Neshaminy Parent: 'You Don’t Mess With My Kid'

Neshaminy taxpayers and parents talk about the teachers' strike.

As Neshaminy School District teachers picketed in front of Pearl S. Buck Elementary School in Middletown on Monday, New Jersey Army National Guard Sergeant. 1st Class Shawna Frey, whose daughter attends the school, stood silently across the street in her military battle dress uniform holding a homemade sign that read, “What if we strike.”

Her reason is simple and her message is clear: “You don’t mess with my kid.”

“There are certain jobs where what you do should be more important than what you make. A soldier is one of them, and so is being an educator,” Frey said as a black mini-van honked as it drove by; the driver giving the servicewoman a thumbs up.

“They went to strike over greed and my daughter’s education is forced to suffer because of it,” Frey, who served in Iraq, said.

Many taxpayers Patch spoke with shared Frey’s point of view.

“I think what the teachers are doing is greedy and insulting to us - the taxpayers,” parent Tony Brillhart, of Langhorne, said. “We pay them to do a job, not walk in front of the schools with posters.”

“The teachers need to be reasonable – they’re making a very, very good salary,”  Middletown resident Margret Piacentino said. “[The teachers] are making more than a lot of people who have been working for more years and have just as much education.”

Almost everyone agreed that they hoped the strike would end quickly and students could return to school.

“My son’s in high school, so it’s not that big of a deal, but I feel bad for the parents with little kids. They now need to scramble to find someone to care for the kids during the day,” Brillhart said.

Frey said the strike is unfair to the parents and students.

“I have to pay extra money for the daycare and now I’ll have to take extra time at night to teach her what she didn’t learn in school,” Frey said.

Not just parents are facing problems, Diane Brown, of Langhorne, watched her grandchildren play on the playground equipment at Mayors Playground and told Patch she is having trouble finding activities to keep the grand kids busy.

“I feel like it’s summer time all over again…and I’m not ready for it,” she said with a chuckle.

TeeJ January 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM
curious jimbo, what branch were you in, just an observation but you seem to have serious anger issues toward women, also you simple solution to just raise taxes proves the point, if you are actually speaking for the teachers, that they could in fact care less about anybody but themselves, thank you for putting it all in perspective
Anna Marie January 13, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The board should have a job fair..between the catholic HS teachers and the Chester-Upland teachers, they can replace all those strikers.
feasterville resident January 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Well put Linda Sheridan.
Alex R. January 13, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I was thinking the same thing...its funny how they only picket during certain hours and weather. I drove passed the Maple Point HS around 10am the one day that was nice out and there was a bunch of picketers out there exercising "walking back and forth", socializing, drinking their Starbucks....I drove passed again around 3:30 and there wasn't a single trace of them. Whereas I know of one striker at a quarry nearby, that I see who has been out there everyday for many months.
ingrid January 13, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Response to Rachel's post - Wow - you are totally clueless and unappreciative of the efforts of those in the military do upon our behalf. I am happy to know that at least our tax dollars are providing for those who have sacrificed more than we will ever be able to comprehend. Rachel, why not suit up and join the military. Just from your stupid response, I do not think you will even make it through boot camp.
TeeJ January 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
i also should have said on Rachel's behalf that they will always defend people like her and Jimbo too, cause that's just what we do :)
Patrick C January 13, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I am sadden by this image, A National Guard Member is protesting against one of the rights she is sworn to protect. What right should we protest against next? Voting? The Teachers have a right to strike and protest, She has a right to protest and Unionize and strike in her other Job. I have been horrified that there is this growing need in this country to get rid of our rights. You may agree with the board or you may agree with the teachers but we should not sit here and say that we should give up our rights. That has been the sentiment I have heard from the supporters of the board and the belief Ms Frey seems to be stating.
Robert Melling January 13, 2012 at 08:18 PM
You get what you negotiate , not what you're worth.
Anna Marie January 13, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Patrick, it's just possible that unions have served their purpose and now, like other institutions, they have become corrupt. I have not even one good experience with unions so far. Union individuals have harrassed, threatened, hurt and even killed inoocent people. I don't have a union where I work and while I may not like the things that go on there from time to time, I know where the door is if I want to leave and find something else. So, it sounds to me like you're saying, Patrick, that as a taxpaying American citizen, Ms. Frey is not permitted to exercise HER right to peacefully protest because she is in the military and sworn to protect that right? While I definitely agree that there seems to be a systematic and gradual movement to remove the rights we hold dear in this country, Ms. Frey has EVERY right to protest what she probably feels is an afront and damaging to her child.
TeeJ January 13, 2012 at 08:55 PM
sad you may be, that she too chooses to excercise her right to freedom of speech, in the form of a question, in no way is it suggested that any right be relinquished; only that those currently on strike, assume a responsibility more in line with a fiscal reality and not just in a token manner; i have always supported unions in that there is a need for balance, however time and again i've also seen the results of winning at all cost result in the loss of members of said union, upon the elimination of jobs in order to cover the costs of said contract; in this case the loss we be what the children would receive. in the end you must ask how much is enough for a contract, how much is enough to raise the bar on your taxes...
mom January 13, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Team Teachers!!!!! They deserve a fantastic contract... They educate these children with the skills they need to succeed in this crazy world. To make themselves into something worth wild. And if the kids fail to use what's given to them then shame on them. Give them a fair contract that they deserve and get these kids back to school. If the school board can't do it then that an arbitrator handle it!
Anna Marie January 13, 2012 at 09:14 PM
No, the PARENTS should be educating their children to succeed in this crazy world- not the teachers. But I'm not sure what the "worth wild" refers to....Their contract right now is so much more than fair. But, you see, extortion leaves a bitter taste in my mouth....
Patrick C January 13, 2012 at 09:37 PM
As I stated before you are correct she does. Her employer, however may take issue with her wearing the uniform while she does. I understand that according to their employee handbook she may not wear her uniform while protesting. Now do you feel that her employer has every right to fire her because she broke that rule?
ellen January 13, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I looked at the the picture and wondered what was the point of the uniform. I have the greatest respect for the defenders of our country but what does that have to do with a school strike?? If a person goes on strike, they are anti-American?? You people really are easily led off point. This is a contract that needs to be negotiated. In order to do that the board has to come to the table and negotiate until it is settled. You know that by law the teachers have to return to work whether this is settled or not. I hope the children are not listening at home to the things that are being written on this website. They will be delightful to teach if they come in with their parents attitude. I know of no one in the teaching profession who would take out on the children their displeasure with a contract negotiation. You parents better start preparing your children for their return to school. If they return with the same lack of respect that you are showing... God help the classroom!
ellen January 13, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Wearing sunglasses, drinking Starbucks...are you kidding me???Did you also see the 8 month pregnant teacher who was told by one of the wonderful administrators,"Do not expect to have use of our bathrooms!" (classy guy , right?) or the teachers who just had knee or hip surgery who were out having "fun" socializing and happily exercising!!! If you think they are enjoying this, grow up.
Anna Marie January 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
But you, Patrick, are not her employer. Maybe you would like to presume what her employer is within his right to do to discipline her. And, of course, if you feel strongly about it, you may feel the need to report the incident. Although it is public knowledge as it is the property of the media now. However, I think what may really be bothering you is that she hit a nerve. I have a sneaky suspicion that you are a teacher or married to one and this young lady hit a nerve. And perhaps you feel some guilt.....?
Anna Marie January 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Lack of respect? Lady, take at look at the economy, ok? These parents are tired, over-worked, and UNDERPAYED for what they do. Food prices are soaring, gas prices are through the roof, everything is sky-high! They don't like it either. They're barely able to keep their heads above water if they can at all. Now you're going to try and squeeze out more blood from their veins? You need to get a grip, ok? This is the topic, honey.... Why shouldn't these kids know what their teachers are trying to do to them during a depression? This is economics 101, right? A lesson to be learned. These children have every right to know what miserable, greedy, selfish people want to take more food out of their mouths and how they're legally trying to extort their parents to do it.
Linda Sheridan January 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Anne Marie- probably the pro-teachers posts are being posted by teachers as real identities are not required. Anyone who cannot understand the economic situation of the entire country and know that we cannot continue to pay for guaranteed pensions, bonuses for retirements, and the myriad of other perks Neshaminy teachers get should leave this district immediately. That is why any teacher truly supporting the NFT does not need to be teaching our kids. And do not seem to understand that the school board said no negotiating if they strike and keep saying "the board won't negotiate." Go back to the classrooms now!
Patrick C January 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I love the line if you support the strike you must be a teacher or married to one. So to answer your question no neither me or my wife is a teacher, my mother was and is retired now but she never joined her district's union by her own choice. It did touch on a nerve as I see this new wave of thought we shouldn't have the rights that people have fought for before and won. It seems strange that we would demonize them or choose not to have them for a reasons that though may seem on the surface seem important but may not be the cause. Do you hate the strike because its the teachers striking or because you have come to see Unions as bad things?
James T. January 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Everyone who is not happy with the Neshaminy teachers should write on their facebook wall https://www.facebook.com/pages/NFT-Neshaminy-Federation-of-Teachers/164069980302609#!/pages/NFT-Neshaminy-Federation-of-Teachers/164069980302609?sk=wall Now I'm P!$$ed. Seriously. I worked HARD for my Master's degree WHILE I was working full time. Holy moly. I seriously can't believe they've gotten away with this crap at our expense for SO long. On a side note, I was discussing this issue with someone who grew up in Council Rock while I was in Neshaminy... we checked out some of the people he went to High School/College with that he knew were teachers. His comment "oh my GOD, [that person] would make the WORST teacher ever!.", then added that one of that person's relatives worked at the school for years. So this not-so-smart person got a PRIME teaching job through easy college courses, nepotism and a Masters equivalent degree (they have 'masters' listed as their education)... they also are making 98k.
Linda Sheridan January 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM
The teachers did not work hard to get 27,500.00 upon retiring and other benefits that we can no longer afford and that NO other districts get- the previous boards gave away the farm to avoid strikes and discord. The union needs to be led by a fair person. I am not against unions. The board HAS made offers and the union continues to counter with options our community CANNOT afford. If the teachers get, the kids lose, programs are cut, and people lose their homes. Take the offer or leave. The teachers who accept what our board is offering are the teachers we want teaching our children anyway. AND they are afraid to go against the NFT for fear of retaliation. Also, you cannot "quit" the union, union dues will still be deducted from your paycheck. The kids have already heard from their teachers who are not pro union, that their cars have been keyed, tires flattened and threats made. This all needs to change immediately. If the board could have each teacher cast a vote that would not be made available to the NFT leaders - the strike would be over and hopefully no retaliations would occur. They need confidential ballots!
ellen January 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I know this will come as a surprise to you but teachers also have families, buy groceries, buy gas and live in the same world that you do, LADY! You think they are unaware. It still has nothing to do with your school board refusing to come to the table and NEGOTIATE with the union. I don't know where you work or if you do, HONEY, but they are trying to survive also. When you are in a union, you have to follow what that union dictates as best for getting a contract. Do you always agree with what and how they do it?? not all the time but if you have a union in your district you do it so you can work there. You and Linda seem to have a lot to say and have little time for those who don't agree with you. Yes, I am a teacher who works without a union, who probably earns much less than you or your husband and am totally aware of the country's condition. When I say prepare your children, I mean make sure that the attitude that you express is not how they return to school. They will be the ones who suffer for it. Not from their present teachers but because you will have destroyed their outlook concerning all the teachers they will come across in their future and anyone, who for whatever reason, earns more money than they do or belongs to a union. These teachers are good people, doing a difficult job trying to get your children ready for the world they are entering. Please tell Mr. Pastor for me, this is NOT a "9-3, 10 month job" as he is so fond of saying.
Linda Sheridan January 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM
AMEN James. As for The NFT facebook page- they delete any comments they do not like and will not let that person re-post!!!!!! God Bless you for working so hard to better yourself. I spoke with a Council Rock retired teacher and they have been paying for benefits AND get a MAXIMUM of $5,000.00 for their unused sick /vacation time. Our teachers get 27,500.00 PLUS unused sick time.
Linda Sheridan January 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM
My brother is a teacher and would accept this contract in a minute if he were able to. Oh and I can only hope this does not mean the union will retaliate against him since I am using my real name. The kids who hear what the union is doing to their favorite GOOD teachers is not going to give them a good opinion. I have nothing against the teachers who are doing a good job, but do not feel free to voice their opinions and would much rather be back in their classrooms. It is a matter of what we can afford. The offer on the table is fair and will protect this district from going further into debt. I have been a good parent and some of my 3 kids' teachers have not been up to par.
BJean January 13, 2012 at 11:11 PM
@Ellen's comment - if there are teacher's with ailments, pregnant whatever, walking the Strike Line - they know they are not allowed on school property to use the facilities. Is this an issue that becomes "our issue" - I think not. Once they declared the Strike, walk the walk, that simple, regardless of weather, conditions, what ever it maybe. Louise Boyd took a vote, and this is what they chose to do - walk the walk on the Strike Line. Tis a shame some are medically handicapped or otherwise, but using the school property, is in the bargain, as per the "STRIKE". It's like the Teacher's working to "Contract" and not doing anything more - it's part of their game plan when they do that. So walk the walk, and do not complain when an Administrator says, I'm sorry, but you are not allowed inside - you are ON STRIKE, remember - light bulb moment. Cold out there today wasn't it ......brrrrrrrr !!!!!
BJean January 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Also, there are some great teachers at Neshaminy, I know some of them. But there are some horrible one's as well. It's a shame the Principal's do not have the ability to weed out the good from the bad.
James T. January 13, 2012 at 11:54 PM
NFT deleted their facebook page! I guess they can't handle any criticism or the truth. ;) Linda Sheridan I agree with you. I have been a substitute teacher before and I also would accept this contract since it would mean that I'd be working and teaching fulltime! What these teachers don't understand is that in other districts like in Bristol a lot of teachers there were fired and laid off. In this economy the Neshaminy teachers should be grateful that they even have jobs when most people myself included do not or are working a part time job just to barely get by. I agree with you that the whole idea that the teachers who are against unions are being blackballed is criminal. The NFT is full of greed. The Principals at NHS are a joke as well, they were when I graduated more than two decades ago and they have been the last few decades. Neshaminy claims it never hires their own graduates but that is not true. People who I graduated with went to college or a university and came back and got hired in Neshaminy! Of course they all were related to other teachers, school admins, or other people in neshaminy. Yes most Neshaminy teachers are in it just for the money, benefits, and summer vacation. I know some teachers who told me how they got "burnt out". I guess they don't like teaching at all or working with students.
Linda Sheridan January 14, 2012 at 12:07 AM
News flash- The NFT has requested binding arbitration- ck the Neshaminy Taxpayers facebook page. No more striking allowed! Hope the arbitrator is NOT owned by Harrisburg/the AFL-CIO ! Thank you God this is not about whose side wins or loses- it is about what is right and fair and just! There are as many good teachers as there are bad, like in every profession. Live by the Golden Rule and the world would be a better place. Myself, my siblings, my kids, and my nieces and nephew all went to Neshaminy. I graduated in 74 and there were inadequate teachers then and there were wonderful teachers, too! My youngest is a senior. I am blessed with all of my children BUT it takes a good mix of parents, teachers, administrators, coaches, etc. to turn out a productive citizen. If everyone, starting with the parents, do their part, it turns out for the best. Let's get back to this school year and make 2012 the best ever! Godspeed to all of us!
James T. January 14, 2012 at 05:35 AM
That's nice Ellen, I know plenty of out of work teachers who would jump at the chance to work. The worst part about the NFT is how the teachers are using their own students as pawns in the strike having them go and picket. As for "growing up" that's what the greedy neshaminy teachers have to do. They are way overpaid, have been for decades, and keep demanding more money that the township and taxpayers do not have. Let's also not forget how Neshaminy loves to hire their own and hires Neshaminy graduates or the husbands and wives or other relatives of Neshaminy teachers and this has been going on for decades. Most Neshaminy teachers do not actually care about teaching unless it's for the PSSA exams and other pointless standardized tests.
James T. January 14, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Here's a site you all should check out: http://www.teachersunionexposed.com/


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »