Hall teaches life science, Advance Placement environmental science, and biology at the Open World Learning Community in downtown St. Paul. In interviews she did with the media at the time, she kept things mostly apolitical, though she did tell the Star Tribune that "We believe in liberty and justice for all in this country, but we don't have it yet."
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"Teaching is one of the best ways to achieve that dream by opening the doors to higher education that ends poverty," she continued.
But in a speech she recently gave to the 2013 Education Minnesota Conference, Hall upped the political ante by characterizing teachers as "American democracy's last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent." Her comments are being decried by conservative activists who believe such remarks are unbecoming of Minnesota's Teacher of the Year.
Here's a transcript of the controversial part of Hall's speech, followed by the raw video:
There is one other thing that I think about when I think about generosity. I think about all of the teachers in St. Paul public schools who gave up our cost of living raise in 2010 in an effort to limit class sizes in our district.
Teachers are persistent and responsible and generous because we believe that every child in America, regardless of circumstances of birth, deserves a decent chance at a good life. [Applause] From where I stand, teachers create equality of opportunity. From where I stand, teaching is a profession that takes a gritty patriotism. And from where I stand, teachers are American democracy's last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent. [More applause]
And here's what conservative members of Minnesota's Twitter intelligentsia are saying about Hall's "tyranny of the 1 percent" remark:
Megan Olivia Hall, 2013 Teacher of the Year and a shining example of how Education Minnesota is nothing but a shill for the DFL. Proof!-- David Osmek (@BigDfromMn) October 22, 2013
Yeah, maybe that would've been a good line to save for when you're having beers with your liberal buddies after the speech.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]