Stop Derision of Public School Teachers

Target: Bill Lee, Governor of Tennessee

Goal: Speak out in favor of public schools and educators.

“[They come from] the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country.” These shameful words were said about Tennessee’s public school educators. They were uttered by a man who has shown great disdain for the public education that shaped most Americans and who is currently in a partnership with the state to build and promote his private charter schools. And this vile speech had one smiling and clapping member of note with a front-row seat: Governor Bill Lee.

After the controversial comments, educators, everyday Tennesseans, and state lawmakers overwhelmingly from Lee’s own party unequivocally condemned the attack on some of the state’s hardest-working and most underpaid employees. They called the speech inexcusable and demanded the governor rethink his partnership with this individual, or—at the very least—defend his state’s teachers. Yet the governor, a long-time advocate of charter schools, has remained silent. Even when he took the stage after this speech, he made no mention of the harsh and hateful words spoken moments before, choosing instead to launch familiar attacks on school curriculums.

Sign the petition below to demand this governor support public education and the teachers who have helped enrich the minds and the prospects of America’s youth for decades.


Dear Governor Lee,

“Dumbest”: is this dismissive, hateful, and derogatory word really what you think of the school systems of the state you were chosen to lead? Every day that you do not condemn the snobbish and demeaning philosophy of Larry Arnn, the man with whom you’ve partnered, is a day Tennesseans are left to wonder if you share his horrible views. And every day you refuse to stand up for the women and men who have devoted their lives to educating this state’s youth is a day you turn your back on Tennessee.

Break your silence and support some of the smartest, most committed citizens this state has produced. Support public school teachers and, more importantly still, support public schools not just through words but through your actions. Do not support a man or a system that sneers at both.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Dids


  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    This is disgraceful and those responsible should be made to RECANT these insensitive and ignorant comments. Public school teachers are VITAL, they help so many children and are under appreciated and underpaid. How dare you all say such things. Your ignorance and lack of respect for others is unacceptable.

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