NEWARK, N.J. — Teachers' unions have given their members an image as "complainers who don't like children" and "strike at the drop of the hat," Education Secretary William J. Bennett said in a published report Sunday.
In an interview with the Star-Ledger, Bennett said the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Assn. are doing a disservice to teachers in the eyes of the American public.
Bennett said strikes and complaints by union leaders have given teachers an image as "hang-dog, down-in-the-mouth complainers who don't like children, strike at the drop of the hat, who are always screaming for more money and who are generally put upon and willing to tell you so every time you talk to them."
"Teachers are frankly better and more sensible human beings than the impression you would get from listening to some of their union leaders," Bennett said. Most teachers actually like their work, like children, and "generally like life and are content with the state of the universe," he said.