Teachers Union Fought to Keep Parents out of Suit then Failed to Show up for Trial
BATON ROUGE, La., March 23, 2015 – Last month, Louisiana parents were outraged when the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Iberville School District argued that parents should not be heard as a party to the lawsuit that will determine their children’s future.
Now, PublicSchoolOptions.org has learned that three local divisions of the union have been removed as plaintiffs by order of the judge for the case. According to court documents, their removal is a result of their failure to appear in court during the three-day trial in early March. The order can be found here: Judgment-3-4-15.
Representatives from the Association of Educators in Caddo Parish, Concordia Parish, and St. Landry Parish were determined to have not been present as arguments were heard and witnesses called in a case that could close schools serving 13,000 Louisiana students.
While union representatives were notably absent, the parents they fought to keep from joining the suit as defendants were present for the trial.
“My children mean the world to me. Of course I’m going to be there as the future of their school hangs in the balance,” said Jenette Franklin.
“It’s sad enough that the union is fighting to take my kids’ education away from us. It was even more unbelievable when they argued to silence us as they attempt to end charter funding. And it’s downright shameful now that they didn’t even care enough about the education Louisiana children receive to show up in court for the suit they’ve brought to shut down our schools,” she continued.
In January, parents Jennette Franklin and Christin Kaiser, and PublicSchoolOptions.org asked the court to intervene as defendants in the case of the Louisiana Educators Association vs State of Louisiana. The Association of Educators and Iberville Parish successfully argued to keep the petitioners on the sidelines. In the suit, the union asks that public funding be discontinued to Type 2 charter schools in the state, which would cause the schools to close. Type 2 charter schools currently serve over 13,000 students in the state. A decision is expected in the case shortly after closing arguments are heard on May 15.