While Benji was in high school he volunteered for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during an ill-fated recall effort promoted by union forces angry at Walker for pushing common sense solutions to his state’s budget crisis. Instead of being lauded for his commitment, Benji was subjected to criticism and taunts from teachers, some who mocked him in front of classmates, one who went so far as to curse at him.
“It’s frustrating when people who preach open-mindedness and speaking out for your beliefs cannot handle it when they’re disagreed with,” says Benji who learned early on that teachers had been prodded by union officials to do things that were essentially counter to their own profession.
“Benji was subjected to criticism and taunts from teachers…one who went so far as to curse at him.”
“Unions are alarmist and they’re very good at portraying things much worse than they actually are,” Benji says. “That’s because unions want what’s best for them, not for teachers and certainly not for students.”
Unions not only play upon the fears of their members but indoctrinate them into thinking their personal interests are more important than the interests of the students they’re entrusted to serve. In fact, when Benji later was named a Young Americans for Mitt Romney Co-Chair in Wisconsin the same abusive cycle started all over again with teachers denigrating his conservative values as “stupid” and “racist.”
This culture of fear extended to other teachers who were embarrassed by their colleagues’ behavior. They supported Benji but felt coerced into hiding it, offering their encouragement to him “only in private,” he says.
Now in college, Benji says the abuse only served to “make me stronger but I worry about the other students. I’m certain I am not the only one that has experienced this sort of intimidation. My teachers have always talked about bullying, including bullying homosexuals and how wrong it is. They shouldn’t be bullied, nor should anyone else. If teachers want bullying to end with homosexuals, other races or religious beliefs, they should want it to end with every type of bullying possible, including political views.”