6, 2013 6:34 pm

    So Nick. What is the problem with the education system?

  16. Honeymaid0 November 6, 2013 10:28 am

    Double amen.

  17. Honeymaid0 November 6, 2013 10:25 am

    … you clearly need to go back to school yourself; your spelling is killing me.

  18. Honeymaid0 November 6, 2013 10:24 am

    And that’s a bad thing?

  19. Honeymaid0 November 6, 2013 10:24 am

    Not so much, no.

  20. Honeymaid0 November 6, 2013 10:23 am

    Nick, “I work more than you” is not a valid counter argument.

  21. Nick h November 6, 2013 7:49 am

    First of all, proofread your letter! -second I.don’t feel bad for you. Ive been working 70 hours a week for over 5 years. No benefits, no raises no nothing. Third, Christie isn’t to blame. The education issues and money issues are still from previous governors and congress. It’s all politics. Read up first before making UNeducated claims

  22. kim carlton November 6, 2013 12:23 am

    Amen

  23. sarap November 5, 2013 10:35 pm

    I can assure you he was NOT the fat kid that got picked on. If fact, he was an athlete and very popular.

  24. Pissed Teacher November 5, 2013 10:35 pm

    Political posturing and brainwashing? You can’t possibly be serious. When is the last time that you were in a classroom? You, sir, are a complete idiot and need to get a reality check.
    Sincerely,
    Teachers Everywhere

  25. GLJ November 5, 2013 7:38 pm

    I hear you loud and clear, Melissa. You really nailed it. Just take a look at what the governor has done to police and firefighters in NJ. All of us are being vilified. Absolutely disgraceful.

  26. ChristineIam November 5, 2013 5:15 pm

    Bravo! Thank you, and the your fellow teachers, for what you do for our children.
    Thank you!

  27. Manny November 5, 2013 4:14 pm

    Who gives a fuck if it’s proof read you stupid ass fuck. Now proof read that u fucking asshole. And fuck Christie he’s fucking bully who yells at people because of his own insecurities. He was probably the fat kid in school that always got picked on and bullied so he’s trying to take it out on everyone.

  28. FLRJR November 5, 2013 11:48 am

    Governor Christie is just a man with a big mouth that thinks he know all the answers. It is sad when someone who wants our votes treats people like this like they owe him something, he hasn’t done a thing except play Monday morning quarterback to thievery that happens and then walks away as it falls apart. Jersey shore big respect to governor ???? really? they did more donations, fund raisers and collected billions of dollars that was supposed to go right to the homeowners as stated in all bids yet there are countless people not even back in their homes yet and the seaside heights boardwalk will be fixed for a 2nd time before these people are even back in their homes for the first time. excuse me, breakdown somewhere? leave the teacher alone you big bully and e pick on someone your own size. Just my opinion and entitled to it………….

  29. Liberal2 November 5, 2013 11:47 am

    I agree with her sentiments, but someone should have proofread this for her.

  30. George Markey November 5, 2013 11:41 am

    Oh, forgive me. In the private sector, people HAVE to handle it!

  31. George Markey November 5, 2013 11:40 am

    In the private sector, people seem to be able to handle it!!!

  32. William Timko Cffc November 5, 2013 11:40 am

    yes it is the problem, enuf already, they r looking to blame consevitves!!!! fools, they really think we want children to not get good educations, but I heard a lot of what goes on in the classroom isn’t education of the 3 R’s it’s political posturing, n brainwashing children into believing there views r the right ones

  33. William Timko Cffc November 5, 2013 11:37 am

    amen

  34. dave standard November 5, 2013 11:08 am

    the teachers refused to forgo a raise? get your facts straight. my wife is a teacher in paterson, where Christie refuses to honer their negotiated contract. she has not had a pay increase in 4 years, yet these teachers go to work every day for the children. how long could you stay in your job with no pay increase?

  35. Rafael Morera November 5, 2013 8:55 am

    Let’s vote him out!!!!

  36. George Markey November 4, 2013 9:56 pm

    As far as BadAss teacher, why don’t you call yourself “diehard liberal”!

  37. George Markey November 4, 2013 9:54 pm

    I checked out the article. This teacher spun this as if he was against education. He’s not. How quickly we forget that it was the teacher’s union that refused to forgo a raise, and therefore hurt the students. Christie inherited the economic problems Jim McGreevey and John Corzine ignored. He then chided the republicans in congress for not providing the state the aid necessary to assist us in the super-storm sandy disaster. He’s yelling because of the spin she put on the issue with him, and the spin she continued to put on the topic in the article. To insinuate the Governor is somehow against education is not only untrue, it’s utterly slanderous and ludicrous.

  38. NJEA Union IS the problem November 4, 2013 10:35 am

    Sounds like you have more of a bone to pick with your lackluster “union” than you do with Christie…

  39. Pingback: A Teacher Responds To Chris Christie’s Finger In Her Face | The New Civil Rights Movement

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