The Lorax, played by District Educators Association (DEA) member and high school Special Education teacher Jeff Lam, gave a well-received oratory at the Huntington Beach Union High School District (HBUHSD) Board meeting on Tuesday March 8. Delivered in “Loraxian Rhyme” he urged the school board to share its economic bounty evenly among all interest groups. The message was reinforced by 44 teachers who also took their turns at the microphone to urge a fair settlement.
Since the contract expired in June of 2015, DEA and HBUHSD have failed to negotiate a successor agreement. The teams have held 15 negotiations sessions with the district since last May, yet remain unsettled for the 2015-2016 school year.
It seemed apparent by the level of enthusiasm and support for DEA President Shawn Werner-who spoke eloquently on the need for settlement-that HBUHSD can expect more than a fable if future negotiations are not fruitful.
Jeff Lam’s original work appears below:
My name is the Lorax , and I speak for the teachers,
Those hardworking, dedicated, wonderful creatures,
And even though I, am just one of our bunch,
I speak for the group, because we have a hunch,
That with this new block, this big giant cash pie,
There’s enough for all parties, all kids, you and I.
There’s money for tech, and for brand new projectors,
and pencils and Elmos, for all our directors.
There’s still space for books, and curriculum measures,
And meetings, more meetings, our favorite pleasure.
And if it should rain, If the sky should come down,
I know we’ll be fine, Because you kept us sound,
With money you’ve managed, Through many depressions,
You’ve balanced our checkbook, And saved our collections.
You kept us from furlough, and losing our healthcare,
and maintained our monies, and kept us off welfare.
So all that I’m saying, As part of this crowd,
Is to share what you have, because we’ve made you proud.
For many of us, who grew up in this district,
We came back to teach here, and join this statistic.
We stand here as one, Neither Charger nor Baron,
But stand here as teachers, who love and be “carin”.
For students and children, the next future clump,
Of leaders, and who knows, (the next Donald Trump?!)
So as you advance, in these contract cash meetings,
We ask you to fairly, Act in these proceedings,
To bump up that 3, to a nice 6.5,
A generous, well earned, piece of the pie.