Robert Reboli, a basic skills and remedial English teacher at Madison Avenue Elementary School in Irvington, has some advice for his fellow educators as they prepare to fight Gov. Christopher Christie’s proposed state budget: “Never trust a fat fuck.”
That’s what Reboli posted on a Facebook group called New Jersey Teachers United Against Governor Chris Christie’s Pay Freeze, which has more than 57,000 fans — a powerful grass roots tool as the teachers union fights Christie’s proposed state budget.
But comments posted on the social networking site – most of them during school hours — often get personal as they exercise their first amendment rights.
“How do you spell Asshole? C-H-R-I-S C-H-R-I-S-T-I-E,” wrote Peter Griffin, the supervisor of the music department at Hopewell Valley Regional High School. “To those of you who voted for this fat piece of shit, shame on you!”
Beth Berzanskis, who makes $83,000 a year as an elementary school librarian in East Brunswick, calls Christie’s budget cuts “rediculous” (sic).
A Newark elementary school teacher wants her colleagues to encourage students to write protest letters to Christie. “My fourth graders will be writing,” said Andrea Hamilton.
Some educators try to be constructive. Jeffrey Lawson, a science teacher at Milltown High School, is proposing a 3% sales tax on clothing in order so that the state can afford to pay teachers. And some teachers, like Rockaway High School math teacher Toni Clark, try to explain what’s going on.
“Do not agree to pay a freeze,” Clark says. “It will in turn be a pay cut when you are giving (part) of your salary for health care.”
But others are just mean.
“He is such a liar. Liar. Liar. Liar. And many of you bought his crap. Thanks to all who voted for him and his bullshit,” wrote Angelic Delcher, a middle school teacher in Egg Harbor Township.
Chris Larson, an art teacher at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, says of Christie: “this piece of crap should not be allowed by any type of school to set one foot on campus, college, high school or day care. He is raping the educational system. We just got our proposed budget and it doesn’t look good.”
Camden County Vocational and Technical High School biology teacher Marlene Brubaker says that “KingKrisKristy is copying from another famous dictator: Pol Pot, who got rid of teachers and intellectuals and turned the population against them. NJ has its own Khmer Rouge, it’s your Legislature.”
“King Kris Krustie is quite the trickster. He has taken our the democratic process, and runs the state of NJ by executive proclamations. Your legislature is full of KKK’s yes-men. They bow to his will. They all need to be kicked out of office. I always called NJ the ‘Nazi state’ I used to be joking,” Brubaker wrote. “Where did he graduate from, get them to revoke his degrees.”
Another Pol Polt reference posted by Brubaker: “He reigned in terror, his target was teachers and intellectuals. They were either killed or put into forced labor…King Kris Kristy is headed in this direction…this is hardly hyperbole .. He wants to roll back the clock to the days where teachers lived with a family in the community, where we had to be single! Where we were the smartest kid in the 8th grade. Remember when married women got fired when they showed their baby-bump? My mom lost her job, when I was 6 mo. in utero…welcome to the fiefdom of KingKrisKristy, where going back to the ‘good ol days’ is the law of the land.”
“WTF? Seriously? This man makes me ill!” said Nicola Jefferey, who teaches second grade in Elizabeth.
Amelia Tartaglia Reganis, a pre-school teacher employed by the Pemberton Board of Education says that Christie’s mother “was supposedly a teacher, so I guess she put the hammer down on her darling son, Chris, when he was a kid. I think she must have hidden the Twinkies from him. So now Christie is on a witch hunt and against the teachers and eating tons of Twinkies!”
“In the NJ kingdom of King Kris Kristie, the King has proclaimed, abolish all STARS programs, therefore, all children shall be left behind, and increase the King’s caloric intake for one govenor (sic) with a big behind!,” Reganis wrote in a subsequent post.
A school psychologist for the Kearny Board of Education, Nicole Marino, suggests that teachers might retaliate against students if they are unhappy with the governor. “Christie is going to take that away from all of us. Either support us or take your comments somewhere else. The last group of people you want educating your children is those that feel they are undercompensated and underappreciated and most of all discriminated against,” she wrote.