I quit posting to Twitter over a year ago (too many eggs harassing women and not enough return on my time), but despite not tweeting, I still browse tweets to try and read the atmosphere during big events (Super Bowl, elections, debates, etc.) One of my favorite things to witness on Twitter is a marketing backfire-- when someone buys a trending topic or tries to start problems and then magic happens and the opposite of what they wanted becomes a trending topic. Take #thanksobama for instance: a Republican group tried to get everyone blaming President Obama for things in a trending topic, but the Twitterverse was not having it and instead turned it into a joke that President Obama even got in on himself.
It happened again today, this time to a special interest group that was trying to undermine public education.
How it Started
According to the Dallas Morning News, PAC Empower Texas sent out letters to school employees across the state of Texas last week encouraging them to blow the whistle on districts that used school resources to promote liberal candidates. Teacher advocates have labeled the promotion of this conspiracy theory as an attempt to suppress voter turnout ahead of the March Primaries.
While there is a push to turn out the vote for the over 700,000 teachers in Texas, it is a non-partisan push (as required by law) based on turnout and not support of any particular candidates. Organizations that support the privatization of public education simply don't want teachers to vote because we're one of the biggest workforces in the country, and we clearly don't have the same goals for education.
Twitter has responded in the most glorious, cheeky way possible with #blowingthewhistle, and you should join in.
Teachers and friends of teachers are using #blowingthewhistle to call out the amazing things teachers do that go above and beyond the call of duty. Many of these tweets highlight the problems public education faces, including a large portion that address childhood poverty and hunger and underfunded classrooms.
We know kids come to school with more problems than most private schools are willing to handle: hunger, bullying, mental health issues, poverty, disabilities, and more. Instead of gutting our system to set-up a for-profit mega-industry that stuffs the pockets of a few at the cost of our most vulnerable children, let's fight to get Public Education what it needs.
This hashtag will hopefully highlight some great teachers out there. If you tweet, head on over to Twitter and blow the whistle on a great teacher with "Hey @EmpowerTexans, I'm #blowing the whistle on..."
Don't forget to tag the people who started it all! Let them know their effort and postage didn't go to waste. ?
Amy is a drama teacher with an M.Ed. in Secondary Education, ELA, teaching in the suburbs of Birmingham, AL.