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SEIU complains about parents being barred from event

Friday, Feb 26, 2016


Thursday morning, Governor Rauner visited Belleville East High School to give a speech. Several parents of students from the school district were cleared by the principal to attend the event. The parents, also SEIU members, were hopeful to hear what the governor had to say and to ask him why he continues to push for painful cuts to child care and home care programs. On their arrival after presenting their identification at the door however, representatives from the governor’s office denied them entry and these members – Rauner’s constituents – were forced out of the building by security.

We’ve got a House Speaker who has official “No Parking by Police Order” signs placed in front of his opponent’s campaign office and a governor who apparently bars parents from attending an event at their own kids’ school.

Yep, we’re making great progress here.

* But is it all the union says it is? At least one of those people turned away wasn’t a parent

School district officials confirmed that a small group arrived on campus after the press conference began and were asked to leave.

One woman said she was initially allowed onto campus but turned away at the media room’s door.

“It wasn’t like I broke laws, they allowed me in and then they rejected me and didn’t explain why,” said Deaundra Tunstull, a member of SEIU and a home child-care provider. Tunstull does not have a child at Belleville East, but says she was among four from SEIU who wanted to question the governor about lack of state funding for child care providers.

…Adding… From SEIU…

They were parents of the school district. Might not have been from that very school, but they knew the principal and had gotten clearance.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon221 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    From the article:

    During the tour led by Principal Jason Karstens and 10 East students, the principal asked Rauner if he was a Cardinals or Cubs fan.

    “I support whatever the people of Illinois tell me to support,” he said.


    That true only for baseball??? (partial snark)

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    Here’s what I know…

    It’s February 26th. March 15th is around the corner.

    “Wasting” time protesting a governor who is not on the ballot, instead of working districts and specifically precincts in those districts, will not change Bruce Rauner’s mind on anything right now.

    Sending a message at a school is “nice”.

    Sending a message at the ballot box? That will get people’s attention.

  3. - Nick Danger - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:32 am:

    subterfuge everywhere. and yes, we are making such great progress here.

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:42 am:

    Stupid thing to complain about, distracting and thick-headed.

    SEIU can exercise their right to assemble and confront the governor in public spaces where the safety and security of children are not the primary concern.

    If you don’t have legitimate business in a school, you have no right or expectation to be allowed in to do “whatever” among other people’s children.

    In case you haven’t noticed, schools have very legitimate security concerns about who gets inside their buildings and for what purpose.

    If you want to beat this guy, get smarter and pick your fights. This ain’t one of them.

  5. - jerry 101 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    Union members don’t qualify as parents or constituents in Rauner’s world.

  6. - highspeed - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    What purpose did it serve to give a speech at a high school?

  7. - AC - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    ==“Wasting” time protesting a governor who is not on the ballot, instead of working districts and specifically precincts in those districts, will not change Bruce Rauner’s mind on anything right now.==

    Because, clearly there is only one overworked staff member at SEIU, and they are incapable of assisting the non-Raunerite candidates while simultaneously holding an event that helps to remind voters of why March 15th is so important. /s

  8. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    What was the Governor’s legitimate business at the school? He went to southeast high school in Springfield this week as well, and disrupted classes there.

  9. - Anon221 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    To build on OW’s comments. We all carry some form of ID. Might be a good time to carry a card reminding yourself of your legislative districts and your current legislators. If you don’t know them, get to know them, and pass it on-

    Use the Illinois Sunshine site to light your way, too!

  10. - Beaner - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    360: I heard one of the Students asked the Governor about the MAP grants.
    Rauner: “That Madigan.”

  11. - Anon221 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    From the article- “He came here to open the eyes of high-schoolers — us high-schoolers will be voting soon. It opened my eyes to the bigger picture of Illinois. I never thought about it until he came in today,” Ly said.

    Hopefully, students will continue to think about it, ask serious questions, investigate, and (hopefully) learn the value of a vote.

  12. - FIREDup! - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    The Governor has apparently been touring high schools all week. In Springfield, a few Southeast High students grilled him on MAP grant funding.

  13. - Stones - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    For a Governor who claims that he’s not afraid to take the arrows - he certainly seems to avoid as many arrows as possible.

  14. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    On Tuesday, he was at Woodruff Tech & Career Center in Peoria. I understand some of this is within the Governor’s job description, and is allowable. But looking at his schedule all week, he went to three schools to “discuss school funding and educational reforms”. High school kids and teachers know they are being used for props.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    ===Because, clearly there is only one overworked staff member at SEIU, and they are incapable of assisting the non-Raunerite candidates while simultaneously holding an event that helps to remind voters of why March 15th is so important. /s===

    What was “gained” with this school thingy?

    “Never mistake activity for achievement.” - John Wooden

    These types of “protests” always confuse me. Time is better spent, right now, “doing something else”

  16. - Trolling Troll - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    This was what was asked during his visit to south east high in Springfield. And his response. I find it funny that a high school junior has more intestinal fortitude to ask the tough questions than the press corps. If Illinois falls the blame will rest soley in the press. IMHO.

  17. - illini - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    Willy and Wordslinger, once again, are to the post and exactly on point. My sentiments exactly. I only hope others are paying attention and will consider their sage advise.

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    –What was the Governor’s legitimate business at the school?–

    Oh, please, that’s silly beyond belief. Like I said, if you want to beat this guy, get smarter and pick your fights.

    Look, it would be swell if we lived in a world where school officials didn’t have to be concerned about security, and anybody and everybody could just walk in and out of their buildings all day long.

    But we don’t. And school administrators have enough on their plates without policing political protesters.

    Let me ask you this — would you have been comfortable if conceal-carry proponents could have just walked in to any school Pat Quinn was speaking at to confront him?

    Time and place, folks, time and place.

  19. - Mama - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    Were they wearing their SEIU T-shirts are they were told to leave?

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:09 am:

    ===more intestinal fortitude to ask the tough questions than the press corps===

    Oh, please.

    He’s been asked much tougher questions on this topic than that kid did.

    I know you’re a self-admitted troll, but try stop being such a victim.

  21. - Mama - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    ==What was “gained” with this school thingy?==
    Rauner knows those high school students will be old enough to vote by the time his re-election comes around.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    - Mama -

    My question was in reference to the “protestors”, not the governor.

  23. - There is power in a union... - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    Better used elsewhere? Not like they could have done a ton of door knocking or phone banking for Stratton while everyone is at work.

    They tried, it didn’t work, move on to the next thing.

  24. - cdog - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    It is a known fact that Rauner discourages and silences dissent.

    Will the GOP “own?”
    Time will tell. We will know more on March 15, and Nov 8.

    (The “time and place” facts with this particular incident may be valid, but the above fact stands.)

  25. - Bill White - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    I’m not convinced it was the Speaker’s people who posted those “No Parking” signs by Gonzo’s office.

    He could have but then again, swiping or printing a pad of blank “No Parking” signs would be child’s play.

    How many campaigns actually throw bricks through the other guy’s window?

    On the other hand, there is no doubt that the Governor blocked parents from attending his event.

  26. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    I disagree with respect, on what these SEIU workers should be doing to be more productive. What primary races are there in the Metro East to work on? They did everything they could within their local area. They confronted the Governor, got pushed out by Governor’s staff, and got press for it. Job accomplished.

  27. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    It is perfectly fine for governors to visit their state’s public high schools. A governor shouldn’t have to deal with emotional turmoil when seeing public school pupils. It is time for governor and future leaders and time for students to ask him questions.

    Having adults show up to stage a controversy is in my opinion, unhelpful and belittling to everyone.

    I can’t stand the guy, but this is no time for adults to wreck public school student’s opportunity to meet their governor, regardless of how crappy they do their job.

  28. - FAIRNESS AND FAIRNESS ONLY - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 10:39 am:

    Voter apathy and turnout are lower than ever. I’m glad to see the governor - and other politicians - visit our schools and encourage the kids to get involved and, at least, learn about their state political process. My kids have had visits from Democrats and Republicans. They’ve learned more and engaged in the process as a result.

    I am a parent with kids in school. I do not want to see anyone protesting the governor or other politicians, grinding their own axes, at the schools. It’s the wrong time and wrong place. There are plenty of other speaking engagements to crash.

  29. - Exit 59 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    Why didn’t they just email the Guv? Oh…nevermind.

  30. - Lil Squeezy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    Schools should not be used for soap boxes. Politicians should be allowed and even encouraged to attend schools, but only to teach about the importance of our political process. Likewise, activists comments in front of children at school should be limited to the importance of citizen activism. Neither side should use children as pawns during school hours. That is not what they are there for.

  31. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    Count me in with Willy, Word, VM, and all who concur that SEIU’s “Parent Protest” missed the mark.

    Aside from the security concerns, I think it’s rare that “parents” would be allowed on school grounds whenever a public figure stops by to speak to a class or two. Dick Durbin has been doing so for years with no such drama. Of course, about 2 days after the Rauner visit, the IEA President, writing as a “former Southeast teacher” pens a rather formulaic Guest Commentary in the SJ-R suggesting Rauner stay in the Capitol and work on the Budget impasse.

  32. - JS Mill - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    = I think it’s rare that “parents” would be allowed on school grounds whenever a public figure stops by to speak to a class or two=

    If the official is addressing students, especially in the classroom, then that is correct. Highly unusual.

    If the official is addressing an assembly or something similar, we often invited parents in to see what was going on, especially if kids were getting and award. In my 20 plus years doing this, we never allowed a parent or parents question and answer time in either of these scenarios.

    We have had officials in for evening events that were generally intended for adults (mainly open to community) but students were always allowed. That would be the one scenario where parents or community may be able to ask questions etc. but that is a completely different scenario.

    In this instance they (adults/parents)just had no business being there. Plain and simple.

  33. - Tinsel Town - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    Apparently Bruce can stand the tough questions and most likely the video booing him.

  34. - Whatever - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    If there is any value to the Governor in making these appearances, there is also value in someone being present who will call him out on his message to the students. And the principal obviously thought there was no security issue, it was the governor’s people who denied entry, so student safety is a red herring.

  35. - onevoter - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    Well said Wordslinger @ 9:42 am

  36. - WK - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 2:43 pm:

    Why is this even a story. They should not have been on school grounds period. Wordslinger was spot on with his comment.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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