What do the events of 40 years ago have to do with teachers’ lives today? A lot, it turns out.
Active and retired teachers who gathered this May to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Bridgeport Teachers Strike reflected on how the lessons from the strike are still very relevant to teachers today. As teachers work to ensure the best for their students and keep the teaching profession strong, the motto of the strikers, “We stick together,” is still crucial today to ensuring success.
CEA President Sheila Cohen addressed active and retired teachers at a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Bridgeport teachers strike.
Hundreds of active and retired teachers, some of whom hadn’t seen each other in decades, gathered yesterday evening to commemorate a historic milestone—the Bridgeport teachers strike of 1978—which, for many, has brought to mind the wave of uprisings and walkouts happening across the country today.
“How ironic that the timing of this 40th anniversary plays into the Supreme Court case of Janus v. AFSCME, an attack on the very people who are here today and all those we represent,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “How ironic, as well, that the timing is seemingly synchronized with what has been happening in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, and soon, North Carolina.”
Seeking fair wages and better working conditions, including prep time and smaller class sizes, a total of 274 Bridgeport teachers in 1978 were handcuffed, fined, and jailed, as well as strip-searched, deloused, made to use bathroom stalls without doors, and subject to other degradations. Read more