Shame on you, Don Jr.


Last week, President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr., stood on a stage in El Paso, Texas, and maligned one of the greatest professions in America.

In the frenzied atmosphere of the Trump rally, he called on fellow conservatives wearing their MAGA hats “to keep up that fight, bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth.”

We’re here to tell you that Junior couldn’t last five minutes in the shoes of a so-called “loser” teacher. He’d pass out from exhaustion as soon as that opening bell rings and that teacher turns into an air traffic controller, making split-second decisions. It can be dizzying to watch. Try it some time.

We’ve met a lot of Martha’s Vineyard teachers, and there’s not a loser among them. They are hard-working, dedicated individuals who increasingly come under the microscope of standardized test scores, as if those tests somehow define the care, compassion, and education that a teacher provides in the classroom.

And the very idea that teachers are sitting in classrooms figuring out how to turn the next generation into socialists is laughable. They look to cultivate independent thinkers.

Besides, where would they find the time to indoctrinate? What they’re trying to do is corral a class filled with individuals who come from varying backgrounds.

Suzy may not have had a meal at home last night, and may not have gotten any sleep because her mom and dad are in the middle of an ugly divorce.

Billy’s doing great. He’s so excited that he made his travel basketball team that he can hardly focus on what’s happening in class. That, and he forgot to take the medication that controls his ADHD.

Oh, and last year there was an off-Island school district that faced some budget shortfalls, so now the teacher doesn’t have a classroom aide, and she’s got three more students than the year before. But luckily for her, there are volunteers who are willing to come into the classroom — some of them retired teachers who know the challenges — to help out on a regular basis.

Let’s not forget the money they have to spend out of pocket because local school committees, strapped for cash, cut the supply budget first. Teachers often pick up the slack.

Teachers are in one of those thankless jobs. Everyone’s been to school, so nearly everyone thinks they know how to best educate and reach children — even though we now require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and to show continuing education in order to renew their licenses. It’s the kind of education that puts them on par with doctors and lawyers — except when you look at their paychecks.

We underpay them.

We underappreciate them.

We underestimate the great impact they have.

And, too often, people like Donald Jr. belittle them.

Oh, and the fantasy that teachers get the summer off? Many of them use that time to get the professional development time needed to renew their licenses, or to keep up with new trends in teaching, or learning the new technology that’s become so vital in the classroom. Others have to spend their summers waiting tables at local restaurants so they can afford to live on this Island.

Loser teachers, indeed.

They’re winners, doing the jobs other Americans don’t want to do. One of the oft-repeated stereotypes is of parents who can’t wait for their children to go back to school. Why? Because children are a lot to handle. It’s not easy, but it’s a vocation, and for those who have heard the calling, it is rewarding.

You are the true heroes. We should pay you more. We should respect you more.

Next week, teachers on Martha’s Vineyard will be off for a week, just like the students in their classrooms. We hope you get some rest, but we doubt you will. There are lesson plans to write, courses to take, and supplies to buy to get through the final 80 days or so.

So hold your heads high, teachers, and don’t listen to the little brat raised by a schoolyard bully of a father.

Hey, you’re in good company. Donald Trump Jr. doesn’t like journalists either.


  1. You’ve obviously missed the point. He was not criticizing all teachers but those that encourage socialism which is certainly a problem.

        • The average yearly cost of private school is $7,770 for elementary and $13,030 for high school. Your parents had to pay for food, clothes, and the roof over your head. Socialism paid for your schooling because young parents work just to get by.

          You understand socialism paid for your education because most young parents can’t afford to? Their income goes to paying rent , own used cars, this Do you think

  2. Do babies have socialism teachers? Jr. did say “from birth.” At MVH, new parents are given lactation support, diaper samples, and copies of Das Kapital. All the doulas are pushing Engels these days. Keep fighting where it belongs – in schools.

  3. Yea….Don Trump Jr. never worked a day in his privileged, daddy’s boy, life. His options about those who actually do work; worthless.

  4. I agree with almost everything in this letter.
    The part that sticks out is the whole idea of cultivating independent thinkers. At MVRHS there was a correct way to think and then there was everybody else. Some instructors managed to keep it to a minimum but I doubt it’s gotten any better since I was there. Those podiums had power.
    Still, overall poor choice of words.

  5. In my days of K-12 teachers, they were known for being dedicated to their craft, devoted to their students, honored to have the parents’ trust, and passionate about their life’s work. Given the conditions of the teacher workplace shared in this piece, it’s no wonder the profession no longer attracts the best and brightest.

  6. Being a teacher is one of those thankless jobs, with a glimmer of reward that keeps them going.
    On the one hand Martha’s Vineyard taxpayers are very generous with school budgets, on the other it doesn’t seem to matter.
    I think we can all agree that education is important, with it there are no bounds.
    If we were to ask political affiliations of all our teachers and we were told it was overwhelming…say…socialist would we need a rule that says only one third of teachers could identify as such?
    Or maybe leave politics out if education?
    Would you send your child to a school that doesn’t honor your values?

  7. I applaud Donald Trump, Jr.’s candor, and echo his sentiments.
    We frequently see, even (especially?) on this island, teachers who are apparently more interested in their own ‘Social Justice Warrior’ virtue-signalling and posturing than education. They DO indoctrinate, relentlessly, and God help the student or parent who dares question or confront these apparatchiks’ one-party hivemind goosestepping.

    Kudos to Don Jr. for calling them out.

    • Your comment reads as if either your presence has requested by school administration for your darlings or your parent’s presence was requested because of you.

      It is the teacher’s classroom, not the parent’s. Teachers went to school for their profession. As part of their education, they taught classes with qualified observers in the room. They may have hundreds of students every year, tens of thousands over their career.

      It’s the job of parents to raise children to be able to interact in society, not the job of teachers. It is the job of parents to train their little darlings to sit, listen, and learn when lessons are offered. For most, Parent-Teacher conferences are uneventful. By your description, the parents screwed up. Teachers aren’t going to take to task parents whose children are in school to learn.

      A teacher’s goal is to have your little darling sufficiently educated so he/she will have a shot at a career in their desired field. If you believe this is socialism, your parents failed you because that wasn’t taught by any teacher.

  8. I can’t imagine how indoctrination could have presented in math, physics, chemistry, or PE classes, nor while studying Chaucer or Shakespeare. The closest I remember of indoctrination was teachers attempting to get the same students class after class to pay attention and behave. The least vague negative memory suggests our complaining former students were the ones who never learned to play well with others in kindergarten.

  9. Bart Gee, where and when does the education of socialism, “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole” begin. Are these teachers in an elementary school? You did say “relentlessly.” Is it the high school teachers who advocate that workers seize the means of production? Is it ALL teachers, or some teachers? I do see “a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy” (fascism) being espoused by Jr.

  10. You finally at least temporally just passed the Gazette`s position of having the more angry, bias editorial / comments and one sided reporting and “censoring”. I believe there definitely would have been a much better toned down explanation of your no if, and`s or butts hatred you have for our president, his family and supporters.
    You also brought to light all the hatred of so many on the island who side with your political position that you quickly allow and post.
    I am so glad I do not have to buy $$ or support either island papers.
    However it is good though to see all of you are showing your true colors venting now because you will all really explode when we have a big rerun in 2020.
    I will really be surprised it this doesn’t hit your handy censor shredder.

    • We let you know why your other comment could not be posted. Stop name-calling and you won’t have a problem.

    • We’re angry because we want our children to inherit a planet with a breathable atmosphere, drinkable water, and arable land. We want our children to inherit a society in which it will be safe to bring their loved ones to church, theaters, vacations. We want our children to be able to leave a planet to their children better than it was when they got it.

      Stop projecting on others the issues you have with society. Surprise kindergarten teachers everywhere, learn to play well with others.

    • tis native– you really have to get over the fact that trump won the election. If anyone says anything bad about our so called president, you immediately accuse them of hating trump. What we are doing here is trying to hold the president and his family to some sort of moral decency.

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