We received this commentary from a Memphis City Schools teacher:

Let it be said that during the current Memphis City Schools charter debate, one expert opinion has not been sought: the teachers.

As a teacher in the system, I feel that I have not been properly prepared to make the biggest decision that our city will face in its history.  The union that represents my voice and the voice of all teachers in the Memphis City Schools has pledged un-allegiance to the Board and is inaccurately representing the sentiment of many teachers in the system.

We are working in these schools every day with our students, and we are deeply invested in their success.

Teachers and parents inherently have the best interest of Memphis City Schools’ students at heart in this issue—our profession, passion, city, and lives are at stake.  As teachers, we are a wealth of information and creativity on the future of our school system.  We have no political agenda; we simply want the children of Memphis to have the best education.

Therefore, as a teacher left out of the discussion, here is my voice:

To David Pickler: Your transparent attempts to intensify the divisions among the children of Shelby County are intolerable.  It is an embarrassment that people are still promoting segregation in 2011.  Our children need role models who actively promote tolerance, empathy and equality.

To MEA: Your function as our union is to speak for us and support us in our mission to provide the best education for our children—NOT to exploit your position to scare us into passivity.

To the City of Memphis: As a teacher among many teachers, I have a voice that must be heard; yet our voice is being muffled through fear and confusion.  It is imperative that our government listens to the people they swear to represent.  The focus in this process should be on the will of the teachers and parents of Memphis City Schools.  I demand to be fairly educated on the issue in an unbiased manner.  I am a teacher in the Memphis City Schools, a Memphian my whole life, and a committed citizen for the betterment of our city.

Do not overlook, underestimate, intimidate, or try to outwit the teachers of the Memphis City Schools.

To all the individuals and the factions trying to keep Memphians from having a vote:

Democracy demands that the people are allowed to vote on the issues that affect their lives.  My school board members nobly put in motion a chain of events that will put this monumental decision in the hands of the people where it most dearly belongs: the citizens of the City of Memphis!