The movie will be released nationally on Sept. 28.
The National School Public Relations Association is now working with the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers in issuing talking points to members about how to best dismiss the point of the movie without actually looking like they’re attacking it.
“We urge you to consider applauding the passion and activism of parents in the movie. You know that your schools and your students will be far better off if this enthusiasm is focused in a collaborative fashion on the local needs of your students and community,” the group wrote.
Translation: It would be stupid to attack the sympathetic characters in the movie, just like it would be dumb to boo Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. But your applause - or approval - should not be directed at the false characterization of the teachers union as the evil force in the movie, or the idea that parents can somehow do a better job than professionals when it comes to educating children.
More from NSPRA:
“Consider these additional points generated by NSPRA and other major education organizations working together through the Learning First Alliance (LFA):
“Fictionalized accounts that pit parents against school employees may make an interesting story line and generate ticket sales, but they don’t reflect on-the-ground reality. In districts throughout the nation, educators and parents are working together closely to improve public education, and find sustainable solutions that put children at the center of reform. Do you have parent leaders who would be willing to talk about the difference between their experience working with your school and those of the movie’s parents?
“Educators and parents are on the same team — we’re all accountable for student success and need to be a united front.
“Parents in other communities have tried the parent trigger, and it seemed to have misfired for various reasons. That’s because there is no silver bullet solution to fixing our schools. We can’t afford to risk our children’s future—we need to work together to find sustainable solutions that work now and in the future.
“Instead of silver bullets, we need sustainable solutions. It’s time to make smart investments: small classes, early childhood education, up-to-date textbooks and computers, etc.