Marjorie Pollitt

Teachers are Learning

Source: Woman Worker No. 3, June 1926
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/HTML: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

DURING the General Strike, many workers wondered why the school teachers did not join their fellow workers on the streets and probably concluded that their attitude was one of opposition to the miners, or at least of indifference.

In a large number of instances this was very far from being the case. Hundreds of teachers are coming to recognise that their place is in the ranks of the organised working class, and that their interests are identical with those of the miners, the engineers railwaymen. In addition to these definitely class-conscious teachers, there are many others, who through their innate conservatism were opposed to the General Strike, but who, now that the miners are left alone will be entirely sympathetic to them in their struggle for existence.

No one knows better than teachers the evil effects on the body and brain of a child of insufficient food, bad housing and overcrowding. They are bitterly resentful of a system which expects them to produce AI scholars out of sickly, under-nourished little victims of a capitalist society.

This resentment, together with the feelings of shame and pity, arouse in any decent human being at the sight of unnecessary suffering force upon little children, must be used now to the full, in the assistance of the miners.

In all pit areas, the parents should get the teachers to join them in their demand for free meals for children. This should not be confined only to mining areas; in every district where through victimisation, and short time the workers and their families are suffering through the General Strike, the sympathies of the teachers should be enlisted through the parents to get free feeding centres opened.

Ask Teacher for Subs

Every worker’s child should get a collecting sheet for the Miners’ Distress Fund, or the fund for aiding class war prisoners (I.C.W.P.A.)—take it to school, ask the teachers for subscriptions, collect the halfpennies and farthings of their class mates, and wherever a teacher is sympathetic ask them to take a collecting sheet also.

In these ways, a united front of working class parents, children and teachers can be formed which will help to back the miners who are fighting for every man and woman worker in this country.