Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Terry Knapp calls it quits

Terry Knapp, my freshman biology teacher at Woodruff High School, has retired from his position as president of the Peoria Deferation of Teachers.

Mr. Knapp -- who was known for wearing colorful and mismatched clothes back in the late 1970s -- is a hell of a teacher. He actually had the audacity to teach actual birth control information to his advanced biology stuents, which was a major no-no during the Harry Whitaker era.

Not long after I graduated, the district started moving him around to different teaching jobs as punishment for daring to contact school board members directly with complaints. He sued and won.

When his son Nick was kept off the Northwestern University basketball team because they were overly concerned about a heart condition, he sued them too.

He brought that same integrity to his job as union leader. If he thought he was right, that was all he needed to know.

There aren't that many people like that these days.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

knapp: enjoy your retirement, but good riddance. Knapp was an obstructionist, teacher-job-protecting, union sponge who must have done more good in the classroom than he did with the union.

Bill Dennis said...

Knapp also stood up for teachers in a bunch of little ways. Back after the shooting at Woodruf High School, they started usign metal detectors. They scanned everyone. Including teachers.

The district thought it was being fair. Which is stupid. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Teachers weren't bring guns into school (although that's an idea worth considering).

Knapp pitched a fit and the practice was stopped as it should be.

Students do not need to see their teachers lowered to the level of poitential thugs. They needs to be seen as authority figures, not peoeple authoritiy figures fear. And if any parent or student thought this unfair, they should have been invited to take their business somewhere else.