Signs of the times: ‘Obscene’ teachers’ signs upset lawmakers

Some members of the Minnesota Legislature and political allies had their feelings hurt by strident signs from teachers imploring them to get it together in the final days of a do-little legislative session.

Teachers from Rochester demonstrated at the Capitol on Saturday for more K-12 funding, using FU — for “fund us” — on one of the signs. Another said, “WTF” — for “where’s the funding.”

“I’m very disappointed to see that type of disrespect and innuendo and vulgarity,” Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, the chair of the Senate’s E-12 Finance and Policy division, told the Rochester Post Bulletin. “It’s clearly unfortunate, and I’m sure that teachers, some may wish they hadn’t done that.”

“I look at it as our teachers are dedicated. They’re trying to get the best possible funding for education for our kids,” Rochester teachers union president Don Kuhlman told the paper. “We’ve seen it across the nation. You can see the frustration building in educators. And I think that frustration came out.”

A spokesperson for the Rochester Public Schools said, “We are disappointed with the signage we saw circulating on social media and we do not believe this is representative of our teaching community. We respect the process that the Minnesota Legislature uses and are appreciative of the budget that was brought forth last night,” according to Med City Beat.

But maybe the signs worked. At the time of the demonstration, Senate Republicans were proposing a 0.5 percent increase in per pupil funding. In a deal worked out Sunday, the lawmakers and governor agreed on a 2 percent increase.

  • Some members of the Minnesota Legislature and political allies had their feelings hurt by strident signs from teachers

    • John

      The feelings of the legislature are definitely the thing that I am least concerned about when it comes to running the state.

    • jon

      Didn’t even click play, yet the chorus is stuck in my head.

  • Pearl-clutching Republicans apparently sense no irony in complaining about these mildest of vulgarities while supporting a president who, well, you know.

    • Ben Chorn

      They just need a safe space

  • MrE85

    In all the years I have worked at the annual teachers conference in St. Paul, I have never seen a Republican lawmaker visiting, exhibiting or speaking. Not one.

    • BJ

      Lynn Osterman(sp) might have went I think from 45A around 2000-2006 ish.

      But it might have been after when she was lobbyist.

      But I might be thinking of the school board association.

    • Sonny T

      Who gets their money? That tells the story.

      • MrE85

        Who deserves their money?

        • Sonny T

          I’m not defending Republicans. But we have serious problems with our low-income students. By some measures the worst in the nation.

          The photo speaks volumes.

      • Jay T. Berken

        You can also ask, ‘Are there any teachers that are represented by a Republican in the state?’

      • RBHolb

        Why should that matter? Aren’t representatives supposed to represent everyone in their district, regardless of how much they rake in from them?

        • Sonny T

          What a darling concept.

          The union is doing what they’re supposed to do. Get more money. But management is supposed to do their thing. Which is reign in excess, and ensure quality.

          Somehow in all this the low-income student got left behind. If I were a legislator, I’d ask some hard questions before handing out more money.

          For instance, nearly all (over 90%) of our teachers have the same socio-economic background (see photo accompanying this article), one shared by less than half the students. We don’t need to be told this hurts the low-income student. We have the results.

          • They just wasted five months of taxpayer money not asking those allegedly hard questions.

            There is ZERO amount of Minnesota legislative sessions now that is about governing. It is 100% about winning the next election.


          • Sonny T

            Not too late. Or maybe it is

          • Session’s over. Committee deadline was weeks ago.

          • king harvest

            Not just 5 months. Republicans have had years to ask hard questions.

  • Gary F

    As we become more polarized and both sides fight for middle of the road voter, the snark turns a lot of people off.

    It’s funny now. It may not be that funny the day after the election.

    • BJ

      It’s not funny now.

    • People are angry. It doesn’t turn that many people off. These days, that’s the national fuel. What changes is what political philosophy has to be angry. People judge their response to it accordingly. Like everything else.

      • J Allen

        The “WTF” as written on the signs is intended to get attention about the lack of funding. I don’t read it as being an insult, personally, but more a play on words. Kind of like how “SNAFU” could get used.

    • kevins

      Ahhhh Gary, were you around in ’68 through ’74? Snark wasn’t even slang then, but there was a bit of polarization. It’s nothing new.

    • Rob

      I don’t think funny is what the teachers were aiming for.

  • Jerry

    Acronyms are vulgarity? Nobody tell these sensitive souls about Cockney rhyming slang.

  • kevins

    “..some may wish they hadn’t done that”. What’s that supposed to mean????

    • X.A. Smith

      She might regret making that veiled threat. Or, she might not.

  • lusophone

    When a school teacher resorts to profanity or in this case alludes to profanity, you know they are serious. I love the juxtaposition.

  • We need to do whatever we can to properly educate our children so they can be smart, think for themselves, have critical thinking skills, and a desire to be well informed.

    This, of course,is bad news for Internet comment sections and many politicians.

  • Jeff
  • FlyoverPhilosopher

    Poor snowflake Republicans…can’t take the heat, or just don’t like it when others borrow their playbook and turn it against them.