Hardly a school day goes by without a teacher somewhere reminding children about the importance of putting schoolwork first.
But thousands of Louisiana teachers and school support workers sent the opposite message Wednesday, choosing to skip school to attend a Baton Rouge rally organized by their unions to lobby the Legislature for a pay raise.
Salivating over how to split a $3 billion surplus, most legislators are not expected to squabble over the pay raises.
Teacher raises did fail during the December special session, as did most of the governor's agenda. But that was mostly because many legislators appropriately wanted a session focused on storm recovery and rebelled when Gov. Blanco tried to pass a laundry list of non-recovery issues.
Union leaders say educators cannot trust promises from politicians this time and that they have a right to lobby and to political expression. Fair enough. But nothing prevents them from organizing their rally after school hours or on a weekend.
Doing it at the expense of children and instructional time was just plain irresponsible.