This is a lesson for every union leader and people who work at the DOE - how a top-level teacher can almost be destroyed when a lunatic principal is allowed to run rampant. (That same Leadership Academy Principal rubber-roomed one of our older ICE leaders who was the chapter leader).
We've witnessed Lauren's remarkable growth as a leader (don't be surprised to see her run for UFT president one day). She is now chapter leader at her school.
MORE current presidential candidate Jia Lee came out of the same cauldron of horror at that school and took on the dangerous job of chapter leader when the ICE CL was forced out - and a lesson -- many younger teachers facing these bully principals and remain in the system can find their way - and one of the first lessons is to get away from these awful principals as soon as you can to live so you can live to fight another day.
Lauren is one of many next-gen union leaders who have found strength and support in a group of like-minded people like those in MORE.
Just 2 years later in April 2014 Lauren Cohen got up in front of thousands of delegates at the NYSUT rep assembly and stood up to the bullying of Unity Caucus who booed her vociferously for mentioning the loyalty oath.
See this video of Lauren Cohen's speech at NYSUT RA, April 2014 and think of that young woman practically broken not too long before -- and also think that Unity Caucus/UFT leaders have done nothing to protect the teachers at this school: https://youtu.be/AbkqXmDz62Y
Here is an ed notes piece and link to NYC Educator in praise of Lauren from April 2014:
Yesterday morning I watched from the audience as Lauren Cohen, a petite young woman from the UFT MORE caucus, got up and addressed the NYSUT Representative Assembly as a candidate. When Lauren mentioned the UFT-Unity Loyalty oath, my 800 brothers and sisters from UFT-Unity tried to drown her voice with loud boos. The moderator had to get up and explain that it was not in the best traditions of public forums to prevent people from speaking. Lauren stood calmly, and continued undeterred after waiting a moment for the noise to subside. She demonstrated grace and thoughtfulness, neither of which was evident in the audience that saw fit to shout her down in the full view of UFT President Michael Mulgrew. ... NYC Educator, UFT-Unity Caucus Demonstrates How It Handles Dissent
The MORE presence and the Unity response exposed goon tactics to the entire state... even some Unity people were embarrassed and came over to Lauren to apologize. I believe Peter Goodman, one of the 800 Unity delegates, is urging unity after they split the state. Consequences, consequences, consequences -- you reap what you sow....Ed Notes
You mean THIS Lauren Cohen -- not that long ago, seemingly a bit shy -- gets booed, waits calmly and then rocks the house. Thus the power of being in a group like MORE - watching the growth of wonderful new leaders like Lauren.
|Only Unity Caucus would boo someone who loves puppies.|
Lauren was a victim of Unity Caucus perfidy way before Saturday, suffering, until she escaped, for years under an abusive, bully principal who has driven a number of staff, parents and children out of the school, all while the UFT/Unity leadership twiddled (and continues t twiddle) its thumbs. Thus Lauren has suffered a double dose of abuse from the union leadership, which by the way, made bogus claims it defends chapter leaders at the March Delegate Assembly. While Lauren was not CL, the previous gaggle of CLs at the school came under the evil eye of the principal -- again the UFT did nothing.
Both Lauren and her pal Jia Lee, also a MORE NYSUT candidate and a fugitive from the same school, came to MORE as a result of the abuse they suffered at that school and to Change the Stakes due to their stand against testing policy.
Below is Lauren in a shot from TV on Friday outside her new school, PS 321, making a very public stand against testing at the rally. She was also interviewed on TV. Less than 24 hours later, she was standing in front of her Unity Caucus fellow UFT members being booed.
This is the way of the goon mentality we face in battling against the evil empire (video will be up soon.) Booing one of the teachers with the guts to stand up to all bullies - the kind of person who would never be tolerated in the caucus. MORE continues to attract people like Lauren. I will highlight some of the others this week.
A photo of the MORE crew at the NYSUT RA with friends-- and many more were made over the weekend as the MORE presence and the Unity response exposed their tactics to the entire state.