Meridian Teachers Violate District Mail Policy (Again)

Despite continued admonitions from the administration, Meridian teachers continue to use the official school e-mail for political union activities.

District Super Dr. Linda Clark got a copy of a union political e-mail leaked to the office of State Super Tom Luna Tuesday which is causing a bit of a stir. (We can only assume Super Tom was not happy). The GUARDIAN and other news outlets were also provided a copy of the message from teacher Eric Thies to a long list of other teachers. Essentially the union goal is to collect 10 signatures per certified teacher in an effort to get a referendum question on the ballot against the Luna education reform plan recently passed by the legislature.

This should not be confused with the efforts of the Meridian District to pass an over ride bond to make up for loss of revenues from the state and due to lower property values. Boise School District’s board is also seeking an over ride in August.

Here is the text of the Thies political message to teachers:
Subject: FW: Referendum!
It’s time to gather signatures for the referendum!

The referendum will put the new laws 1108, 1110, and 1184 on the ballot in November
2012 for the public to have a voice!
MEA needs to gather and turn in 10,000 signatures. 40% of our goal needs to be
reached by Monday May 2nd.

The petitions are separated into packets with a petition for 1108, 1110, and 1184.
The petitions cannot be separated or altered in any way (you cannot take them apart,
write anything on the petitions, etc.).

Here’s what we need from you:

· How many petitions do you need? We will send them via district mail or you
can pick them up from our office. The petitions cost about $3 each so we are
sending them to people who are willing to collect signatures. This can include
members, nonmembers, family, friends, etc.

· When is your school event scheduled? (This could be a Power Hour, Walk
About, School Activity (book fair, carnival, other school activity)

· Once signatures are gathered, they must be notarized.

o The person who gathers the signatures must get them notarized. We can come out
to your school to notarize, you can come to the MEA office, Capital Educators
notarizes for free, ask your bookkeeper or secretary as they may be notary’s as

· Please let us know if you have questions. We are here to help you!

District spokesman Eric Exline acknowledged the memo was in obvious violation of the District poilicy manual which is available to the public and every teacher. He said discipline is up to the administration. Since that would qualify as a “personnel matter” we will likely never know if action was taken or not.

We find it ironic the teachers are putting themselves at risk on this issue because the Idaho Legislature–given its historical record–is likely to simply repeal any referendum passed by the public. That’s what they did with term limits and the 1% property tax limitation.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Chris Peterson
    Apr 19, 2011, 4:13 pm

    So where are the stories of those who support the Luna education bills and emailed from Their public accounts? I am sure there are some out there. Looks like one side just wants to tattle on the other so the press will eat it up. There are many ‘R’ teachers out there that support the bills.

  2. guardian, is the meridian override levy a majority vote or 60% or what?

    EDITOR NOTE–Both Boise and Meridian overrides should be simple majority because they are not for long term debt (like bonds for construction or remodel). We look for this trend of local votes to continue–just like in Garden Valley. The issue goes way beyond “too much administration.” When the richer districts pass over rides and the poor ones don’t, it will be a major class issue…we will see once and for all if more money means better education.

  3. Emiratesflyboy
    Apr 19, 2011, 6:52 pm

    Indeed, it is somewhat ironic that Luna sent an email using his state account to the Sup of MSD complaining about teachers using their email accounts to support the recall. So to be clear: if Luna is doing the political stuff it’s OK, but if his opponents are doing the same thing, it is evil.

  4. Just tell me where and when to vote please.

    EDITOR NOTE–This one is NOT an election yet. It is merely a signature gathering effort to get a repeal of the Luna reforms passed by the legislature…which is already in the story.

  5. This story of the actions of the teachers is exactly what has lead to the new education legislation. For decades school boards, administrators, and taxpayers have asked legislators to rein in the union control and bullying. This year they did.

    Now we have to protect their actions while our boards and administrations have time to reconfigure the schools for the benefit of children and learning, and not for the union bosses.

  6. The emails & names of the teachers who sent them out can be found at

    Thats where the story first broke.

    EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN got the same tip the other media got and independently confirmed the facts. We chose not to publish the recipients names.

  7. There are only two reasons to make a mistake. 1- You don’t know. 2- You don’t care. Given that this issue has been covered previously, the only option left is the Meridian teachers just plain don’t care! Given that complete disregard for policy, their credibility in this matter is completely shot! I can only question the intelligence of the Meridian Education Association and it’s members. They are acting like petulant children! Thus the question, who is running the asylum out there????

  8. The headline may be a little misleading, as the earlier email came from one school principal. Yes these employees should be reprimanded, but no more than any public employee who misuses their email.

  9. “o The person who gathers the signatures must get them notarized. We can come out
    to your school to notarize, you can come to the MEA office, Capital Educators
    notarizes for free, ask your bookkeeper or secretary as they may be notary’s as

    This was written by a teacher? No wonder our kids don’t get it.

    I had trouble getting through the rest of the article after being distracted by the apostrophe in the word that should have read “notaries”. The entire paragraph displays literacy issues.


  10. Teachers will put themselves “at risk” for this type of behavior because they know there is no down side and that the school admin has no ability to hurt them. Frankly they simply do not care what the district admin thinks or does here.

  11. So glad I’m going to get to vote on the Meridian override in May. Any guesses what that vote of mine might be?

    I am so sick of teachers not sticking to teaching but going into activating instead.(I know it should be activism but activating fits.) Are they supposed to be the only job category that gets to keep taking from their employers in a horrible economy? The people who pay their salaries get laid off or furloughed and they are supposed to get raises or have their working conditions made even more cushier than they already are?

    It seems more teachers need more real world experience.

  12. James Dugan
    Apr 21, 2011, 5:28 pm

    Serious, you folk are upset that a teacher sent an email at 9:00 at night? Tell me you’ve never taken a pen home from work.

    If politics didn’t screw teachers quite so hard, teachers wouldn’t have to get involved in politics…

    If Luna has issue with how teachers are responding to his Laws, then maybe he should have invited one or two to the table to discuss education reform and it’s impact on students.

    You really think spending 10 million a year on “mobile computing devices” for freshmen in high school is a good use of taxpayers money? You’re correct, fiscal responsibility is over rated… Especially in times of economic crises.

  13. James, after the THIRD reprimand for using email lists that don’t belong to them sent in violation of state policies, you bet your “bippy” I am upset. What kind of message are these teachers conveying to the students and community as a whole by espousing ” follow the rules unless you are us, and then the rules be damned”!!

    In the current economic condition we find ourselves, what in God’s name makes teachers feel they are exempt from sacrifice? It is obvious that teachers are intelligent enough (I hope) to understand, WE HAVE NO MORE FRIKKIN MONEY!!! Given that, it is equally obvious that the teachers union just doesn’t give a damn!!!
    We hear how “frustrated” teachers are, well guess what? We are equally “frustrated” with teachers that don’t follow policies! It is time to “cleanse the gene pool” in the teachers unions!

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