April 14, 2006 1 min read

“If the teachers were for us, they wouldn’t be worrying about their health insurance.”

—Melissa Huotari, a junior at Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood, Michigan. In January, she and two classmates wore T-shirts emblazoned with “What About US!” to class as a response to the “Excellence in Education” shirts being worn by teachers, who seemed to be distracted by a contract dispute with the local board of education.

“My approach is Leave No Dollar Behind.”

—Philadelphia schools chief executive Paul Vallas, referring to his plan to sell naming rights to a $55 million public high school set to open this fall. According to a sales brochure, individuals and corporations have dozens of ways to get their names or corporate logos on the walls, from $25,000 for each classroom to $5 million for the whole school.

“The whole getting-shot-at thing—I have better things I want to do.”

—Boulder High School junior Luke Rothschild, about his decision to stay clear of U.S. military recruiters circulating through the halls with scholarship and other promises. The 16-year-old Coloradan is among a growing number of teenagers in the state signing what amounts to a do-not-call list for representatives of the armed services.

“You can only assume the union is involved.”

—Walnut Valley (California) Unified School District board president Cindy Ruiz, reacting to the red paint splattered on her driveway and a threatening note that appeared after a heated board meeting on teacher salaries. The Walnut Valley Educators Association denied involvement.

“She did exactly as she was trained to do.”

—Tom Saylor, principal of Ashley High School in Michigan, speaking about teacher Candy Burk. After noticing that one of her students, junior Christy Bolis, seemed unfocused in class, Burk notified Saylor and administrators called 911. Bolis, who said her home’s carbon monoxide detector had gone off the night before, was diagnosed with poisoning from the gas, as was her brother, who was summoned to the office. Both were released after a short stay in the hospital.