When I attended my freshman orientation at Vermilion High School in August 2004, I was encouraged to form and maintain healthy relationships with my teachers. I decided to heed that advice and in my four years at VHS I formed what I thought were strong bonds with many of my teachers.
When Commencement exercises were held for the Vermilion High School Class of 2008, the majority of my teachers were not in attendance. When I learned that the "no-show" was a pre-meditated act of solidarity planned by the teachers "to send a message" regarding their current contract situation I was disappointed to say the least.
I realize that the collective bargaining process is a linchpin of a free market economic system and that The Vermilion Teachers Association has an obligation to negotiate a deal that is in the best interest of all members. But for the teachers to treat the graduation ceremony, a celebration of all that the Class of 2008 has accomplished in the past 12 years, as a nothing more than a bargaining chip was wrong.
While at Vermilion High I was constantly told that relationships are "two-way streets." If I was respectful and always put forth my best effort, my teachers would always be there for me. Yet on June 7, the majority of my teachers went against everything they had preached over the last four years. Their abandonment of the Class of 2008 was a major disappointment to me and will not be forgotten.