Courtney Johnson is an English teacher at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio. She has worked for Columbus City Schools for over ten years and, recently, she’s been an outspoken critic of Senate Bill 5 and the disastrous budget bills Republicans are trying to push through the legislature.
She’s spoken about workers rights at multiple rallies in Ohio and at congressional hearings in DC and, like many other public employees in Ohio, she’s decided to fight back against Kasich and the GOP-controlled Legislature’s attacks on hard working teachers, fire fighters and police officers and to stand up against Kasich’s job-killing, anti-education budget.
Last week Courtney sent me a letter she was writing to Ohio’s elected officials and she’s kindly given us permission to print it here are Plunderbund.
A few days ago, as I lobbied at the Statehouse, there were a lot of “thank you’s” being tossed around. I’m sorry that I didn’t offer many in person, but I value these words immensely. So here goes:
Thank you House of Representatives for removing the SB5 provisions from the budget bill. Those provisions have already passed, and now it is up to the citizens of Ohio to decide if they stand.
Thank you Senators for keeping them out of the budget yesterday. Thank you for not end-running the voters of Ohio.
Thank you for doing your job: standing up for what is right for the people of the state of Ohio.
And while I’m at it:
Thank you for limiting my choice about what happens to my body.
Thank you for not letting me have a chance to speak out when you limited my choice about what happens to my body.
Thank you for cutting public education funding so deeply that my mother’s special education job no longer exists as she knew it.
Thank you for the look in my child’s eyes when I come home from whatever meeting, rally, hearing, or signature gathering just before he falls asleep.
Thank you for making me miss yet another evening being a mom.
Thank you for making it more difficult for my child and my students to compete with the “best and brightest.”
Thank you for turning my chosen career, teaching, into a four-letter word.
Thank you for enlightening me that something as complex as teaching and learning can be judged by bubbling in circles.
Thank you for getting so tired of our mass messages that you removed your email addresses from your website.
Thank you for your constant hospitality at the Statehouse, except for that one day you locked the doors.
Thank you for deciding that my life is more valuable than those of our safety forces.
Thank you for showing me how very important it is that people have the power to ensure that democracy is carried out.
Thank you for the awakening in myself and my fellow progressive brothers and sisters.
Thanks for giving me something to vote for and candidates to support to remove you from office.