Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune found himself expelled from school at the age of 38 over a political cartoon that sharply criticized the teachers union in California. Breen had been invited to speak to students at a Point Loma elementary school until they saw this cartoon in the U-T:
A little harsh? Perhaps; the state of California hardly got hijacked by the unions against their will, at least not “Sacramento” as representing its government. The Democrats who run the state willingly allied themselves with these powerful unions and stuck it to the taxpayers on their behalf. Rename the ship “California Taxpayers” and that may be more on target.
However, even with that in mind, the snub of Breen is ridiculous. What did they want Breen to discuss with the students — how to suck up to special interests and not rock the boat in order to achieve success? He’s a political cartoonist, for Pete’s sake. He takes political positions every day, and given the political action of the teachers union in California and everywhere else, they should be the last people to get hypersensitive about that.
The most humorous irony in this object lesson is that Breen was about to start a career as a high-school history teacher when he got his first opportunity to work at a newspaper. Four years later, he won a Pulitzer for his work at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press. I’m betting that he’s considering his decision to leave the teaching profession as even better after today.