A Free State High School biology teacher’s essay defending his profession has gone viral.
In Aug. 2010, David Reber posted an essay on Examiner.com that called into question those who discredit teachers’ opinions about education because of their job.
Recently the opinion piece has seen a surge in interest. It has been viewed more than 20,000 times, posted to Facebook more than 5,000 times and has received hundreds of comments. In fact, it has spread so far that a teacher in Elmira, N.Y., came under fire for plagiarizing portions of the essay in the local newspaper.
According to the Star-Gazette, the head of the Elmira teachers’ union, Ric Lombardini, plagiarized Reber’s essay in an opinion piece published in the paper. Lombardini issued a statement apologizing to Reber, his teachers’ union and the school district.
Reber, who is the lead negotiator for the bargaining unit that represents Lawrence Public School’s 926 licensed educators, didn’t want to be interviewed for the story. But he said the issue has been resolved to his satisfaction.
The essay was written back in 2010 in response to online comments from a letter to the editor he had written to the Lawrence Journal-World. In that letter, Reber criticized the Kansas State Department of Education classifying Lawrence Public Schools as being “on improvement” in state assessment without having “set foot in our schools.”
The letter generated a flurry of comments and prompted Reber to post a response on Examiner.com.
In his essay, Reber asked in what other profession “are licensed professionals considered the least knowledgeable about the job,” “is experience viewed as a liability rather than an asset” and “is the desire for competitive salary viewed as proof of callous indifference towards the job.”