Friday, August 05, 2016


This week The Lens has published a series of reports on the recent union drive at Lusher Charter. As has become the typical M.O. over there, about two thirds of the story is about the The Lens trying to get hold of some records. I'm not sure if they write all their stuff this way just for the sake of transparency or because they need a more neutral seeming angle to stories that are likely to piss off some of their donors. 

In any case, the actual story here is that the Lusher administration and its allies on the school's board of directors reacted to the organizing efforts with extreme paranoia and vindictiveness
Board member Chunlin Leonhard penned an opinion piece for Uptown Messenger in which she all but endorsed the union drive.

Board Secretary Rachel Wisdom told the rest of the board that Leonhard had undermined the board’s neutral position in the election. In a point-by-point rebuttal, Leonhard insisted she had merely expressed her personal views.

Casey Hurstell, a Lusher employee and Riedlinger’s niece, claimed pro-union teacher Larissa Gray had “body checked” her at a board meeting.

LeCesne said the accusation was unsubstantiated and asked why Riedlinger had passed it on to the board so quickly without checking it first. Board Vice President Paul Barron responded that if she had, she probably would have been accused of intimidating a union supporter.

Gray declined to address the incident directly but said, “My engagement with United Teachers of Lusher was characterized by professionalism and integrity. At every step of the process.”

Leonhard, a Loyola University law professor, received a harshly worded email from businessman Greg Rusovich in which he criticized her for expressing support for the union. He told her that he was suspending a scholarship for Serbian students at Loyola’s College of Law until he could discuss the matter with his family.

“You have every right to your free speech, we have every right to spend our money as we deem appropriate,” he wrote.
Not really a surprise, I guess. But I do hope no u9nsuspecting Serbian students lost their scholarships because somebody was offended by an op-ed in Uptown Messenger.

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